On Friday, Disney announced that it had severed ties with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after a series of offensive tweets were uncovered from his past social media history earlier in the week. Gunn has been removed as the director on the upcoming sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
In a statement from Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, the company 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.”
The offensive tweets were nearly (and in some cases over) a decade old and contained off-color jokes and statements relating to rape, pedophilia, and other disturbing topics. Gunn says, at the time he made these remarks, he was viewed himself as a provocateur.
On Thursday, Gunn posted a series of tweets in response to his uncovered past statements. Gunn said, “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. 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 to you all.”
On Friday afternoon, Gunn issued a statement saying he fully regrets the past statements and that they are not a reflection of who he is as a person. Gunn said:
[row]”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.”[/row]
Earlier in the week, Gunn had teased an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con despite Marvel not taking part in the festivities this year. Insiders say he will no longer be appearing since his removal from the Guardians film was announced. He was expected to appear as a surprise guest during the Sony Pictures.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).