Director James Gunn has been removed from the upcoming movie ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ after 10,000 tweets linked to pedophilia were discovered on Gunn’s own Twitter account; the majority of which were posted in 2009 onwards.
In a series of tweets, the acclaimed director made light of very sick subjects including child rape and pedophilia; even implying his own participation in horrendous acts. The posts were discovered by many online researchers, which led to Disney cutting ties completely with James Gunn, and understandably so.
All of these tweets were posted considerably before the release of the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie in 2014; which propelled Gunn into the mainstream consciousness. Gunn had recently begun removing the 10,000 tweets, which originally came across as jokes (to some), but have since brought the man’s character into serious question, due to the vile nature of the tweets. A particularly alarming number of posts touched on Gunn’s relationship with NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association).
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn wrote this statement on Friday: “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.”
Gunn has since released a statement via the social media platforms: “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.”
“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. “
“In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. 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. 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.”
Gunn has also been a vocal critic of President Trump (as a grand portion of Hollywood is), although it is unlikely that this was a contributing factor to his dismissal, in the light of his own tweets, condoning acts of pedophilia, which is completely abhorrent.
It is important to consider that Disney have an image to protect. The company caters heavily to their younger audiences, even when dealing with slightly more mature films of late. When dealing with properties like superhero characters, which appeal to children as much as they do to the die-hard fans, you can understand why they might be hesitant to keep around a director who has made such sick comments, which have no doubt arisen suspicion of his character and even his actions.
The damage that this has done to the Disney brand, as well as the future financial implications if parents now choose to boycott future Disney projects, is surely only one of the many primary reasons for their decision to fire James Gunn.
When the dust settles, perhaps only James himself will really know the truth behind these allegations, whether they are just sick jokes, or a hint at something far more sinister; so you can’t help but understand his firing – particularly in the current Hollywood climate, where directors and actors, like Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Patton Oswalt and others, are being exposed for their remarks and actions concerning pedophilia.
The ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy ‘franchise has become a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has been praised for quirky characters, witty humour and creative soundtracks. Disney have made no announcements about who will now direct the third instalment of the film franchise.
Story by Nathan Warby
Featured Photo Credit: Den of Geek