Last July, James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 after alt-right trolls dug up the director’s very bad jokes from a decade ago that made light of pedophilia and rape. Now, less than a year later, Deadline reports that Disney has rehired Gunn as the director of the film.
As Deadline reports:
After the firing, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn.
The social media messages were indefensible, but the filmmaker never did anything but blame himself for poor judgment displayed at a time when he was emerging from the Troma film factory and attempting to be a provocateur. There were no reports that Gunn ever engaged in the behavior he lampooned. Unlike the defensive posture exhibited by Kevin Hart that led him to skip hosting the Oscars, Gunn fell on his sword early and often and never lashed out at Disney.
In the days following Gunn’s firing, there was an outpouring of support from the Marvel cast at large. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s biggest stars, including Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana asked Gunn to be reinstated and that Disney not give into “mob mentality.” At the time, Disney defended its decision by saying Gunn’s old jokes were, “unacceptable in the #MeToo era and are not in line with Disney’s family-friendly image.”
Gunn had already addressed these problematic tweets during his time at the helm of Guardians of the Galaxy, but dug up again last summer by professional alt-right troll Mike Cernovich and his supporters. Their goal was to bring down a noted anti-Trump director, and it worked. It seemed that Disney had set the standard for how these situations would play out despite the context, and gave credibility to Cernovich and his mob.
This will certainly spark outrage among alt-right trolls, especially because Gunn is also slated to direct the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel.