James Gunn Fired As Director For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

BAILEY T. STEEN | SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2018

James Gunn, the godfather of Marvel’s successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, has been fired from the upcoming sequel after the filmmaker’s controversial tweets resurfaced during online political discussions.

The Hollywood Reporter states Marvel producers terminated Gunn’s contract after he came to the defence of fellow liberal director Mark Duplass when he endorsed conservative commentator Ben Shapiro as a “genuine person”.

In a now-deleted tweet, Duplass advised followers to listen to The Daily Wire’s editor-in-chief if they were interested in “crossing the aisle,” sparking backlash from staunch left-wing critics of Shapiro. Gunn, caught in middle of the situation, decided to both defend the right for Duplass to have this opinion while slamming Shapiro over their obvious political disagreements.

“Maybe you disagree with Mark Duplass, which is completely fair (personally I think even Ben Shapiro’s mother should unfollow him). But that doesn’t make Duplass’ point-of-view evil,” Gunn tweeted. “There are a lot of traitors & racists in the country today. Perhaps save the outrage for them.”

Gunn continued to accuse President Trump and Republicans of being “operatives for a foreign national” and concluded his Twitter rant by labelling Shapiro an “asshole” who bullies children over their grammar.

This exchange brought out the worst of the so-called free speech warriors on the right-wing, such as The Daily Caller, Jack Posobiec, Mike Cernovich and Mark Dice, who abandoned their principles by leading a campaign to get Gunn fired from the movie studio. These activists decided to dig through the man’s Twitter account and found jokes from 2008 and 2009 they used to smear Gunn as being a pro-rape pedophile who’s also anti-transgender.

“Friends, What we unearthed tonight was a proven pedo network operating in Hollywood,” Cernovich tweeted on Thursday. “We have archived Tweets, we saw them get deleted in real time. We saw the clear connections and comments. Expect the media to attack me to tomorrow in a way you have never seen. Godspeed.

“James Gunn didn’t make a few jokes,” continued. “He openly discussed pedophilia. He is everything wrong with Hollywood. I love tasteless jokes and gallows humor. That’s not what he did. No pedophiles allowed!”

This, of course, is a lie.

The studio, however, doesn’t care.

“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 Friday. Conservatives originally planned to confront Gunn over these tweets during his appearance at Sony’s panel for Comic-Con. Insiders for The Hollywood Reporter claim Gunn is not expected to attend.

On Thursday, Gunn tweeted in response to the tweets being resurfaced: “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 added: “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 issued a statement by Friday afternoon saying that he “regretted” the tweets in question and stressed that “they don’t reflect the person I am today.”

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” his statement read. “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.”

He continued: “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.”

With Gunn as the head scriptwriter for Guardians 3, originally set for a fall production with an early 2020 release date, it’s unclear how Marvel will move forward in the wake of their creative force’s termination.

This is a huge studio franchise, garnering $773 million worldwide on the original film and over $863 million on the second, placed in jeopardy over some crude tweets lied from hypocritical right-wing social justice warriors.

Cernovich, best known as being a key figure behind promoting Pizzagate, an overtly exaggerated conspiracy theory that alleged Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair ran a child sex ring at the basement of a pizzeria, having tweet similar pro-rape tweets of the past.

Now he’s condemning such words, demanding he held accountable.

The Daily Caller, Dice and Posobiec all criticised ABC during their termination of comedian Roseanne Barr when, under the influence of drugs, she compared Valerie Jarrett, African-American official who worked for the Obama administration, to a character from Planet Of The Apes.

Now they’re here calling for the firing of people over silly tweets.

This wasn’t a grassroots call for accountability the likes of #MeToo, calling out the users and abusers within the industry, but smears over tweets that lead to industry censorship. You can believe Gunn’s tweets were disgusting, but you can’t use selective outrage activism to make Hollywood political. Now we have a franchise finale that’s gone from the artist’s hand and given to studio-approved lackeys who will ensure it makes money. All because of lies.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia, but is also Putin’s Puppet on occasion.

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