Marvel Studios is probably quite happy they both opted to avoid San Diego Comic Con this year so as to avoid dealing with the fallout that is taking place in the wake of “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer/director James Gunn sudden firing by Disney on Saturday from the upcoming third film.
The studio’s decision to fire Gunn came after pictures of multiple off-color joke tweets making light of rape and paedophilia by the director, sent out on a semi-regular basis between the years 2009 to 2012, were republished by far-right social media personality and activist Mike Cernovich. The tweets previously stirred up controversy on Gunn’s initial hiring by Marvel back in 2012 but the filmmaker chose to leave them up on his Twitter timeline and publicly apologised for them at the time.
In the wake of being let go by Disney, Gunn has issued statements online and now several others have spoken out in his defense including his brother Sean Gunn and actor Dave Bautista. The latter said in his own tweet: “I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. I’m NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
Gunn’s firing came the same day that Paramount Television head Amy Powell was fired for allegedly making racially insensitive comments on a conference call regarding the upcoming “First Wives Club” reboot. The firings have stirred talk about freedom of speech online.
Yesterday, Cernovich turned his focus on comedians Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black for similar years old tweets containing off-color jokes about rape and paedophilia, just as the columnists own controversial tweets have begun to be brought back into the light. Today, Marvel fans are seemingly rallying behind Gunn as a petition has gone up asking Marvel to re-hire Gunn and so far has garnered 77,000 signatures as of writing with the number quickly increasing.