The biggest Marvel news this weekend didn’t even come from Comic-Con International: San Diego.
Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after right-wing activists resurfaced old tweets that joked on topics such as pedophilia and rape. Gunn wrote, directed, and chose the soundtrack for the first two films in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and was supposed to continue with the third installment.
“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,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, to a statement to BuzzFeed News.
1. 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.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
Gunn also issued the following statement to BuzzFeed News
“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.”
The news have many fans wondering how the franchise will continue without the writer and director, and Disney has not yet commented on how the franchise will move forward. Gunn’s departure will no doubt have an impact on the movie overall, often being very vocal about the project and constantly interacting with fans on social media. Thousands already signed a Change.org campaign to Marvel and Disney, petitioning to re-hire the filmmaker. At the time of publication on Monday morning, the petition had 166,635 signatures, less than 34,000 of its goal.
Stars from the franchise have also spoken out since the news broke out this weekend in support of Gunn, including the director’s brother, who had a role in the first two films. Michael Rooker also announced that he is leaving Twitter, saying “Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it.”
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 22, 2018
Love to every single member of my GOTG family.
— Karen Gillan (@karengillan) July 23, 2018
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 22, 2018
1. I hope it goes without saying that I love and support my brother James. And I'm quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers.
— Sean Gunn (@seangunn) July 21, 2018
This account will be inactive after today. We're very tired & upset over the ongoing BULLSHIT… neither I nor my rep will use Twitter again. Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it.
Thank you to all who gave kind words & support. See you on Instagram.
– MR pic.twitter.com/uAyIOPoAle
— MichaelRookerOnline (@RookerOnline) July 22, 2018