12% of a plan
July 22, 2018 6:54 PM   Subscribe

In a single day, James Gunn went from acclaimed writer/director of one of Marvel’s most successful and beloved franchises, to fired. And, of course, Twitter is to blame.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (236 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
No, "Twitter" is not to blame. Known rape advocate and right wing troll Mike Cernovich is to blame, doing this exclusively because Gunn is critical of Trump, and is trying to drum up similar campaigns against Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black.

Gunn's tweets are indefensible, but they were when he acknowledged them twelve years ago. Come the fuck on. Recognize a bad faith trolling effort and call it out as such.
posted by kafziel at 7:00 PM on July 22, 2018 [151 favorites]


But without him, what does the future of Marvel’s space operas look like?

God forbid, they might have to hire a woman or something.
posted by Mizu at 7:03 PM on July 22, 2018 [115 favorites]


I have no sympathy for Gunn -- I think his movies suck and his personality is ridiculous, but the sucky thing about this outcome is it empowers right wing troll Cernovich.

Disney should either have never hired Gunn (if they found the tweets offensive), or at the very least told him to delete them before hiring him as the tweets tainted their brand.
posted by dobbs at 7:07 PM on July 22, 2018 [13 favorites]


Yeah, seriously, Cernovich is to blame.
posted by Peach at 7:08 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


Cernovich is Grade A asshole, and I hate to see him get a win.

But Gunn is to blame. He wrote that shit, and he did it because he thought is was funny, and edgy, and would help him find employment. He also left it sitting on Twitter for anyone to find.

Saying this is unfair because the guy calling out the shitty guy is, himself, a shitty guy is classic whataboutism. Fuck that.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:14 PM on July 22, 2018 [55 favorites]


Disney / Marvel is also to blame for failing to back their employees with any ethical standards or guidelines. Where is the discussion about making Disney a better workplace for women? Fuck Gunn, but he probably could be part of that discussion in a productive manner.

Dude apologized, theoretically the toxicity he could be bringing to a workplace should be under review, maybe he's not a shit anymore? Who knows, but the fact that this is not even under discussion, that this is not the focus, is scary.

The forces behind this tarring could give two shits about who replaces Gunn, and it's sad to see that a lot of people have forgotten what the point of firing people / pressuring people to apologise is, to create better workplaces. If that is not the focus, what is the point?

The point is to create enough FUD to protect alleged rapists and pedophiles, or enablers of such, in the Republican party. Disney gives in, and now they've got more fodder for deflection, in order to defend the misogynists who are in the sitting government of the United States.

Remember when "Fake News" meant fabricated stories designed to enflame right wing sentiment? How long did the right wing take to co-opt that one? now we're going to let them co-opt the me-too movement into some victorian nightmare?
posted by eustatic at 7:15 PM on July 22, 2018 [35 favorites]


I'll believe that Disney wants Gunn to have standards when they fire Johnny Depp or Sarah Silverman.

But they don't because it's not about standards, it's about attention.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:20 PM on July 22, 2018 [55 favorites]


Anyway, keep your eyes on the prize, y'all. This could be an opportunity to pressure Disney or Marvel (probably not, they already caved to the right wing demand, on right wing grounds), and at the very least, don't get distracted into carrying water for misogynists in the government. Don't play their game with the tools that a liberatory movement created.

Fuck all the Brooks Brothers riots.
posted by eustatic at 7:22 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


If Gunn was an alt-righter, many of us would be calling for Disney to fire him for the reprehensible shit he said.

The fact that Cernovich is a noxious toad-creature unfortunately doesn't make Gunn any more defensible. There's no way in the world Disney should want to be associated with that kinda crap. No, they didn't care as long as nobody was talking about it, but that's how public relations works.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:33 PM on July 22, 2018 [21 favorites]


Disclaimer: I'll fully admit that my admiration for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise may be colouring my take on this.

But....

These tweets were 12 years ago. My understanding is that there wasn't anything new or more recent.

Yes, they were reprehensible and terrible, but surely a man can change in 12 years? He apologized, move on.

This is another datapoint in a troubling trend where "activists" (read: "trolls") are getting people fired by raising a stink on social media. (see Here as well)
posted by Paladin1138 at 7:34 PM on July 22, 2018 [23 favorites]


My understanding is that Gunn disowned those tweets some time ago. He was still making edgelord tweets in Guardians 1 pre-production, but it seems like the process of making those films made him a better person.

The point of getting someone fired over what they said is that we shouldn't be giving bad people power. If someone has apologised, made it up to those they've hurt, and genuinely changed, then isn't that the kind of thing we're trying to encourage?

Of course, the issue here is not whether or not James Gunn is a good person now, but whether or not Mike Cernovich is a bad-faith dipstick who cannot be trusted and thankfully this one's a lot easier to answer.
posted by Merus at 7:40 PM on July 22, 2018 [17 favorites]


Glenn Beck defends Gunn

I'm 100% conflicted on this one. I am a free speech advocate, but only into far as I refuse to allow the government to infringe on speech. People never understand this doesn't extend to the private sector, nor does it mean there are no consequences for speech. Whether Duck Dynasty or Roseanne, you do not have a 1st Amendment right to a TV show (or movie franchise).

This said, the internet rage machine, the mob justice, the armchair detectives who bring down the internet on all transgressors...there but for the grace of god. I was 20 and a heavy drinker when I first found USENET. I know I said and wrote some fairly reprehensible things. I'm 47 and probably occasionally still do. I live in a glass house. I'm still learning.

A long time ago I decided I would never run for public office because there's no way my background would survive even cursory vetting. It would be easy to argue that if you don't want to be seen as a asshole, then don't be an asshole, but man, we've all been an asshole at sometime or another.

And it always kinds of pisses me off when people love people who are funny, they love it when the humor is transgressive (but not too transgressive), but somehow they expect everyone to know where these lines are. They also somehow believe that creativity and such can be turned off. Perhaps for some, but I've been lucky. Most my life I have made sure my employment is at a place that values expression.

