It’s being reported in multiple venues that James Gunn has been fired off Guardians of the Galaxy for offensive tweets. Click through, and you’ll see some examples, we’re not going to be posting them here, but they don’t seem to be recent and some of the ones highlighted go all the way back to 2008.
It’s no secret that Gunn started out doing what he calls “taboo” humor and the tweets involved rape and pedophilia among other things. Tasteless humor intended to shock at the time and it’s aged even worse… but it’s not like this should have been a mystery to anyone at Disney at anytime between his hiring for the first Guardians film and now.
People forget, but James Gunn used to do a series of humor shorts called “PG Porn.” These appear to be in the process of being taken offline as quickly as possible, but here’s a link to where one of them was an IGN exclusive. Here’s another IGN fragment and here’s the Wikipedia entry. Now, you can’t equate “PG Porn” with pedophilia jokes, and it doesn’t appear that this series is what he was fired over, but it gives you an idea of the humor style and persona Gunn was using when he was starting out and what he was known for.
That’s why the nature of the sudden firing is so shocking.
Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn has given 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,
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.
File this one under “developing situation.”