Disney fires director James Gunn after old tweets surface (Update)

Writer-director James Gunn who created the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been fired by Disney after old tweets containing offensive jokes were uncovered. From Fox News:


Gunn’s past tweets were dug up on Thursday by critics who oppose his political beliefs. The filmmaker is an outspoken liberal who often criticizes President Trump.

One of the now-deleted tweets said, “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”

Another message read: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”

Other now-deleted tweets from 2008-2011 included jokes about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, AIDS and the holocaust.

“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 told Fox News in a statement.

Gunn offered his own defense of the old tweets:


This takedown apparently started with right leaning news sites digging into Gunn’s online archives. A post early Friday morning at the Daily Caller highlighted several of Gunn’s tweets.

Filmmaker James Gunn came to the defense of director Mark Duplass on Wednesday after Duplass committed the sin of endorsing conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and calling him a “genuine person,” but a Daily Caller News Foundation search of his Twitter account has revealed that Gunn might need some backup of his own.

The DC offered several examples in including a 2008 tweet where Gunn said, “Laughter is the best medicine. That’s why I laugh at people with AIDS.” Also today, Breitbart News dug up some of Gunn’s old blog postings including one from 2010 titled “Video: 100 Pubescent Girls Touch Themselves.” The video itself isn’t visible in the archived blog post but @neontaster says it was actually a video of teens singing “I Touch Myself” by the Divynls (video is here). In other words, Gunn was making a crude joke, not spreading child pornography.


It seems all of this was kicked off when Gunn offered a defense of actor-director Mark Duplass. Duplass upset an online mob of left-wingers Wednesday when he said something nice about Ben Shapiro. As the mob went to work on Duplass, Gunn stepped in to offer a defense:

Gunn went on to criticize the Trump administration and call Ben Shapiro an “asshole.” But Shapiro was one of several today who thought Disney may have jumped the gun (pun intended).


I don’t think anyone would be defending this if Gunn were genuinely saying these things. And I think Disney would be right to fire him for sullying their brand if he were saying these things right now on a Disney-funded set, even as jokes. But he wasn’t working for Disney in 2008 or 2010.

And to connect this to another scandal involving old blog posts, I’ve said several times that the problem with Joy Reid’s old comments wasn’t that they were too offensive for her to keep her job. The problem was that she came out and lied about having written them, blaming everything on a hacker and never really admitting it was her. That was the problem in her case. It was what she was doing at the moment, not what she said 10 years ago.

I guess the lesson here is that Twitter now has the time stone and anything you’ve ever said on will be treated as if you said it right now. That’s a shame because people do grow up.

Update: More debate on this happening on Twitter and it’s interesting.

The counter-argument here is that only when the left is forced to live by the awful rules it tolerates for the right will the rules change.


Maybe this is a teaching moment for the left but I sort of doubt they’ll get anything out of it. They don’t really think they’ll ever pay a price because they’re absolutely certain they are on the side of the angels (about everything). So I think the main thing to do here is to keep saying that social media mobs are a bad thing and not stop saying it just because the mob got someone on the left this time.

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