I think of some of my favorite authors, and if they said out-loud the same things they put in their books, they would be the next in a the chair. We already live in a world where comedians will no longer work small clubs to try out new material because they know the jokes will be on YouTube tomorrow.

And we enforce these standards in such a haphazard way.

Like I said, I'm conflicted. It's up to Disney if they want to nix the guy. But I'd rather hang with someone that makes jokes, and even bad ones, even offensive ones, ones that don't land, than someone who is afraid to make jokes because of the potential repercussions. And to me, an apology goes a long ways. "My bad" is usually enough for me. So does time. I'm not the guy I was when I was 20. If I had to defend that shit now I would be unable to.

But here's the thing, Gunn will be fine. Roseanne will be fine. The Duck Dynasty guy will be fine. They have enough money that you can't really hurt them anymore. What truly sucks is when this sort of shit gets aimed at some poor schmo and the internet turns a life upside-down and then moves on.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:44 PM on July 22, 2018 [54 favorites]


If Gunn was an alt-righter, many of us would be calling for Disney to fire him for the reprehensible shit he said.

How shitty Gunn is or isn't shouldn't be the focus. The focus should be whether Marvel as a workplace, provides equal pay and equal opportunity for all, with a focus on women. I could be proven wrong, but it's doubtful that anyone trying to have that discussion can use this as leverage, although perhaps it's an opportunity.

Better workplaces for women, starting with the 4th district Ohio in the US Congress. Janet Garrett is running, I hope we all can support her.

three and i'm out, i am too het up on this, love to all of metafilter.
posted by eustatic at 7:46 PM on July 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


Ok, one more, metafilter challenge: find an article, any article, that frames this firing in a better, more ethical context. It's probably not hard. This Forbes hot take is making us all dumber for having to read it.
posted by eustatic at 7:57 PM on July 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


Okay when I said "twelve years ago" I meant "in 2012" which is when Gunn addressed them, whoops. Typo.

Anyway. James Gunn doesn't need or warrant defending, and will be utterly fine, don't worry for a second about him. This is a problem in so far as it is a victory for the rape advocacy caucus, who never objected to the tweets but only who was making them, and is empowering them to conduct similar campaigns now that they have precedent and a win. This is bad all around. And Disney should be shamed for caving. They shouldn't hire Gunn back, but they should hire someone these cave slugs hate even worse as a specific fuck you to them.
posted by kafziel at 7:58 PM on July 22, 2018 [14 favorites]


At least one of the jokes involved classic Disney characters and rape, so it's not surprising that Disney fired him even a decade later.
posted by smelendez at 8:04 PM on July 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Daily Dot has a good overview of Mike Cernovich's history, internet hate campaigns and PizzaGate: "Disney appeased the alt-right by firing James Gunn—here’s why that’s a big problem"
posted by Umami Dearest at 8:14 PM on July 22, 2018 [13 favorites]


I'm seeing a lot of misinformation about the Gunn dismissal: That it happened over a decade ago, that he wasn't working for Disney, that he already apologized for it. No, no, and no.

He was working for Disney and on Guardians of the Galaxy when he made pedophile jokes, and it was in the past 6 years. It was also AFTER the apology I see people referencing.

Disney acquired Marvel Studios in 2009.

James Gunn confirmed in September of 2012 that he was rewriting and directing Guardians of the Galaxy.

James Gunn issues apology for 'tasteless' blog on November 30, 2012: “In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all.”

Following Apology, and after being hired on by Disney, James Gunn made at least one child rape joke: "'Eagle Snatches Kid' is what I call it when I get lucky" - December 22, 2012

He's a creep who knows the power of a good apology. It's too bad he revealed in 2012 he's willing to apologize without knowing or valuing the actual reason for the apology. You know, given he made a child rape joke no less than 1 month after his 2012 apology. Good riddance. Yelch.
posted by avalonian at 8:14 PM on July 22, 2018 [42 favorites]


This Forbes hot take is making us all dumber for having to read it.

This is pretty good: How Pizzagate Pusher Mike Cernovich Keeps Getting People Fired (Luke O'Brien, HuffPo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:19 PM on July 22, 2018 [16 favorites]


Quoting Breitbart? Sure, why the heck not?

An old blog post published by Disney director James Gunn shows the Marvel filmmaker writing about orgasming to a video that purported to show of “100 pubescent girls” who “touch themselves.”

In the since-deleted 2010 blog post titled “Video: 100 Pubescent Girls Touch Themselves,” the Guardians of the Galaxy director wrote, “Huston Huddleston posted this video on my Facebook page with the note ‘I thought you’d appreciate this.’ My response: ‘Appreciate it?!! I just came all over my own face!!'”

Breitbart News was not able to confirm what was in the video as it was not available in archive versions of the blog post.

It appears that the Huston Huddleston whom Gunn says sent him the “video” is registered sex offender Huston Huddleston, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of possessing child pornography.


Turns out the video is apparently a choir covering the Divinyls, but still, not a good look for Gunn.
posted by themanwho at 8:20 PM on July 22, 2018


This Forbes hot take is making us all dumber for having to read it.

I guess this is where I thank Forbes for hating my adblocker.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 PM on July 22, 2018 [8 favorites]


Saying Gunn shouldn't have been fired because The Enemy was gunning for him, despite the indefensible nature of his comments, is called Protecting Your Own. See: police unions, the Catholic church, fraternities.

What Cernovich et al want to do is elicit a defensive response which prioritizes tribal loyalties over professed moral standards in order to paint the left as amoral hypocrites.

Don't let him do that.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:25 PM on July 22, 2018 [43 favorites]


if they were fine with the tweets when they hired him they shouldn't be allowed to fire him for them when they change their minds seven years later. /
posted by Bwentman at 8:31 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Saying Gunn shouldn't have been fired because The Enemy was gunning for him, despite the indefensible nature of his comments, is called Protecting Your Own. See: police unions, the Catholic church, fraternities.

