Guardians of the Galaxy cast member Sean Gunn has voiced his opinion on Disney firing his brother and director James Gunn from the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. He's the goofy Ravager, Kraglin, and serves as the on-set analog for digital character Rocket.
The ousted director came under attack earlier this week after conservative website The Daily Caller dredged up some years-old, deleted comments from Gunn's Twitter account. The tweets included jokes about rape, child abuse, and AIDS, among other controversial topics. Disney declared that the statements were "indefensible and inconsistent with [its] values" and severed ties with the director. Gunn responded with his own statement, in which he took full responsibility for his bad jokes and said that he respected Disney's decision.
Sean Gunn took to Twitter himself to offer his own thoughts on the situation. He provides insight from growing up with his brother and watching him develop as an artist. He does not try to excuse the controversial statements, but rather uses them as evidence to how much the writer/director has grown and how the first two Guardians films reflect that.
I hope it goes without saying that I love and support my brother James. And I'm quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers.
Since he was a kid, it was clear he had a desire (maybe destiny) to be an artist, tell stories, find his voice through comics, films, his band. The struggle to find that voice was sometimes clunky, misguided, or downright stupid, and sometimes wonderful, moving, and hilarious.
Since devoting his entire life to the Guardians movies and MCU six years ago, I've seen him channel that voice into his work on those movies and seen him transform from the guy who made up things to shock people.
I saw firsthand as he went from worrying about "softening his edge" for a larger audience to realizing that his "edge" wasn't as useful of a tool as he thought it was. That his gift for storytelling was something better.
I saw that he was more open-hearted than the guy who needed to get a rise out of people by making nasty or offensive jokes (or whatever you choose to call them--I don't think his bluer material was ever his funniest and neither does Mom).
In many respects this change in my brother was reflected in the change that the Guardians go through. I've heard my brother say many times that when Quill rallies the team with "this is our chance to give a shit"--to care--that it's the pep talk he himself needed to hear.
It's part of what made working on the Guardians movies such a rewarding experience for the cast, myself included. We managed to find ourselves involved in a big-budget superhero movie that was, at its core, deeply personal. That's a gift. And that's why it's good.
This isn't new information, by the way. It's all stuff that James has explained many times in interviews, in more detail and more eloquently. It's not some new spin. It's always been part of the story.
So I guess my hope is that fans continue to watch and appreciate the Guardians movies, not despite the fact that the filmmaker used to be kind of a jackass, but because of it. They are, after all, movies about discovering your best self.
Working on those movies made my brother a better person, and they made me one too. I'm proud of that. Peace.