James Gunn Issues Statement After Being Fired From Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
When James Gunn woke up this morning, he had every right to be in a great mood. He’s responsible for two of the most beloved movies in the MCU, is about to start work on the finale of his trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and was scheduled to lead a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con to promote a new horror film he’s producing.
Just a couple of hours later, however, he’s become the victim of a far-right attack campaign that’s seen him sacked from the company he’s made billions of dollars for and booted from the franchise he’s poured his heart into.
So how has he reacted? Well, here’s his response:
“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. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
In my opinion, it’s a thoughtful, sincere and calm statement – calmer than I would be if white supremacists had conspired to get me sacked. The way I see it there’s going to be two ways forward from here. This appears to be an instinctive move that Marvel Studios and Disney may not have thought all the way through – doubtless they’ll be unnerved by the joyous response of the alt-right to their actions and the inevitable fan campaign to get Gunn reinstated.
If that doesn’t happen, then it’s difficult to imagine any other studio turning down projects by a man who can turn pretty much unknown comic book IP into a billion dollar franchise, though it’ll be desperately sad that he’d never get to complete his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy.
Regardless, I guarantee this isn’t the last you’ll hear of this story. As a user on Reddit pointed out: “we are living in a world where the director of a comic book movie is held to a higher standard than the fucking President of the United States.”