What Cernovich et al want to do is elicit a defensive response which prioritizes tribal loyalties over professed moral standards in order to paint the left as amoral hypocrites.

Don't let him do that.


No, it's really not. It's saying that literally nobody should listen to Cernovich about anything, for any reason. He should not have a platform. He should not have any means to reach or influence anybody. He should not be granted the license to be heard in public, because when he does, he invents Pizzagate and says that date rape is an oxymoron.

Regarding the terror group ISIL, you do not, under any circumstances, "gotta hand it to them".
posted by kafziel at 8:31 PM on July 22, 2018 [41 favorites]


My 2 cents:
Liked the movies; Gunn should not have been hired and yes firing the creep is the right move (pretty much always) Cernovich is a creep too.

Remember how Al Franken was irreplaceable? There should be a house cleaning in every house until this culture changes and then keep on cleaning house. Do we really think creepy dudes are the only talented people out there?
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 8:34 PM on July 22, 2018 [32 favorites]


The whole system is a fucking giant trash can: no platform with the reach of Twitter should be allowed to behave with such little accountability as it cashes in on shithead trolls like Cernovich, no art should be turned into a cash crop on such an international, multi billion dollar scale, and no corporation on the scale of Disney should even exist. Dudes should be held accountable for their words, yeah, I'm with that, but honestly every fucking piece of this is a shit pile, some shitty ass unfunny and offensive joke is bad, but it's the part of this I'm least upset about.
posted by latkes at 8:39 PM on July 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


Two plus two is still four, even if Mike Cernovich says it is. Disney is selling Star Wars and Mickey Mouse to hundreds of millions of little kids, and they shouldn't have a guy who thinks pedophilia is hilarious up on the masthead.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:47 PM on July 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Fuck all edgelords.
posted by aramaic at 9:01 PM on July 22, 2018 [7 favorites]


Why isn't Cernovich constantly going after the 'chans then?

I'm tired of the bullshit conspiracy theories about liberal/Hollywood pedos being peddled by these transparently self-serving blowhards with nary a word ever said about Dennis Hastert or Jerry Sandusky (who was a Republican booster).
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:08 PM on July 22, 2018 [10 favorites]


dude apologized? and stopped? and grew and became a better person? what the hell more do you want out of him?
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 9:12 PM on July 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


"Edgelord?" Is that what the kids these days are calling folks like Lenny Bruce?
posted by workerunit at 9:17 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


what the hell more do you want out of him?
support for the Pervert In Chief. Pedophilia falls solidly in the IOKIYAP category.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:18 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Mike Cernovich was allegedly arrested for felony rape, which he then got dismissed, and then had to do community service for misdemeanor battery. At the very least, he's a woman beater, and at the most: a rapist. I say "allegedly arrested" for felony rape because as far as I can tell this is just something he's spoken about (he's obsessed with "false rape" charges) and other people have parroted without any evidence.

So why does Cernovich get to walk around being a rapist with no reprisals, while Gunn makes a shitty joke and gets screwed and the right-wing extremists get to run around acting like they're the hottest shit ever for taking the libs down a notch? It's bullshit. Cernovich should be harassed day and night for being a scumbag.

I don't have an opinion either way about Gunn, except he should never have made those "jokes", but Cernovich is a piece of filth who should get his.
posted by gucci mane at 9:30 PM on July 22, 2018 [20 favorites]


Two plus two is still four, even if Mike Cernovich says it is. Disney is selling Star Wars and Mickey Mouse to hundreds of millions of little kids, and they shouldn't have a guy who thinks pedophilia is hilarious up on the masthead.

One thing that I keep turning over -- and I don't think the Forbes piece or many pieces covering this have really touched on -- is that Cernovich isn't accusing Gunn of having made jokes. He's accusing Gunn, indirectly and obliquely, of being a pedophile and/or a pedophile supporter. He's still pushing Pizzagate, and the broader context to his accusations here is that he thinks (or claims to think) that a lot of Hollywood folks are all secret pedophiles; so while this reads like he's accusing Gunn of having made jokes, that's not actually the accusation he's making to his supporters.
(for example, here's Cernovich complaining that the media 'treated the public like fools by claiming...that the tweets were "jokes.")

Which the Roy Moore-endorsing Ted Cruz (a current sitting Senator) has picked up on, writing
Wow. These #JamesGunn tweets are just horrible. Child rape is no laughing matter. As Texas SG, I handled far too many child sexual assaults. Truly evil. I’m glad Disney fired him, but if these tweets are true, he needs to be prosecuted.

[asked if he really thinks they're serious]

how do you know they’re jokes? Several tweets refer directly to his having had sex w/ kids. If someone tweets confessing to a crime (repeatedly), it should be investigated. If he’s telling the truth—if he has in fact molested young children—then he should be prosecuted.
So, yeah, two plus two is four, but this feels kind of like Gunn was fired because Disney was worried about people disingenuously claiming it was five.

And so, one take on this is that -- James Gunn’s Firing from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Is a Disastrous Win for Right-Wing Mobs
Gunn was fired today because of a social media crusade led by right-wing social media personality and former Pizzagate conspiracy theory promoter Mike Cernovich. Gunn’s firing proves that businesses still haven’t figured out how to tell when they’re facing a genuine controversy — and when they’re just getting played by right-wing activists.
...
While Disney may think they’ve ended the controversy by firing Gunn, this is just the beginning for Cernovich, who told The Daily Beast that Gunn’s firing means it’s now time for “an open investigation into all of Hollywood.”
I don't really have an opinion about Gunn, but...the problem here really seems to be that Cernovich is saying that two plus two is five, and we're all looking at the twos he dug up and drawing our own conclusions. For now. But the more credibility he gets, the more people he's able to convince that two and two is five. It isn't.
posted by cjelli at 9:42 PM on July 22, 2018 [34 favorites]


Despite all the people in this thread and elsewhere insisting that "No, the REAL issue is _____", there are a bunch of intertwined issues here, most of them complex.

