Embattled Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn issues an official statement on his firing by Disney, due to resurfaced offensive tweets. Needless to say, the announcement that Gunn had been let go from the MCU sub-franchise he served as the primary creative force behind came as a shock to pretty much everyone. After all, Gunn recently finished penning his first draft of the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is set to begin filming in early 2019, or at least it was before all this happened.
When Gunn's past tweets were first brought back into the limelight earlier today, the director responded to the matter with a five-post Twitter thread not quite apologizing for the tweets in question, but instead offering the explanation that he had grown and changed in the years since he made what he now refers to as "outrageous and taboo" jokes. He also made it clear that the offensive posts in question were just that, jokes, and were not meant to reflect how James Gunn the man actually lives his life.
Now, following his subsequent firing, Gunn has released an official public statement on the matter, via EW. The tone of this statement is a lot more explicitly apologetic than Gunn's earlier tweet thread, and sees the writer/director take full responsibility for his past behavior, and make it clear that he understands why Disney made the business decision that they did. Read his full statement below:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. 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.”
While Gunn's statement above is a refreshingly sincere apology, sadly, it's unlikely to reverse Disney's decision. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will move ahead without Gunn at the helm, as will any further sequels involving the team of quirky heroes. Some fans are already suggesting someone like Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi or Ant-Man & The Wasp director Peyton Reed be drafted to replace him, but at this juncture, it's far too early to know whether that has a realistic chance of happening.
In the end, one wonders whether Gunn will eventually be able to reclaim his career as a filmmaker, if not his role as helmer of the Guardians franchise. As downright disgusting as many found his resurfaced comments, the fact remains that there is currently no evidence available to suggest that Gunn's admittedly "wildly insensitive" jokes are related to his actual treatment of other people offline. Therefore, he's not quite in the same realm of Hollywood disgrace as accused serial sex offenders like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, who seem unlikely to ever recover the status they once held. Maybe someday, James Gunn will be re-embraced, provided he doesn't fall back into his old habits.
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