‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director fired over offensive tweets

James Gunn is removed from Marvel project after posts making light of rape and 9/11

Film-maker James Gunn in Los Angeles, US, in November 2017. File photograph: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Film-maker James Gunn in Los Angeles, US, in November 2017. File photograph: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP


James Gunn has been fired as director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise after a series of offensive tweets resurfaced.

The 51-year-old film-maker had been behind the first two Marvel hits and was working on the script for the third.

However, Gunn has been removed from the project after tweets of his from 2008 and 2009 that made light of rape, paedophilia, 9/11 and the Holocaust were discovered by the conservative site the Daily Caller.

Gunn has been vocal in his criticism of Donald Trump, tweeting last year that the US is in “a national crisis with an incompetent president”.

In one of the resurfaced tweets, Gunn wrote: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like, ‘Whew this feels great, not being raped!’”

Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney studios, which owns Marvel, said in a statement: “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’s Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”

As the story brewed, Gunn initially tweeted an apology for “outrageous and taboo” jokes. He later released a longer statement, taking “full responsibility” for his actions.

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” his statement read. “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.”

In 2011, Gunn had apologised in a statement to GLAAD for a number of blogposts that contained crude jokes about gay comic-book characters.

Gunn’s credits also include the 2006 horror Slither, and he was set to reboot a new series of Starsky & Hutch. The Guardians franchise has made more than $1.6 billion worldwide to date and the third film was expected to be released in 2020. – Guardian