1.) Tribal loyalty vs. moral hypocrisy - yes, if James Gunn was politically right-wing instead of left-wing, the response to this would be very different. That is a problem we should acknowledge. Cernovich is a complete shitheel but we've gone round and round on Metafilter with the fact that the person who points out wrongdoing is never perfect themselves. This is complicated by point #5.

2.) Reform vs. punishment - as ever, the world is divided on the purpose of justice. Are we trying to fix people who do wrong, or just hurt them? Sure, James Gunn will be fine, this punishment will hardly cripple him, but he also does seem like he's grown and become a much more thoughtful person in the last few years. It happens. Hopefully none of us are as dumb as we were six years ago; for some of us that improvement is more marked than others. What is the appropriate statute of limitations for "being an unfunny gross douchebag"? What penitence is sufficient to atone for it?

3.) The platform. Twitter is a problem, you guys. Increasingly, it only generates outrage, and provides avenues for mobs to both form and attack. Even at its most harmless it still provides us with the opportunity to make fools of ourselves in public. Cardinal Richelieu famously said "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." And I can only imagine how he'd be just straight-up cackling with maniacal glee seeing everybody tossing literally years of their half-formed thoughts and off-the-cuff hot takes up on a public platform which by default never forgets anything. Is the good that Twitter brings to the world in its current state worth all the bad? I'm not sure. Twitter sure as hell needs fixing though; until then we need to stop letting Twitter act like Twitter is working just fine.

4.) Inconsistent standards - Look, Disney firing James Gunn at this point is all about Disney upper management protecting Disney upper management. In the long run, this method of getting people fired for being shitty by drumming up a mob against them is awesome for upper management (because they don't need to worry about cleaning house until a mob shows up on their doorstep) and totally utterly nightmarish for workers, who have to live in constant fear that they'll get fired because a mob of randos decided to attack them over [anything/nothing]. James Gunn is a very well-off white dude. But Jessica Price? Not a dude, not (I'm guessing) nearly as well-off. Yet it's all the same mechanisms at play and they are not mechanisms that in the long run are gonna be good for the marginalized folks on the low end of the totem pole. If you really want to protect powerless people from having to work for abusive assholes, you need a better system than mob justice.

5.) Mike Cernovich - I honestly don't understand why this guy is not in jail for inciting violence, after Pizzagate. I really don't understand how nobody has sued the shit out of him for defamation yet. Seems like a slam-dunk to me. Allowing this man a platform, let alone a victory, is only going to get innocent people very seriously hurt. Anything that makes this guy afraid to crawl out from under his rock is a good thing, and anything which does the opposite (such as Gunn getting fired) has to ask if it's worth that cost.

It's a lot of to grapple with. Overall I think I lean towards "firing Gunn was the wrong move" but it's hardly an immovable opinion; testimony from people who've had to work with him recently and say he's still a shitty gross edgelord who's just learned how to make polite apology noises without really meaning them could pretty easily change my mind.

I am absolutely certain, however, about what the ideal next step for Disney is. The replacement for Gunn on GotG 3 needs to be whichever ultra-woke diehard-liberal WoC director is most likely to give Mike Cernovich a heart attack on the spot.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:45 PM on July 22, 2018 [85 favorites]


He's still pushing Pizzagate

Oh, very much so. Some of the tweets he's dug up to launch his new campaign against Michael Ian Black are literally just jokes about pizza.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:50 PM on July 22, 2018 [14 favorites]


I feel that one of the few bright spots of the past couple of years is the revelation that there's a lot of talent out there. Even if every edgelord gets fired, there will be people to take their place. They won't necessarily be any worse; they might even be better.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:04 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


James Gunn’s Firing from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Is a Disastrous Win for Right-Wing Mobs

No, it really isn't. Right-wingers think censure for rape jokes is just a political ploy, a stick liberals use to hit their enemies. That misguided belief doesn't make it so, doesn't change the fact that censuring rape jokes makes the world a better place.

Sure, if there's a moral standard, people are going to be quicker to point out when their enemies violate it than when their friends do. That dynamic doesn't change the fact that enforcing a good moral standard is a good thing.

James Gunn's firing means that even right-wingers are capitulating to positive changes in our society's moral standards. And that is a non-disastrous win for making the world a less toxic place.
posted by straight at 10:05 PM on July 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


I'm delighted at the possibility of turning Guardians of the Galaxy over to someone for whom it wouldn't even occur to them that Drax referring to Gamora as a whore is a funny joke.
posted by straight at 10:10 PM on July 22, 2018 [43 favorites]


dude apologized? and stopped? and grew and became a better person? what the hell more do you want out of him?


To not apologize in November2012 before making a child rape joke in December 2012. Dude's worth 40 million. He doesn't need you laying cover so he can get a "fair shot". He's not entitled to one at such a high level when he's already set for life financially. He did all this to himself. He can take his time and actually do good. He isn't entitled to produce and it's best he doesn't.

Also, regarding the "became a better person," gonna need to see a citation on that one that's not from one of the people that banked millions off his success.
posted by avalonian at 10:13 PM on July 22, 2018 [18 favorites]


So, what concrete actions would Gunn have had to take to atone for his tweets?

How serious was the harm caused by his tweets?

What will the practical outcome be after this, where he is canned for offensive tweets in such a way that it improves the reputation of a fascist media operator?
posted by mobunited at 10:21 PM on July 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


What Cernovich et al want to do is elicit a defensive response which prioritizes tribal loyalties over professed moral standards in order to paint the left as amoral hypocrites.

They paint the left as amoral hypocrites anyway. That's what that whole "virtue signalling" shit they constantly whinge on is all about.

