James Gunn has been removed as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
This week conservative personalities unearthed offensive tweets by Gunn
The since-deleted posts from nearly a decade ago featured jokes about sensitive topics such as pedophilia, rape, the 9/11 terror attack and the Holocaust
The filmmaker was targeted because he’s a vocal critic of Republicans on Twitter
Gunn apologized on the social media site before deleting his account
He had been writing Guardians 3 and preparing to begin filming this fall
Director James Gunn has been kicked off the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 after several of his old tweets containing offensive jokes were unearthed this week.
Gunn – a vocal critic of Donald Trumpwho frequently calls out Republican leaders on Twitter – was removed from the Disney franchise’s third installment after conservative news site The Daily Caller drew attention to several of his controversial tweets.
The since-deleted posts featured jokes about sensitive topics including pedophilia, rape, the 9/11 terror attack and the Holocaust.
Among them was one where Gunn wrote: ‘I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.’
In another he says: ‘The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like “whew this feels great, not being raped!”‘.
Nearly two dozen other tweets mainly in 2008 and 2009 were captured in screengrabs before Gunn deleted his Twitter Friday.
OAN correspondent Jack Posobiec and right-wing commentator Mike Cernovich were reportedly among the conservative personalities who unearthed the tweets this week, according to Fox News.
The Daily Caller’s expose came after Gunn mocked conservative pundit Ben Shapiro earlier this week while defending liberal actor Mark Duplass, who came under fire for encouraging his fans to follow Shapiro to hear views from the other side of the aisle.
Fox News reports that Gunn’s comments motivated the dig through the filmmaker’s social media history.
All of the tweets were posted before Gunn joined the Marvel Universe in 2014, but executives at Walt Disney Studios have decided to cut ties with him regardless.
‘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,’ chairman Alan Horn in a statement.
Gunn defended himself on Twitter Friday before deleting his account.
‘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 humor,’ he wrote.
‘It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.
‘For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.
‘Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.’
Gunn had been writing the script for Guardians 3 and was set to start filming in Atlanta this fall.
The studio has not commented on who may take his place in the movie expected to be released in 2020.
Nearly two dozen tweets were unearthed in Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn’s Twitter feed this week.
Screen grabs from Gunn’s profile, which has since been deleted, are shown below:
Gunn apologized for the offensive jokes on Twitter Friday before deleting his account: