Disney has fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.

According to Deadline, the director has been dropped from directing duties on the forthcoming Guardians sequel – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – over a series of old social media tweets. In the posts, Gunn joked about pedophilia and rape.

Earlier in the day, after the old tweets surfaced, Gunn posted the following to address the issue:

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Gunn has issued a statement (via Deadline):

“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.”