UPDATE: James Gunn issued a statement following his firing from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Friday where the director accepted responsibility for his actions. “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said.
“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.”
James Gunn won’t helm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after producers fired the director following the resurfacing of controversial tweets.
“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,” Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday (via The Hollywood Reporter).
Earlier this week, conservative personalities on social media dug up since-deleted tweets by Gunn – a vocal critic of Donald Trump – that joked about pedophilia, transgender people and more. The tweets were dated between 2009 to 2012, years before Gunn took the reins of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor,” Gunn wrote in a series of tweets Thursday.
“It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.”
Gunn continued, “For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”