I am not convinced that going high when they go low is a winning strategy.
posted by anem0ne at 10:28 PM on July 22, 2018 [11 favorites]


So, what concrete actions would Gunn have had to take to atone for his tweets?

Well he's apologized before and shown he'll do that because it'll get him out of things (see above) so certainly more than an apology. Really that's up to him. There's literally nothing for me that he can do to be allowed back on Disney level reach. There are too many talented people who weren't making child rape jokes in their 40s that deserve a shot.

How serious was the harm caused by his tweets?

For the normalizing of child rape on a global scale? Gee I dunno. Though I sense a sealion.

What will the practical outcome be after this, where he is canned for offensive tweets in such a way that it improves the reputation of a fascist media operator?

The practical outcome will be someone who gains notoriety from making child rape jokes to huge audiences - but then stops publicly once he starts raking in millions - will no longer have direct access to the developing minds of millions of children.
posted by avalonian at 10:33 PM on July 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


Yep, James Gunn should go. It's sad and unfortunate, but his attempts at humour were reprehensible, and (as has been pointed out) repeating a behaviour after you've apologized for it is a good sign that you haven't actually changed.

The thing that gets me is that the right - all of them, from Mike Cernovich to Donald Trump - absolutely depend on modern norms and standards that they often dismiss as "political correctness" being applied to their enemies, but never to themselves.

The most galling example of this was Trump lining up the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault for a press conference, but calling the 19 women who accused him of the same "liars". It's the right focussing on bizarre, unfounded allegations of the left's political establishment running child sex rings with absolutely no proof, and ignoring or dismissing the claims of thousands of migrants who have reported sexual abuse while they are in the custody of ICE.

While there's a lot of work still to do, I'm proud of progressives cleaning house, even when it might stem from attacks from the right. But I'm absolutely baffled and enraged by the right's unwillingness to hold themselves to the same standard.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:35 PM on July 22, 2018 [38 favorites]


But I'm absolutely baffled and enraged by the right's unwillingness to hold themselves to the same standard.

why? this is a winning strategy for them. use your opponent's strength against them.

the left's strength is that we actually have decency, morals, and ethics.

when they go low, they take out our legs, and we go high for about a moment or two before we crash down
posted by anem0ne at 10:38 PM on July 22, 2018 [15 favorites]


I'm absolutely baffled and enraged

It's pretty much par for the course at this point and there's no point being enraged as nothing can change. You cannot defeat hypocrisy by pointing out logical inconsistencies, no matter how many times Poirot may have done so, and you cannot shame the shameless.
posted by aramaic at 10:43 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


*shrug* People I know have been fired for the mere accusation of doing something inappropriate. Gunn wrote a bunch of shitty tweets, then thought that he could say he was sorry and that would be the end of it. Oh no, a grown man got fired for the actual shitty tweets he wrote. I can't be bothered to care.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:46 PM on July 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


At least Gunn will now have the time to apply himself to full-time cave diving.
posted by fairmettle at 11:05 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the response is around here when Cernovich and the alt right start using these tactics to get people like Kathleen Kennedy, Rebecca Sugar, and and Noelle Stevenson fired from their positions. Because they will. It's only a matter of time, and not much time at that.
posted by happyroach at 11:10 PM on July 22, 2018 [25 favorites]




[A few deleted. Don't attack people in the thread. If you want to discuss some element of this, just discuss it for what it is, don't make it about other members.]
posted by taz (staff) at 11:39 PM on July 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


Two wrongs don't make a right, that's not news, but I am feeling a little sad, it's just one damn thing after another, you know? Wake me up when someone gives Rachel Talalay a massive blockbuster movie.
posted by Coaticass at 11:52 PM on July 22, 2018


All these things can be true:
  • Some of the people who were leading the call for Gunn to be fired are right wing assholes.
  • Right wing assholes only tend to call for left wing creeps to be fired.
  • James Gunn is an unrepentant creep who repeatedly made horrible public "jokes" about child rape, some as recently as 2012, and continued to do so after he'd been called out for it. If you are forming opinions on this, you should read the tweets so you know what he actually said.
  • Disney damn well should not have hired him in the first place.
  • It's good they have fired him.
  • Right wing creeps should be fired too.
Personally I liked this take on the whole thing:
Gunn is currently 51 years old. The earliest problematic tweets were from 2008/09, when he was 41 and 42. It’s not like he was some dumb kid who was saying dumb sh-t for attention. He was a grown-ass man who repeatedly made some really screwed up jokes about children and rape. And all of the Hollywood bros who are coming out to have Gunn’s back: leave it, dudes. As I said, Disney had every right to fire him. Don’t engage in Whataboutism. Of course the people who trashed Gunn are dumpster fire right-wingers. That doesn’t mean that Gunn should still be employed by Marvel.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:55 PM on July 22, 2018 [49 favorites]


Hmm, I can't help feeling that if it was Michael Bay people would be setting off fireworks in here.

The tweets were vile, let's not minimise that. People have to work with the dude who said it, take orders for him. It's not cool in any professional environment, and it's disappointing to hear variants of "it's just a harmless joke".
posted by smoke at 11:58 PM on July 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don’t give a crap either way about James Gunn, but I think it’s pathetic that some people are applauding Disney for “doing the right thing” when Disney has known all along about the problematic tweets and are only caving now due to bad faith pressure from alt-right goons; so by giving kudos to Disney, what you’re really saying is “I think more companies should take their marching orders from Neo-Nazis.”
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:16 AM on July 23, 2018 [19 favorites]


It's not cool in any professional environment

Did he say make those jokes in a professional environment? I'm not sure Twitter in 2009 is that. If he did it's a different story.
posted by atoxyl at 12:35 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Good christ, the calculus here is not difficult:
- Twitter is a profoundly broken and injurious, if not intentionally toxic, environment;
- Cernovich is a grotesque, transparently-overcompensating homunculus, and one of the worst people in the world;
- Gunn’s speech is indefensibly vile, and unquestionably contributes to the sense of a hostile environment and culture;
- Disney is a terrible, hypocritical, graspingly greedy institution;
- Not a single thing of value would be lost if they all ceased to exist on the morrow.

