I’m still in shock. Who on earth would have believed that Disney would fire Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn? After all, the man took a bunch of D-list comic book characters and turned them into a billion dollar franchise and was on the cusp of shooting the hugely anticipated third installment.
His removal was reportedly the result of the filmmaker calling out Pizza-Gate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec on Twitter. In revenge, Posobiec and white supremacist Mike Cernovich scoured Gunn’s Twitter history, found some dirt and began a campaign aimed at Disney designed to punish Gunn for disrespecting them and President Trump.
Needless to say, the studio bending over backwards to please fascist chuds hasn’t gone down particularly well on Twitter, with the internet reacting as so:
If you're a "liberal" that is happy about James Gunn's firing yet you choose to ignore the fact that this was a smear campaign set up by an Alt Right scumbag, you're a fucking joke.
— Tyler (@TylerFG) July 20, 2018
Remember when Disney made a movie with Victor Salva, *after* he was convicted of being an actual pedophile? It was called Powder.
James Gunn, on the other hand, made a few gross jokes 10 years ago and he's been blacklisted from the Disney family.
Just interesting, is all.
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) July 20, 2018
Shitty behavior years ago, shitty follow-through now, always think twice before handing a "win" to people like C**novich or MAGAs who are always incalculably worse. @ me about this with anything close to flippancy = consider yourself blocked, feed scoured and reported. Fuck off
— Bob Chipman @ SDCC (@the_moviebob) July 20, 2018
This is nauseating – @Disney and @Marvel capitulating to a fucking Pizzagate conspirator over shit they already knew blown up into “pedophiles run Hollywood” nonsense. Why? Just… why? Fix this, Disney. https://t.co/zMKw5gJpXC
— Lindsay Ellis is just lurking @SDCC (@thelindsayellis) July 20, 2018
Perhaps the only optimistic outlook on this is that Cernovich has pulled the same stunt before – and the firing was quickly reversed. I’m talking about when progressive comedian, actor and talk show host Sam Seder was fired by MSNBC following an aggressive campaign revolving around his Twitter history. Realizing they’d been had – and being seriously unsettled by their actions being cheered on by the far right – MSNBC quickly offered him his job back. After all was said and done, Seder commented: “If you decide to let this guy [Cernovich] be the arbiter of what is and is not appropriate, understand who he is.”
These are words Disney should take to heart. Gunn’s Tweets and comments were widely discussed before Guardians of the Galaxy was released, so it’s bizarre that the studio has suddenly decided to act on them now, throw one of the best creative minds under the bus and let production on one of their biggest future releases collapse into chaos.
Nobody’s going to come out of this situation looking good and I’d imagine that there’s going to be an enormously angry fan campaign battling to reinstate Gunn – and if I know MCU fans, it’ll eclipse whatever anger the far right can muster.