The Guardians of the Galaxy director was fired after old, offensive tweets came to light. But who was behind the revelations, asks film journalist Seb Patrick
Amid the entertainment industrys recent wave of firings for inappropriate behaviour or comments, its rare to see a widespread outpouring of support for a sacked individual or for them to be seen as the wronged party. Yet thats what happened earlier this week, as the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 signed an open letter calling for James Gunns reinstatement as the films writer/director.
Gunn was removed as director of the third film in the successful Disney/Marvel series when a number of years-old tweets were dug up and spotlighted by alt-right conspiracists, spearheaded by the blogger Mike Cernovich previously best-known for the ridiculous Pizzagate conspiracy and with a track record for mendacious claims about left-leaning figures involvement in paedophilia.
In the tweets, Gunn made joking reference to rape and paedophilia, as well as using transphobic language. Disneys chairman, Alan Horn, moved quickly to declare the jokes indefensible and inconsistent with our studios values, and say that Disney had severed our business relationship with [Gunn].
In contrast with the firing of Roseanne Barr from the Disney-owned network ABC for a racist tweet made while in their employ, however, Gunns firing has sat rather less well. This isnt to say that the tweets are defensible they are unfunny jokes with little to offer beyond shock value, and certainly dont carry the satirical edge that would justify joking about such provocative subject matter. They dont reflect at all well on Gunn and his sophomoric desire to bust predictable taboos.