Sometimes situations aren’t painted in shades of grey. This is one of ‘em.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:44 AM on July 23, 2018 [33 favorites]


Did he say make those jokes in a professional environment? I

Come on now, no one should have to work with anyone who talks like that publicly. If someone is on the record proudly making shitty comments, yes that should affect their professional life and prospects. You shouldn't say stuff like anywhere and 2012 was not the the dark ages with a radically different context. Goodness this is not ambiguous, Adam has the right of it.
posted by smoke at 2:22 AM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Cernovich's mob is not limiting the damage to Gunn. They're going after his friends, family, associates, and even fans. Yes, Gunn said inexcusable things, but alt-right mob action is bad. The point is not just to punish Gunn for being a very vocal critic of Trump, but to intimidate other people into keeping quiet for fear of being a target.
posted by LindsayIrene at 4:07 AM on July 23, 2018 [17 favorites]


People raised a stink about this when Disney/Marvel announced Gunn was doing GotG. They were fine with it then. But now some right-wing dipshit throws a tantrum, and they're heckin' concerned. Fuck their hypocrisy.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:06 AM on July 23, 2018 [20 favorites]


[Cernovich] thinks (or claims to think)

I wish there was a one word verb for “claims to hold an opinion for blatantly bad faith reasons”.
posted by ambrosen at 5:09 AM on July 23, 2018 [14 favorites]


I wonder what the response is around here when Cernovich and the alt right start using these tactics to get people like Kathleen Kennedy, Rebecca Sugar, and and Noelle Stevenson fired from their positions. Because they will. It's only a matter of time, and not much time at that.

So Kennedy, Sugar, and Stevenson have a history of making child rape jokes? Because that's kind of a necessary prerequisite for "these tactics". I dislike the messenger here as much as anyone, but they aren't lying about what Gunn has said.
posted by Dysk at 5:36 AM on July 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


There is no part of this situation that’s good, to my eyes.

I think what makes me uneasiest is: I want people to be fired/shunned/etc in situations where they are a) unrepentant for past harm and b) still doing harm. This is not one of those situations, as far as I can tell.

This is a deeply vile person who dug up evidence that someone he hates for political reasons used to be a much bigger jackass than he currently is. Cernovich has now been rewarded for using the rhetoric of #metoo against one of his enemies. Since his other enemies include, y’know, people who are actually sincere in opposing sexual harassment and abuse, it’s hard to see this as a good outcome.

(also, I am deeply skeptical of any Disney housecleaning that doesn’t start with Johnny Depp— a man who beat his wife and has never even admitted to it, much less apologized or made amends or shown any evidence of working to become less shitty.)
posted by nonasuch at 5:44 AM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


I wish there was a one word verb for “claims to hold an opinion for blatantly bad faith reasons”

feigns

also,

dissembles
dissimulates
fabricates
pretends
purports (to X, but actually does Y)
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:45 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Fabricates doesn't belong in that list. This may all be in bad faith, but it isn't a fabrication.
posted by Dysk at 5:57 AM on July 23, 2018


mstokes650: I really don't understand how nobody has sued the shit out of him for defamation yet. Seems like a slam-dunk to me.

Unless they can retain some white shoe high caliber firm, your average door shop lawyers office will run away screaming upon learning that they, their staff, families, etc will be sucked into a never-ending nexus of shit and harassment at the hands of some faceless troll army if they take that case.
posted by dr_dank at 5:58 AM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Fabricates doesn't belong in that list

Fabrication as to the moral outrage, not the substance of the accusations. See "feign."
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:59 AM on July 23, 2018


Feigning outrage is rather different to fabricating outrage.
posted by Dysk at 6:04 AM on July 23, 2018


As you like it. I think the racist rapists outrage at those tweets is feigned and therefore a fabrication and don't really care if that somehow fails to do him credit.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:06 AM on July 23, 2018


[Please drop the "fabricate" argument.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:47 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


James Gunn pushed a female writer out of her share of the writing credit on the first GotG movie, and his tweets are gross apology or not and he kept them up instead of deleting them. He's gross, I don't feel bad he was fired.

However, he was fired by Disney who then had Johnny Depp come on stage in the same hall Amber Heard was showcasing. This has nothing to do with principles and everything to do with money. Disney is just as gross as Gunn.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 6:50 AM on July 23, 2018 [21 favorites]


"Gross dude who we like because superheroes shouldn't have been fired by amoral capitalist enterprise for unambiguously horrifying statements because 1) they didn't care when they hired him so how can it matter now and 2) the person bringing this to light is an evil whackadoodle right-wing conspiracy theorist whose statements, even if they are pointing out the verifiable truth, should be roundly ignored because fuck that noise."

Did I get that right?
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:59 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


No, you didn't. Gross dude should be fired, but right-wing actual-rapist whacko should not have his credibility bolstered by the resulting reporting and Disney should receive no plaudits.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:08 AM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


I think we can hold these two thoughts in our brain at the same time:

1) Gunn said reprehensible things

2) A fascist mob hurling around accusations of pedophilia and being a pedo-apologist willy nilly as a political silencing tactic is kind of terrifying. (Oh, there have been death threats, too. Of course.)

Patton Oswalt has defended Gunn. He is now a target. Dave Bautista has defended Gunn. He is now a target. Michael Rooker was targeted just because of one tweet Gunn made and he has left Twitter.
posted by LindsayIrene at 7:15 AM on July 23, 2018 [14 favorites]


Mediocre white guys can make progress in a shitty context (Like Disney, and the MCU before it got all cool and progressive (?) ). But remember how minorities and people of color have to try harder and be better to succeed? Well if you fire a white dude, you make room for minorities and people of color to have a shot. I think it's a good bet that some of these folks will be a better choice that were not previously considered because there was a mediocre white dude in the seat.

