Marvel Studios may have decided to skip Comic-Con this year, but it looks like they have still managed to drop the biggest bombshell of the weekend. Unfortunately, it is not a particularly positive one. James Gunn is the latest celebrity to be found guilty in the Court of Public Opinion after a handful of tasteless and offensive tweets were dug up from his Twitter timeline and exposed by an alt-right personality. As a result, Disney has removed him as director of the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Most of the tweets in question, however, were made anywhere from 5 to 10 years ago. Disney chairman Alan Horn issued the following statement:
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
James Gunn has also since responded with a statement of his own on Twitter:
1. Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
2. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.
3. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.
4. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.
5. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.
Once again, this serves as a harsh reminder that anything you say publicly in the digital age can and will come back to haunt you (especially when you have made enemies who are desperately trying to find dirt on you). It is not at all surprising that James Gunn has said things like this in his past, however. His history with Troma was more than enough proof of that and clearly Disney knew what they were getting into when they hired him for the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Are you disappointed by this news? Do you think Disney made the right call?