Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait asked Disney to remove his voice from an attraction at Disney Parks in response to the company firing director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Goldthwait referenced his past with shocking and offensive jokes to make a point about the company's firing of Gunn.
It was only last week that Disney fired Gunn after offensive tweets that Gunn made nearly 10 years ago resurfaced. Gunn deleted his Twitter when the tweets were resurfaced, effectively deleting them as well, but screenshots have been widely shared on the social media platform. Gunn apologized for the tweets years ago, but since their resurfacing, the director was fired; Disney stated that the tweets were "indefensible and inconsistent" with its values. Before Gunn took on directing duties for Guardians of the Galaxy, he was known as a provocative filmmaker. His fare became more family-friendly after he began working for Disney, and under his direction, the company put out two hit movies based on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comic books.
Goldthwait took to his Instagram account to ask Disney to remove his voice from an upcoming Disney Parks attraction called "World of Color: Villainous." In that attraction, Goldthwaite reprised his voice role of Pain from Disney's Hercules movie. The comedian cited his own past behavior as someone who was often offensive and shocking.
I love @jamesgunn. He’s a loyal friend, super talented, passionate and kind. I wanted to say something, here it is: Dear @disney, I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I’m suggesting that you remove my voice from an attraction that’s coming to your park. It’s called WORLD OF COLOR - VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES. You see here’s the deal, years ago I made a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes. Many that I’m embarrassed about now, and I’d hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I’m openly critical of the president and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters. I think James Woods may have recorded a voice for this new attraction, too. Why not check out some of his whacky past tweets?! They’re a hoot! For the record I do stand with survivors of sexual abuse and I was wondering if you guys are still making money off of your movie POWDER? Asking for a friend. Thanks, Bobcat
Gunn accepted the firing with dignity and issued a statement about his regrets in making the offensive tweets. He assured fans that he is a different person now and seemed to bear no ill will to Disney for choosing to fire him. Fans, on the other hand, were far less gracious. Citing the hypocrisy behind Disney's decision, as well as the fact that the tweets are so old, fans set up a petition to have him rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy 3. That petition now has over 200,000 signatures.
Other celebrities have also spoken out about the firing. Guardians star Dave Bautista was one of the first, but not the last, to come out in support of the director. Gunn's brother, Sean Gunn, wrote a lengthy Twitter thread highlighting that his brother is a good person who did not deserve such treatment. Other celebrities continue to weigh in on the issue.
Disney seems to have created more controversy with Gunn's firing than his 10-year-old tweets ever did. It almost makes sense at this point for the company to eat crow and rehire him. If they don't, the company could have a marketing and PR nightmare on its hands when it comes time to start production on the next Guardians film.
Source: Bobcat Goldthwait