"I like when little boys touch me in my silly place." Disney doesn't feel the same way. Deadline reports that tweet and others about rape, AIDS, and 9/11 led the company to cut ties with James Gunn, who wrote and directed the first two installments of Guardians of the Galaxy. The films catapulted Chris Pratt to stardom and were major wins for Disney, raking in a combined $1.6 billion, but Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn didn't mince words: "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." Fox News reports the tweets were posted prior to the franchise's start, between 2008 and 2011, and were surfaced Thursday by the Daily Caller and other conservatives.
Fox reports those who dug them up were angered by mocking comments Gunn apparently made about conservative pundit Ben Shapiro while (this gets somewhat convoluted) coming to the defense of the liberal actor Mark Duplass, who had himself been criticized for encouraging liberal fans to follow Shapiro to hear his views. Mike Fleming Jr.'s take at Deadline? "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." The AP reports Gunn had been working on the script for the third film in the series. He apologized in a statement Friday:
- "My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since—not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time. Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then."
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