Filmmaker James Gunn found himself in a fix after some of his irresponsible tweets from the past resulted in Disney firing him from the next instalment of the Guardians movie. And as the actors of the film are still making up their mind about the situation, the fans have overwhelmingly come out in Gunn’s defence, asserting that Gunn should not be held responsible for what he tweeted a decade back.
TW// James Gunn’s tweets — A Thread
This is what people are supporting, including the cast of GOTG. pic.twitter.com/KinPgkrT0P
— alex (@barnesartboy) July 23, 2018
One of the main individuals in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and behind summer blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, Gunn apparently made a few upsetting ‘jokes’ about paedophilia and molestation on Twitter when the social media platform was still in its infancy. The director gave out an explanation on Twitter saying, he made those jokes viewing himself as a ‘provocateur’ and that he had since ‘developed as a person, and so had his work and his sense of humour’.
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
The account responsible for digging out Gunn’s screenshots is of conspiracy theorist and alt-right beacon Mike Cernovich, who is best-known for the Pizzagate controversy leading up to the 2016 US presidential elections. Cernovich dug out Gunn’s past tweets as a response to Gunn schooling him.
Realising this, many fans of the director and the franchise set up a petition that has more than 150,000 signatures in a little over 24 hours. The petition asks Disney to rehire Gunn as the director of the series and to ‘realise’ their ‘mistake’ of accommodating a man’s views from over a decade earlier. Also, the complainant being a known troublemaker from before is why some feel that Gunn’s firing is starting to feel like systematic targeting than bringing someone to justice.
James Gunn was an easy mark for the alt-right to target. Before hitting the mainstream he was basically a shlock-horror dude, aiming to shock and offend. It’s as if a hardcore punk singer switched to a pop career.
But make no mistake, the altright isn’t stopping there.
— Damien Walter (@damiengwalter) July 23, 2018
Without defending James Gunn’s “jokes”, which I don’t think anybody, including himself, has done…
We need to talk about how Nazis launched a smear campaign to silence a critic of Donald Trump and Ben Shapiro.
Who actually believe the horrible things they’re saying.
— Darren Mooney (@Darren_Mooney) July 22, 2018
What happened to James Gunn is a hit job to discredit him because of his political views. The ppl who did the hit job does not care about what James Gunn tweet. They were not offended they did it to just get him fired because of his political views and want him to shut up.
— Jaison Abraham (@TheSilentNight) July 22, 2018
Gunn also said in his tweets that his “days of saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.” Whether Disney pays any attention to this overwhelming support for the director or sticks to its ‘Gunns’, is something we’ll find out in the weeks to come.