Earlier tonight, news broke that Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn has been fired by Disney, over a series of inappropriate tweets posted on social media a number of years ago. Even though Gunn had previously apologised about the tweets, the posts recently resurfaced and Disney has taken a course of action.
In a statement to address the situation, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, said: “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.”
Gunn later followed this up with his own statement:
“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.”
Since the news broke, there has been a LOT of chatter about this situation online and I mean a lot. The internet is very, very divided right now.
While everyone agrees that what Gunn said in the past were inexcusable, there is now a very vocal split on how the situation has been dealt with by Disney.
Should Gunn be penalised by Disney for comments that he previously apologised for? This isn’t me asking the question, this is me reporting what people are talking about right now.
Some feel this was dealt with in the past, he had moved on and Disney should not have fired him. Other people feel that Disney had no choice but to fire Gunn, regardless of any apologies – he said what he said.
There are also other discussions taking place online, with some asking questions as to why these tweets have resurfaced now? Gunn is very vocal about his dislike for the Trump Administration. Those who have circulated the tweets are pro-Trump. Some have suggested a connection.
There are also other conversations taking place which liken this situation to the recent Roseanne Barr controversy, whereby the actress was fired for making a racist comment on social media. Arguments are being made that if ABC had to fire Barr over what she said, Disney had to follow suit with what Gunn said.
No one can seem to agree. It is becoming a minefield.
I’m not sure what to even say about this situation, other than to report what is unfolding. I’m reading both sides of the argument and it’s clear things are getting very heated. I even debated whether or not to publish this post. I don’t want to fan the flames of a situation beyond what has happened – i.e. Disney firing Gunn.
The reason I’ve ultimately chosen to publish this is because I feel this is a discussion that isn’t going to go away anytime soon – people are talking about it and the conversation is growing. Reporting the initial situation, as well as the immediate follow-up, makes sense to me.
As a direct result of today’s news, Gunn is no longer attending San Diego Comic-Con. He was scheduled to appear on a panel for a new Sony movie, but now that will not happen.
With regards to what happens next, who can say?