Mission accomplished. Gunn has long been a provocateur who has drawn ire in the past for his unusual humor. Among the tweets that forced Disney and Marvel’s hand were: “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
Another: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’” There were others that made satirical comments about the 9/11 attack, AIDS and the Holocaust. Yet another described a monkey masturbating on a young child, and his commentary that it made him “extremely happy.” These missives were not funny and entirely disturbing, given a preoccupation with fetishing underage boys. That left him a sitting duck for his retroactive social media commentary.
Disney responded quickly and decisively: “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,” said Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman, in a statement just released.
Disney and Marvel had never announced that Gunn would direct the third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy, but Gunn certainly declared it on social media. And after Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last summer grossed $863 million worldwide, to the original’s $773 million, there was every expectation he would remain at the helm. After all, the sly humor and tone that just crushed his career trajectory helped fuel the irreverently humorous tone of the Guardians franchise.