UPDATE: We have amended the text to reflect the timeline of Johnson deleting tweets and included an image.
Star Wars director Rian Johnson deleted more than 1,000 tweets from his account following James Gunn's firing (and has removed more than 20,000 overall). San Diego Comic-Con was overshadowed by the news Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after offensive tweets from his past resurfaced. In the aftermath, many Hollywood personalities (including Gunn's Guardians cast members) have voiced their support of the ousted director. Fans have launched a petition for Disney to rehire Gunn, which currently has more than 275,000 signatures.
Gunn was criticized for his posts (which joked about rape and pedophilia) several years ago when he was first brought onboard to make Guardians of the Galaxy, with the director apologizing for comments designed to be shock humor. This is why many found it strange Disney took issue with them now and wanted to part ways with Gunn. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, said Gunn was the target of a "cybernazi" attack and believes the situation sets a dangerous precedent. Some of Gunn's contemporaries are now taking precautionary action to make sure they're not next.
A YouTube video on the channel John talks Star Wars (hat tip Cosmic Book News) revealed shortly after Gunn's firing, Johnson deleted over 20,000 tweets. According to screenshots presented in the video, Johnson at one point had 22.3K tweets, but that number is now down to 1,126. Though the tweets are being purged from his account, they can still be viewed on the Wayback Machine, which archives web pages. It is worth mentioning that Johnson had already removed a substantial amount of tweets well before the Gunn incident (he had 2,312 on July 9), but cleared out a bulk post-Gunn firing. Check out a timeline shared on Twitter by user 30YearOldBoomer.
While it is alarming to see Johnson remove that many tweets at once, nobody should jump to any conclusions until there's more definitive evidence. This doesn't necessarily mean Johnson has unsavory skeletons in his closet that could jeopardize his career. In all likelihood, if he had anything as inappropriate or controversial as Gunn's old jokes, it would have already come to light by now. Johnson has been a major part of the public eye since becoming involved with Star Wars, especially after Last Jedi proved to be extremely divisive. As for why Johnson cleared out his history, it could be a case of him being safe (in case someone out there could construe an old tweet as offensive). It's also possible the timing of this was coincidental and Johnson felt like cleaning up his account (which seems more likely with this new information). Some people do delete potentially embarrassing tweets, so that wouldn't be so farfetched.
Another thing worth keeping in mind is Johnson has remained active on Twitter. In recent days, he's posted about old wristwatches, the new Godzilla trailer, and Rose Tico cosplayers. Even today, he shared well wishes for Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew, who is recovering from surgery. Gunn hasn't tweeted anything since July 19, indicating he's stepping back from the platform for the time being. For now, Johnson's future Star Wars projects are still a go.
Source: John talks Star Wars (via Cosmic Book News)
Update Source: 30YearOldBoomer
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019