James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has been fired. According to THR, this comes after controversial tweets joking about rape, pedophilia and more surfaced earlier today.
With James Gunn fired, Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, stated that “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.”
After the tweets initially surfaced, Gunn deleted the tweets and made a statement on Twitter, saying that “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. 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.”
He went on to explain that “In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”
With James Gunn fired, it’ll be interesting to see who is brought in to helm the third Guardians film, especially since Gunn has helmed the writing of the two prior movies.