Yes, we do have to do something about the fascists (AND WE ARE). But we all also have to get better. Perhaps by not circling the wagons to protect our mediocre white dudes.
posted by kalessin at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


As you like it. I think the racist rapists outrage at those tweets is feigned and therefore a fabrication and don't really care if that somehow fails to do him credit.

I agree, but this is about failing to do credit to people who aren't racist rapists who are also outraged.
posted by Dysk at 7:28 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well if you fire a white dude, you make room for minorities and people of color to have a shot.

In an ideal situation, yeah. I have very little confidence Disney/Marvel will do such a thing; it assumes a lot of data not present.

Yes, we do have to do something about the fascists (AND WE ARE). But we all also have to get better. Perhaps by not circling the wagons to protect our mediocre white dudes.

Being concerned about how this emboldens Nazis is not the same as circling the wagons to protect white dudes. Being concerned with how a mediocre white dude, who has everything going for him, was taken down by other shitty white dudes arguing in bad faith is even more of a warning sign for anyone who is a minority that the companies do not and will not support us against Nazis.

They've fired white dudes over bad faith. They've fired white women over bad faith. They're doing jack shit about white dudes who do racist shit because the Nazis aren't making a stink.

What chance do we have when these bigoted chucklefucks decide to @ us?
posted by anem0ne at 7:30 AM on July 23, 2018 [20 favorites]


Maybe, just maybe, it was a bad idea to start pressuring employers into firing people in response to jokes made on social media. That was a bad tactic - yes, the leopard will eat your face too.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:32 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


I personally feel that we cannot respond, point by point, to the MAGA fascist assholes (for one thing it's what they want - for us to be mired in their definitions of the world). Instead we move forward and make progress with our own projects and ethics, and stop responding to their unholy conspiracist hallucinations, and instead do the work. Abolish ICE. Get our shit together with racism, sexism, ableism, saving the earth from rich people madness and exploitation and neglect, and the like. Figure out good ways to handle accusations of harassment and abuse that are procedural and just (start by believing accusers - who are still vastly underrepresented for reasons we've discussed already to oblivion).

Much like in The Last Jedi, we save ourselves by saving the people (and things and animals) that we love. Instead of by blowing up the death star.
posted by kalessin at 7:38 AM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile over on Fox, Family Guy has had an openly pedo character (Herbert) since day one with nary a peep from anyone.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:54 AM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


and stop responding to their unholy conspiracist hallucinations, and instead do the work.

so why should we give air to anything cernovich says? ever?
people like him created the mob to fire gunn and jessica price.
they're creating one right now for harmon, oswalt, and black.

and you can bet they're trying to find something for ryan coogler and ava duvernay and whoever else.

they're never going to argue in good faith and they sure as fucking hell don't give a shit about hypocrisy, so why should we pay heed to them at all, and why should we be beholden to the rules of a game that binds us hand and foot?
posted by anem0ne at 7:55 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


Much like the Operative in Serenity, sometimes for the greater good we might have to betray our principles.

Much like Aaron and Moses in Exodus, sometimes we might not see the promised land we're working for.
posted by anem0ne at 7:57 AM on July 23, 2018


they're never going to argue in good faith and they sure as fucking hell don't give a shit about hypocrisy, so why should we pay heed to them at all, and why should we be beholden to the rules of a game that binds us hand and foot?

Bingo, this has it.

They're never going to like you (the general you). They're never going to be fair. They're never going to shut up about this issue or that issue.

Stop giving them power by giving into their demands.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM on July 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


Patton Oswalt has defended Gunn. He is now a target. Dave Bautista has defended Gunn. He is now a target.

Maybe people don't need to defend Gunn? Especially since "He is a nice man who apologized" or "We've all made mistakes, so why should there be consequences for mistakes" (or similar) are really weak defenses.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:03 AM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


maybe people don't need to give cernovich any attention? especially since he's a rapist, especially since he sells snake oil, especially since he's a bigot, especially since he's an alt-right conspiracist, especially since he has never spoken in good faith.
posted by anem0ne at 8:06 AM on July 23, 2018 [10 favorites]


But defending Gunn doesn't mean you deserve to have an internet mob making false accusations against you. Also, keeping quiet is not a defense against the mob (just ask Michael Rooker).
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:09 AM on July 23, 2018 [10 favorites]


I agree that there are many shades of grey here, but I think that's what makes it hard to reckon with. Nothing really good happened here. At best someone who used to make the world a little coarser got some belated punishment. I'm not all that upset about it. He got to make 2 big budget movies before it caught up with him. He'll be okay. The world of cinema will be fine. But it isn't like the world is a hugely better place for it.

At the same time, Nazis figured out how to concern troll big enough and loud enough to get the attention of a multinational corporation. They are not going to stop who could arguably deserve to be knocked down a peg or two. That is not something that is going to end well.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:18 AM on July 23, 2018 [10 favorites]


maybe people don't need to give cernovich any attention?

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I feel like the people giving cernovich unwarranted attention are the people who respond to the news that Gunn got fired for saying crappy toxic things with "But that's bad because cernovich is the guy who pointed them out!"
posted by straight at 8:21 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's perfectly fine to defend Gunn, as it would be to defend anyone in this situation, while realizing there are aspects to it that certainly the justify the firing.

Unless something comes to light indicating that Gunn has behaved in a manner similar to those tweets, it would be nice if the world would allow him to have a second chance, at some point. That doesn't mean Marvel, or any major studio, should hire him , but if this just horrible non-funny jokes, then eventually we should say "that was fucked up, don't do anything remotely like it again, let move on".

