Most people were surprised to hear the news that Hollywood Director James Gunn had been fired by Disney from the production of big budget Marvel superhero film “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3”.
When the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” film was announced many thought it a strange choice as it was based on one of Marvel Comics more obscure titles that even self confessed comic nerds like me were unfamiliar with. They followed up that unusual decision with another one when they appointed director James Gunn to helm the production. Previous to working on Guardians, Gunn’s had mainly worked on independent films, often with Troma Entertainment, a company known for producing low-budget horror films, many of them playing on 1950s horror with elements of farce, parody, gore and splatter.
However Disney’s unorthodox choice of film and director seemed to pay off when Guardians of the Galaxy received glowing reviews from critics and raked in over $770m at the box office. He followed this up with a sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2” which brought in a further $860m for Disney so it was no surprise when he was given the chance to complete the trilogy with Guardians 3 due to be released in 2020.
However Disney are now looking for a new director for that project after firing Gunn over offensive tweets he made in 2008-2009.
It should be said James Gunn was in his forties when he made these tweets so they can’t be written off as youthful indiscretions, and the content of the tweets are pretty vulgar and reference rape, pedophilia and transphobia. However they do read as jokes, albeit sick ones, and I’m not sure anyone reading them would really think Gunn is advocating these things.
Firing Gunn does seem a bit hypocritical from Disney who produced the film “Powder” in 1995 with a convicted child molester as Director, it seems Disney takes jokes about pedophilia more seriously than actual pedophilia. They have also continued to work with actors such as Terrence Howard and Johnny Depp despite allegations of domestic violence.
The decision from Disney also seems a bit strange as they must’ve been aware of these tweets, as Gunn publicly addressed this issue in 2012 and apologised for them. The reason this issue has arisen again now is due to Gunn’s political views.
James Gunn is a critic of Donald Trump and has been very vocal on twitter in his criticism of the Great White Dope. This has drawn the ire of Trump’s Alt-Right minions who are responsible for circulating these tweets. This is what political assassination looks like in the digital age and the chief assassin is Alt-Right activist Mike Cernovich.
Cernovich is a “Men’s Rights” activist who spends his time promoting fake news and conspiracy theories. Make no mistake Cernovich was not motivated by any sense of decency having penned articles encouraging men to masturbate in front of women and claiming date-rape does not exist.
Disney’s actions have handed the Alt-Right a win and will undoubtedly cause other high profile individuals to pause before speaking out against their friend in the Whitehouse.