Filmmaker James Gunn has been fired from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 due to a series of offensive tweets making jokes about rape and paedophilia which have been unearthed on his feed from between 2008 and 2011.
“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,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Disney.
In response to his dismissal, Gunn issued a statement, which reads:
“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.”
Gunn’s dismissal raises big questions about the status third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which was about to go into pre-production after the director completed the screenplay last month. It is slated for release in 2020, which does give Marvel time to bring in a replacement, assuming Disney is willing to stick with Gunn’s script.