If you’re not a comedian and you’re going to say something that people might find outlandish, or tell jokes that people will most definitely find offensive, it’s probably best to not do it on social media, where your words can come back to haunt you in a big way.
That’s what’s happened to James Gunn, who’s exiting Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 after conservative personalities unearthed some old tweets made by the filmmaker.
Gunn, who helped write the first two Guardians Of The Galaxy movies and was writing the script for the third film in the franchise, has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s presidency, which irked a number of conservative commentators.
James Gunn. Credit: PA
So it would have been music to their ears when a number of Gunn’s old tweets came to light – tweets which were full of inappropriate/edgy humour about subjects such as paedophilia and rape.
Gunn has since deleted his Twitter account, but before he did, he wrote the following statement via the social media platform: “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.
“As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humour.”
That wasn’t enough to save him from Disney bosses, however.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn wrote in a statement: “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.”
The tweets, which were dug up by conservative website The Daily Caller, were posted more or less a decade ago in 2008 and 2009, but had lived on in cyberspace, as tweets tend to do.
Gunn with the Guardians cast in 2017. Credit: PA
After their content had been revealed by the website, conservative personalities urged their followers to confront Gunn at Comic Con, where Gunn had been expected to appear today for Sony’s presentation. It’s unclear if he still will.
The third Guardians Of The Galaxy film is expected to begin filming this autumn for a provisional release date in 2020. Disney has yet to announce Gunn’s replacement.
Featured Image Credit: PA / Marvel Studios