Of James Gunn, Offensive Tweets, fanboy petitions and “Guardians” circling the Wagons


James Gunn spends years telling seriously tasteless but some would say “revealing” “jokes” online, on a blog (since deleted) and on Twitter.

A conservative activist decides he doesn’t like the anti-Trump politics of the director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, tracks this stuff down, and has his followers email-bomb Disney with the news. Gunn is fired by Disney/Marvel.

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned by every college sports scandal, the “fans” are perfectly willing to forgive, forget and move on. Because their short term craving for a their “fix” trumps any sense of principle their parents failed to teach them.

They want what they want. So we (Disney) gets petitions. 

More petitions. And stories about petitions. 

We’re seeing the cast of the very lucrative “Guardians” films rally to Gunn’s side. 

And what do the vast majority of these stories, about petitions, about the cast, even the original ones on the scandal, leave out? The actual “offensive” tweets.

All these people arguing for Gunn’s reinstatement, rallying the troops, calling the posts and tweets “ancient history.” And they are scared to death to actually re-post the tweets.

First of all, six years is NOT “ancient history.” Gunn was not some callow kid when he said this stuff. He was a 40something closing in on 50ish writer and director who cut his teeth on bad taste — TROMA Films — under his mentor, Lloyd Kaufman.

“Ancient history” is when a teen ballplayer posts homophobic or racist tweets, perhaps out of genuine bigotry, perhaps in a false sense of “permission granted” to use words that Axl Rose and other entertainers have used in public that most Americans find offensive. And they come back to bite him in adulthood.

Based on my memories of the films, pedophilia gags are not a staple of the TROMA universe, but I am sure it’s considered fair game there. So he gets the benefit of the doubt, there. Kind of.

If you read this stuff , and it wasn’t isolated — it was oft-repeated and creepy (What is James Gunn’s DEAL?) — maybe you pick up on the attempts at humor.

But you cannot miss the meanness — the actionable, vile shot at a guy with a certain amount of showbiz power takes at a pre-“Baskets” and thus relatively powerless comic Louis Anderson.


How daring of Little Jimmy Gunn. Want to make a “likes boys” joke, go after oh somebody with a name. Crack on Tom Cruise’s sexuality, the whispers about any number of far more powerful showbiz folk with a taste for “twinks” — you know who “The Usual Suspects” are, SKG.

Nah. Wouldn’t be prudent.

Here’s the Cernovich “reporting.”

And here’s another gag that didn’t land.


So enough with this “reporting” that is more of a “paint this over.” 

ENOUGH of this utter BS that “Gunn has GROWN” since, what, his 45th birthday?

It does not MATTER that a wingnut activist played “gotcha” with him over his tweets. They were first pointed out by GLAAD.  Disney knew.

Yeah, there’s a pitchfork mentality at work here and yes, people have to do a lot better at being able to take a joke. We’ve all crossed lines with this or that attempted un-PC humor.

But this dude’s go-to jokes only play in R.Kelly/Polanski-land.

Back in the day, Margaret Cho was a Disney (ABC) employee, doing a family sitcom while regaling her largely-gay following with “fisting” jokes. And demonstrations. On stage. Disney didn’t can her.

Sarah Silverman built her career on being cute as she told jokes about minority groups and the like, called for a military coup after Trump’s election. Not yet, dear. She’s still in “Wreck-It Ralph 2.”

On the other hand, they paid an actual pedophile to make “Powder,” back in the day.

And they were in business with King Creeper Harvey Weinstein for more years than they’d care to remember.

Maybe Gunn is closer to the Weinstein end of the spectrum than, oh, Sarah; so much so that the controversy-averse Disney can not tolerate it. Perhaps not.

But say what you want, it took guts to #MeToo a guy who added this much to their bottom line.

Hey, maybe Disney knows something that isn’t being reported — about pee tapes and little boys and James Gunn. See how that works, Jimbo? Maybe Louis Anderson can use that one in your Comedy Central roast.

I say let Gunn look for work and let others learn from this “teachable moment.” Cultural mores shift, the line in the sand moves. Would “The Hangover” have as many “Don’t be gay” jokes if remade today? We could all use a dose of “It’s a JOKE, move on.” But pervert poses and nods toward bigotry are timeless and have no statute of limitations.

And taking a stand while pretending the actual tweets don’t exist, that they don’t follow a creepy, offensive pattern of “thinking” that would give anybody pause, avoiding the actual language he used, as a GROWN ASS MAN, for YEARS, and refusing to repeat it, is disingenuous at best, dishonest and cowardly at worst.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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