Marvel’s Infinity War is nothing compared to real-life culture wars. On Friday, Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after prominent members of the alt-right media exposed several old, offensive tweets that the director had largely deleted.
Gunn’s offensive tweets, which included jokes about topics such as pedophilia, rape, AIDS, and the Holocaust, were unearthed by prominent far-right shit-stirrer Mike Cernovich. The tweets, largely posted between 2008 and 2011 before Disney hired Gunn to direct the first Guardians movie, were by the directors own admission “offensive.”
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!” he wrote in a 2009 tweet. “I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am,” read another.
Although some of the tweets had been deleted, Cernovich and other alt-right types, like Jack Posobiec, were able to recover them.
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn wrote on Twitter prior to being fired. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
News of the firing broke shortly after 3 p.m. Eastern on Friday afternoon.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement released on Friday afternoon, according to Deadline.
Gunn is clearly joking in all of the old tweets, but they’re still horrible jokes. However, the members of the alt-right cabal who unearthed the tweets didn’t bring this up because their own delicate sensibilities were offended. Fox News notes that Gunn is an outspoken critic of Donald Trump on Twitter, and supposes that the alt-right targeted the director as payback. Indeed, alt-right leaders are explicitly comparing Gunn’s tweets to Roseanne Barr’s Twitter outburst that prompted ABC (also owned by Disney) to fire her and cancel Roseanne.
“As of now, Gunn still has a job with the same company, despite dozens of terrible tweets he is defending as jokes,” writes Breitbart, prior to Gunn’s firing. “And we all know why: Gunn is a rabid Hollywood leftist and Trump hater. Roseanne Barr is a vocal Trump supporter.”
Posobiec made a similar argument on Twitter:
These are not good-faith comparisons. Old offensive jokes are bad and they do not reflect well on Gunn at all. He deleted them for a reason, though it’s not crazy to expect that he should face some sort of repercussions for them — although Disney caving to alt-right pressure and firing him maybe isn’t the best response. But, to say they’re a one-to-one comparison to targeted racist tweets Barr made this year while she was employed by Disney is absurd (unless all the people making the comparison want to do is cry false hypocrisy and score a win for their side by owning the libs).
It’s unclear what impact Gunn’s firing is going to have on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 but it is clear that American society is broken and that the internet is a fetid cancer.