in memoriam: James Gunn

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After provoking a bunch of Twitter twits over politics and properly motivating them to go digging for dirt filmmaker James Gunn ended up getting fired from the Disney backed Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently, Gunn using poor judgement and a compulsion to shock posted some intentionally inappropriate “jokes” on Twitter…over a decade ago.

It’s not like Disney lacks the resources to do its own digging. It’s the internet people, this stuff lasts for like ever. And did they even see ‘Super’?! Clearly Gunn as provocateur has a tendency to push boundaries about what is and what isn’t appropriate. That’s one of the things that endeared us to his ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the first place.

And has anyone ever looked at Walt Disney’s personal biography notes? Mr. Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and ratted out a bunch of “Commie” labor union organizers in the name of patriotism petty corporate demagoguery. And what’s more American than using right-wing fear-mongering to promote intolerance, encourage rampant greed, and quell freedom of speech?

These posts, bad taste aside, occurred ten years ago. What might be completely intolerable for 2018 was seen as only tasteless back then. Many other superstars did/said things during their generation that would vilify them if done today. Look at John Wayne, Richard Pryor, Alfred Hitchcock, and on, and on…

#MeToo has made almost(!) everyone more conscientious about what they say and do. This is a good thing. Yet, these are recently learned lessons paying for multiple millenniums of misogyny, gender bias, and outright degradation towards women. If Gunn were to post this stuff now: yeah, fire his ass! But, context is everything. Back when these tweets were posted the world was different and he was different. We need to cut him some slack.


About the Author
Chad Schulz