James Gunn

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Punishment of the past: Gunn and Guardians

Recently old tweets (2008-2009) by James Gunn, writer and director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ came to light and Disney fired him from completing the third in film in the series. The tweets contained "jokes" about pedophilia and rape, obviously inappropriate and not in line with Disney’s ethos. Also in light of the recent Hollywood abuse allegations the industry is quite sensitive about such things.

However, the question here is a little muddled, as obviously Gunn has apologised, but not only recently, but previously. He has responded previously to his early career behaviours and has also called himself out over the years for aspects of his "humour." How genuine this is, is of course difficult to gauge. Yet the question remains, how much of a person’s past actions should they be punished for? What behaviours are completely inappropriate (sexual abuse, etc.) and what is the work of youthful foolishness? I am still on the fence concerning Gunn myself, but I think in an era of calling for greater repercussions in Hollywood for actions we do need to talk about the lines. Because there is the risk of making every controversial action anathema, which is also not socially healthy as criticism and challenges are what help drive change.

  • Good to be adding to the discussion as it continues to unfold, but let's not forget that this is not simply a question about inappropriate humour and the statute of limitations thereof. What has made this such a big issue has, in large part, been due to the source of the renewed interest in those old tweets being spurred by right-wing trolls (or "cybernazis," as Dave Bautista has been calling them) as a response to Gunn's vocal opposition to the Trump administration. (All this has been said better by others than what I could easily sum up here, this being the best take on the subject I have seen so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr7Sbu2Zgk4 ) – ProtoCanon 4 years ago
  • i feel like this is a very interesting and important topic. it has been a huge and complex news cycle. I am just unsure whether RIGHT now is the best time to write this story, as so much is still being settled and more information, announcements, and decisions are coming from Disney and the actors surrounding Gunn (Dave Bautista called working for Disney "nauseating" after the Gunn firing. Either way, this is one of the biggest stories of the year and a really relevant one. – Sean Gadus 4 years ago