Movie Talk James Gunn Fired From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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Major Tom

Major Tom

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James Gunn has been a very important figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2014, launching one of the most unexpected and incredible series within the franchise with Guardians of the Galaxy. He followed it up in 2017 with the equally successful Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but now it appears that his time working with Marvel Studios has come to an end. According to reports, James Gunn will no longer be writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the move has been made due to James Gunn's history on social media. The trade report says that old Tweets that included jokes about paedophilia and rape from the director have surfaced, and it has resulted in the Walt Disney Company cutting ties with the filmmaker. In an official statement, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said:

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.
The Tweets in question were posted back in 2008 and 2009 and were dug up by a conservative website The Daily Caller (James Gunn has been a very active critic of Donald Trump). In the wake of this breaking news, James Gunn has deleted his Twitter account, but before he did, he posted one last message:

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 humour.
As we learned last year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to be the last movie in the series directed by James Gunn, though it wasn't going to be the end of his relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, he was set up to be a very important figure in the future of the cosmic side of things, developing the future of the movies set to take place in outer space. Obviously, that will no longer happen, and it's unclear at this point if Marvel Studios will specifically find a filmmaker to replace him in that role. It is also unknown if the production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will continue to use the script written by Gunn, as the writer/director just recently completed a draft.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still targeting a release date at some point in 2020, and production is still expected to start up at the beginning of 2019.

Since Disney announced that they were parting ways with Gunn, the filmmaker made the following statement:

My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.

Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.
Franco Pinion

Franco Pinion

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Bad-taste humour from a decade ago, and I'd say there's only one or two which are at truly offensive levels.

While the majority of it is just plain juvenile, really the whole affair is just a pathetic witch-hunt. Bravo, social media warriors :rolleyes:


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Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista defended his longtime director, James Gunn, after Gunn was fired from Disney yesterday following backlash from a far-right blogger over offensive and controversial decade-old tweets.

“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this,” Bautista, who plays Drax in the films, tweeted. “James Gunn is one of the most loving, caring, good-natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. I’m not ok with what’s happening to him.”

Bautista’s remarks represent the first public acknowledgement of the situation from a member of the Guardians cast, but he’s not alone in condemning Disney’s actions. Comedians like Patton Oswalt and Rufus Hound have also expressed their own frustrations and concerns over Gunn’s firing.

“This is one of the less disgusting tweets from Mike Cernovich, the dude who, after running a Gamergate-style smear campaign, just got James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3,” Oswalt tweeted, pointing to an old Cernovich tweet. “Okay have a good weekend.” (Gamergate is a reactionary, hateful campaign that targeted women and marginalized people in the games industry and manufactured a cover of being interested in “ethics in games journalism” that began in 2014.)

“Disney, your stories are so often about redemption,” Hound tweeted. “To fire James Gunn for jokes made as a younger man, jokes for which he has already apologized, goes against the moral code you taught us all when we were kids. No sense in cutting loose a good man. I urge you - rehire him.”

Oswalt, Hound and Bautista’s statements come just one day after Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn issued a statement on the situation. “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,” Horn said.

It’s not just celebrities and comedians criticizing Disney’s decision to fire Gunn. Critics have called out the company for giving into an aggressive attack by far-right blogger Mike Cernovich, best known for popularizing “PizzaGate,” a false and dangerous conspiracy theory that alleged Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair ran a child sex ring at the basement of a Washington pizzeria. It resulted in a North Carolina man arming himself with an assault rifle and going to that restaurant to “self-investigate” the situation. He fired three shots into the pizzeria. No one was hurt, and he received a four-year federal prison sentence in a plea agreement.

Cernovich, who has tweeted offensive statements about rape and other controversial topics, presented Gunn’s tweets as evidence that he had uncovered an underground paedophile ring operating in Hollywood. Since yesterday, Cernovich has used past tweets from actor and comedian Michael Ian Black to suggest Black was “another Hollywood paedophile”.

Black responded to Cernovich in a detailed tweet thread this morning, stating, “As somebody who has in the past made jokes about a whole host of topics, including molestation, I have never denied the horrors of it whereas you, actually charged with rape in 2003, have denied whether ‘date rape is possible’?”

“Mike, we’ve had this conversation before,” Black tweeted. “There’s a qualitative difference between a comedian making jokes - even offensive jokes (me)- and somebody being charged with rape in 2003 (you) ... Moreover, you are an overt racist and conspiracy theorist who pushed Pizzagate and have repeatedly smeared people, baselessly accusing them of, primarily, paedophilia.”

Those “baseless” accusations, as Black calls them, have already begun to spread on Twitter. Over the past few days, Cernovich has tweeted aggressively about Hollywood, paedophilia and accusing the media of protecting celebrities. His accusations have since caught the eye of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who said that if Gunn’s “tweets are true, he needs to be prosecuted.”

“These James Gunn tweets are just horrible,” Cruz tweeted. “Child rape is no laughing matter. As Texas [solicitor general], I handled far too many child sexual assaults. Truly evil. I’m glad Disney fired him, but if these tweets are true, he needs to be prosecuted.”

None of Cernovich’s tactics are new. Cernovich frequently uses his audience on Twitter to spread a conspiracy theory like PizzaGate, aggressively tweeting and retweeting his opinion and facts, along with other people who add to the narrative he’s trying to spin. As The Washington Post reported in 2017, his “Twitter feed and website are a relentless stream of unproven accusations and theories about the left, the establishment or others whom Cernovich sees as an enemy.”

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