Disney and Marvel have parted ways with writer/director James Gunn, firing him Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The move comes after old tweets by the filmmaker were dug up by conservative personality Jack Posobiec. The tweets, which date as far back as 2009, include offensive jokes about topics like rape, transphobia, and pedophilia. “The Expendables was so manly I fucked the shit out the little pussy boy next to me! The boys ARE back in town!” read one tweet. “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’” goes another.
In a statement addressing the firing, Disney 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.”
Gunn initially closed his Twitter account after issuing a response to the resurfaced comments on Thursday night, but it appears to be back online. “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,” he wrote. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
Read the entire thread below.
Gunn was responsible for the first two blockbuster entries in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. It was announced last year that he’d be back once again to finish the trilogy, and was at work on the script. Production was expected to begin this fall in Atlanta with eyes on a 2020 release date. Of course, these new developments put all of that in question.
Gunn was scheduled to appear at San Diego Comic-Con during the Sony Pictures presentation today in Hall H. Updated: Gunn will no longer appear at the Sony presentation.
In a statement in response to his firing, Gunn wrote,
“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.”