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Forums - Movies & TV - Disney fires 'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn over 'indefensible' old tweets

Disney has severed ties with “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn after a series of old tweets referencing pedophilia and rape resurfaced online this week.

“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,” Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement to The Times on Friday.

The provocative director behind Disney and Marvel’s successful “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise reportedly wrote the tweets before signing on with the studio. He had previously been announced as the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." One tweet read, “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.” Another said, “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’” Others tweets, which have since been deleted, included satire about 9/11, AIDS and the Holocaust, Deadline reported.

On Thursday, Gunn took to Twitter to provide context for the missives. 

“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,” he wrote. “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.” Gunn also said, “I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore.”

According to Fox News, the tweets were unearthed by conservatives after Gunn, an outspoken critic of the right and President Trump, came to the defense of filmmaker Mark Duplass, who has been embroiled in his own Twitter battle for suggesting liberals might consider following conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.

After Gunn was fired, Shapiro both insulted and defended the director. “I think @JamesGunn is an ..., as my exchange with him earlier this week made clear,” Shapiro tweeted. “I also think that firing him for vile old joke tweets is bad precedent and a mistake. There is no limiting principle to the outrage mob.”

James Gunn responds to Disney firing:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said in an official statement. “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,” Gunn said. “Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then.”
He concluded by looking to the future: “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.”

Last edited by walterbates - on 21 July 2018

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twitter... battle.

sad combination of words.

Why not check me out on youtube and help me on the way to 2k subs over at

Bristow9091 said:
I do think they went a little overboard by firing him, I mean damn these tweets are a decade old, and it's obvious he's no longer like that anymore... Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 just won't be the same under a different director, and we all know the music is gonna' suck now too!

Yeah, this is really worrisome. I wonder how mZuzek is doing...

Bet with Teeqoz for 2 weeks of avatar and sig control that Super Mario Odyssey would ship more than 7m on its first 2 months. The game shipped 9.07m, so I won

People love to be outraged nowadays, and companies are ridiculously quick to cut ties with anyone caught in the cross hairs of the outrage mob. It is a sad state of affairs.

Those tweets are bad. Like, REALLY bad. Even when he intended for them to be jokes, once you see how many of them there actually are it's like damn. It's fully understandable why Disney would fire him for that. They're a family friendly company, and one of their directors in the past was tweeting jokes about paedophilia and rape a lot. It's clear why there would be an issue for them there.

With that said though, I will say I don't think someone should be fired for something they've done in their past. Again, I am NOT defending what Gunn said in anyway, those tweets were really vulgar, but a lot of those vulgar jokes were a long time ago and he even apologized years ago for them too according to some articles. By firing him for something in his past, does that mean nobody is able to ever move on/grow from what they've done? That if somebody ever makes a mistake in their life that has to haunt them forever and decide their future? He admitted he made a mistake a long time ago and hasn't done it again ever since.

It also begs the question: How would Disney have not known about this beforehand? Like, surely they at least do some kind of checks on people before hiring them. I would find it very hard to believe they wouldn't have seen this, because if they did and still hired him then that means they didn't have a problem with it before, but now they do because it has gained more attention? Just seems so random to fire him for tweets from a long time ago all of a sudden, especially when it's not like he was hiding the tweets. They were fully open to the public to see for years, since he apparently didn't even bother to delete them until now.

I also dislike the idea of people making an outrage enough to get someone fired, since there have been situations in the past where it seems some companies cave in immediately towards any sign of potential outrage without deciding for themselves. I'm not saying people don't have the right to be outraged at the jokes he made, in this case it's understandable,  but if these tweets were there for years why did it just all of a sudden become a problem now? Like, did someone go through his past just to look for bad stuff he may have done/said, or was this just found out randomly. 

So while it's understandable why they would fire him for it, I disagree with firing someone because of something in their past though, because that basically doesn't give anyone a chance to move on/learn/grow from something. Especially in this case when he had moved on from it a long time ago and hadn't done anything similar to it in years. Newsflash: people CAN change. 

Shame, because it seemed like he really loved Guardians of the Galaxy. Wonder if this means GOTG Vol 3 will be delayed as well considering that it was meant to come out in 2020 and start filming soon, will they still even use his script now? Or will they have to re-write it and such.

Last edited by FloatingWaffles - on 21 July 2018

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These tweets are really creepy and are in incredibly poor taste. I personally don't think Disney needs to fire Gunn based off of tweets that he made 7-10 years ago, but they have a reputation to uphold and being connected to an individual that harms their public image is not the wisest decision for them to make. It's a shame, considering how Gunn was one of the auteurs of the superhero genre and put actual passion into his movies. I really hope Disney doesn't hire a mediocre director like Peyton Reed to take over the sequel.



Yeah, another thing you should know about making really stupid tweets is that you may also get in trouble at future jobs, in addition to your current one.

I really wish twitter wasn't so integrated into our society these days.

Employer  - So we hear your the main reason we're on the brink of curing cancer.
Employee - Thanks. Just a few more tweaks and we will be able to save millions of lives every year.
Employer  - Well it's come to our attention that in second grade you pushed another kid down the slide and gave them a boo boo.
Employee - Ya, I was a bit of an aggressive kid early on but I eventually leveled out and matured.
Employer  - Sorry but unfortunately we have no choice but to let you go.
Employee - WTF?

This is what he advocated for people to get fired for things they say *shrug*

Preston Scott