Disney fire Guardians of the Galaxy 3 director James Gunn over ‘pedophilia’ jokes

Disney has fired Guardians of the Galaxy 3’s director James Gunn over a series of historical Twitter ‘jokes’ which have resurfaced.

Conservative activists discovered Gunn’s comments on the social media site which make light of rape and pedophilia.

“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,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement.

Gunn had already begun writing the script for the movie, which was due to begin filming in Autumn, according to BuzzFeed News.

The screenshotted tweets were posted by Conservatives such as Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec.

The posts were apparently written between 2009 and 2011, and included comments such as “I’m doing a big Hollywood adaptation of The Giving Tree with a happy ending – the tree grows back and gives the kid a blowjob,” and “I like it when little boys touch me in my silly place.”

Last week Gunn posted a series of tweets where he apologised for his “outrageous and taboo” jokes.

“As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. 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,” he wrote.

“My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies,” Gunn added.

“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,” the statement said.

Gunn, who directed the two previous Guardian movies in the franchise, was on his way to become the only filmmaker within Marvel to direct three films in the same series for the studio.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News in 2017, Gunn said that beyond his duties for Vol. 3, he would be working with Marvel Studios to expand the company’s movies into the “cosmic” realm of Marvel Comics. “I think that they just trust me in terms of my vision of the more space opera aspects of Marvel,” Gunn said.