Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has come to the defense of ousted Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn, just after Disney stood by their decision to fire Gunn. It seemed there may have been some sort of opening, a chance for Gunn to be re-hired, after word surfaced the director would meet with Disney CEO Bob Iger. While the meeting was said to be amicable and professional, Iger stood his ground, and Gunn will reportedly not be returning to Guardians 3, which was slated to start shooting in early 2019.
The whole debacle started when an alt-right website unearthed old tweets where Gunn joked about sensitive topics like rape and pedophilia. Other conservative pundits, such as One America News Network's Jack Posobiec, called for Gunn to be fired from Guardians 3, and many were surprised when Disney actually did just that. Since then, most of Gunn's Guardians 3 stars have been coming to his defense, such as Dave Bautista, who threatened to quit if Disney doesn't at least use Gunn's script, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, the director's brother Sean Gunn, and many more. Now comedy legend Seinfeld is adding his support for Gunn.
While being interviewed by The New York Times, Seinfeld was asked his thoughts about Gunn being fired for his old Twitter jokes. Seinfeld admitted that he has not read them, but added, "if they're jokes, it doesn't matter." He then made the comparison to Roseanne Barr, who was ousted from her hit Roseanne revival after her insensitive comments in tweets about Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to President Barack Obama. Seinfeld stated Barr "thought she was being funny," but because it was offensive and not funny, it wasn't actually a joke. Shortly after Gunn was fired, Barr tweeted that she was "disgusted" about the support Gunn was receiving, from the same people who supposedly didn't "understand" her joke about Jarrett.
Seinfeld went on to state that he has never apologized for a joke, because, "Jokes aren't real," adding that they're, "purely comedic invention." As for Gunn, he did in fact apologize for his Twitter jokes, and the director also made an official statement where he apologized yet again for his remarks of over a decade ago, which he added were, "totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative." The director added in his statement that he understood and accepted the "business decisions" that Disney made, while taking, "full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then." Gunn's firing lead to an online petition being formed, asking Disney to re-hire the filmmaker, which currently has over 381,000 signatures.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige reportedly supports Disney's decision to fire Gunn, although he reportedly had been lobbying on Gunn's behalf for the past few weeks. Many believe that it was actually Gunn's anti-Trump tweets, and not his jokes from a decade ago, that lead the alt-right to target Gunn, but what's done is done, as seemingly all hope for Gunn's return disintegrating like half the world's population in Avengers: Infinity War. Now fans continue speculating on who his replacement may be, with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi's name being bandied about, although there is no indication he's being seriously considered at this time. Whoever does take the reins of Guardians 3, though, will certainly be under enormous amount of pressure to re-create the tone Gunn set in the first two movies.
Source: The New York Times