James Gunn has been fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old tweets resurfaced of him making jokes about rape and pedophilia.
Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn said in a statement, “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 made a series of tweets the night before his firing, saying:
“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.
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.
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.”
Gunn had been expected to appear at Sony’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, though it appears he will no longer be attending.
Gunn has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, and his tweets came to light after conservative website The Daily Caller dug them up, which were mostly posted from 2008 and 2009.
Gunn had been writing the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and filming was expected to begin in Atlanta in late-2018 or 2019. Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, and Dave Bautista are expected to reprise their roles in the sequel. Though Marvel Studios never officially announced a release date, it was expected to be released in 2020. With Gunn’s firing, Vol. 3 will likely get pushed back.
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Sources: The Hollywood Reporter