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Writer-director James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 over offensive tweets

Disney has fired writer-director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after a right-wing media personality resurfaced a series of offensive tweets Gunn made, in many cases from 2008 and 2009. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “and we have severed our business relationship with him.”

As noted by Polygon, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich — perhaps best known as one of the most active promoters of the fake “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory — began resurfacing some of Gunn’s old tweets, some going back nearly a decade. In the tweets, Gunn makes a number of jokes about pedophilia and molestation. In Pizzagate, right-wing media personalities like Cernovich pushed the idea that Hillary Clinton and other members of Democratic leadership were running a child-molestation ring out of a pizzeria in Washington, DC. They promoted the absurd theory so fiercely that eventually a man who bought into Cernovich’s rhetoric opened fire in the restaurant with an assault rifle. With Gunn, Cernovich appears to be following a similar playbook, accusing the filmmaker of being a pedophile himself.

While Gunn’s jokes are by no means appropriate, nor the kind of thing that family-friendly Disney would want to be associated with, the notion that he himself is a pedophile seems just as absurd as the Pizzagate accusations. Anyone who has followed Gunn’s career knows that the filmmaker started in the world of low-budget, exploitation cinema, writing schlocky movies like Tromeo and Juliet before eventually climbing his way into the Hollywood studio system, where he wrote films like Scooby-Doo before finally breaking into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Offensive, shocking humor was one of the filmmaker’s trademarks early in his career, something he acknowledged in an apology posted to Twitter on June 19th.


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