Otherwise, the mob will be embolden even more.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:22 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Michael Rooker was targeted just because of one tweet Gunn made and he has left Twitter.

smart guy. It's an inherently flawed and broken technology as far as I can see. Whatever positives it may offer, it seems incapable of landing as anything but a net negative. I'm sure the ghost of Marshal McLuhan would have something relevant to say as to why, but the evidence of FAIL remains overwhelming, and the more smart and well-intentioned people that just walk away (I don't care what their surface politics may be) the better the world. Remove the private ownership aspect, the f***ing shareholders, turn it into a regulated utility of some sort and maybe we'd have something worthwhile, but as is, f*** it.

Maybe seven years ago, somebody a couple decades younger than me said I really should join Twitter for various reasons. Which I did. But then, as with many amazing new interwebby things, I just never got around to putting in the time to figure out how to make it work for me (ie: expand my "platform") as opposed to work against me (ie: suck my time). Anyway, now I look back and shudder and just thank f***ing God I didn't put in that time. On a personal level, I've seen at least one life and career more or less ruined by its messed up dynamics and all manner of lives sullied by it (and here I'm not just talking of victims of mob actions; in fact, it's mostly the opposite, otherwise smart, decent folk who've been sucked into the mobs and now seem incapable of having the humility to admit their culpability, including the person who first suggested I join).

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. History will come to think of Twitter as a cultural disaster, one of humankind's great f***ups. Certainly as it certainly manifests.
posted by philip-random at 8:24 AM on July 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


[Cernovich] thinks (or claims to think)
I wish there was a one word verb for “claims to hold an opinion for blatantly bad faith reasons”.


"Cernovich ostensibly thinks"

Works as a prelude and a complete sentence.

I suppose we could also define this as "to cern". Short for cernovich, or half-assed ostensible concern.
posted by wildblueyonder at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


They're never going to like you (the general you). They're never going to be fair. They're never going to shut up about this issue or that issue.

This be about Cernovich. He may have brought it up, sure, but Gunn's statements hang him on their own. We can disavow Cernovich and still take Gunn to task. Reflexively refusing to hold Gunn responsible for his words and actions just because Cernovich is being a hypocrite about them is giving him too much power in an inverse way.
posted by Dysk at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


But it isn't like the world is a hugely better place for it.

Seems possible some people will see this and realize that crap isn't acceptable and at least keep it to themselves if they can't adopt the perspective of those of us who don't find it amusing.
posted by straight at 8:26 AM on July 23, 2018


I think that making a deal with a former Troma personality, you kinda get what you pay for. If gross things he said in the past disqualify him, that's how it goes. If I were him, I'd be suing the shit out of Cernovich for implying that he actually perpetrated any gross behaviors of any kind, but you kind of just have to take your medicine when you make jokes like that.

I think that cernovich is being disingenuous, hypocritical, and a an obnoxious ratfucker. I also think that the left has settled on what is morally ok and what isn't, and this stuff falls firmly in the not ok category. I think that teaching people that there are plenty of ways to be funny without doing this crap is a net positive. And this will teach people who be less gross. Not to give Cernovich credit for that in any way.

All that said, leave Lloyd Kaufmann the fuck alone.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


I understand the logic in the concern that this enables Cernovich and co to repeat the process for any left-ish figure they dislike. But I feel it's missing a few key pieces. Namely, Disney (while obviously not behaving in the best faith) wasn't operating by a principle that the alt-right's directives should always be followed, and I don't except them to in the future. They were responding to some garbage that unambiguously existed.

So, does anyone that the alt-right would love to hurt have equivalent shitty skeletons in their closets? That's basically what right-wingers love to say is the case -- the whole defense/celebration of Trump is "He just says what everyone is thinking!" But I disagree. Other people simply aren't going to be as ratfuckable. Just like how, after the exposure of Al Franken with some small role plays by Roger Stone, Republicans couldn't then get all the other Democratic senators to resign by exposing their gropiness, because there aren't that many gropey senators.

I also can't get behind the idea that there must always be a pathway, a sufficient combination of actions and apologies, for someone to hold onto their extremely high-prestige job. Especially not a white male someone who did, indeed, screw up in the past. I don't think it's even a "punishment" for this to happen; Gunn isn't about to lose his health insurance or a roof over his head, right? (If he were just as rich but a minority, I'd be slightly more concerned because of the larger cultural fallout for minorities collectively. But this firing is not going to have the slightest impact on white men as a class.)

Directing blockbuster movies is like operating a casino; you may have needed a commendable amount high ability and hard work to reach that level, but after a certain point it was sheer luck, and a huge amount of your subsequent cashflow is a basic result of high public demand for something with limited supply (the MCU films are "obligatory viewing" for millions). It's a license to print money, and there's no series of actions available to you or me or her or him that ensures acquiring that role, so I don't see why it should be difficult to lose it. If you lose that casino license by sneezing funny once, I won't feel bad for you (assuming you aren't now a target of the mafia or something).

Finally... from what I can see, Gunn has responded in exactly the way I would hope for, which is gracefully. (Possibly more than I would if I were in his shoes.) That his life in movies is a privilege isn't just an Oscar-speech cliche, it's an objective fact. He had a nice day in the sun, he'll keep getting to direct movies. He'll be fine.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:53 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Seems possible some people will see this and realize that crap isn't acceptable and at least keep it to themselves if they can't adopt the perspective of those of us who don't find it amusing.

Seems more likely that a lot of people will see this and realize that being outspoken against trump and his enablers is too dangerous when right wing conspiracy-mongers can just sick their legions of basement-dwelling Nazis and paid Russian trolls on you to dredge up every stupid, insensitive joke you might have made on the internet a decade ago and then cynically manipulate the levers of the internet outrage machine to get you fired (or worse) — all with the enthusiastic approval of your fellow woke liberals.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:05 AM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


And the internet will remember you as a pedophile even if you aren't one and people close to you will be remembered as pedophiles and pedo-enablers. Cernovitch knows exactly what he's doing. He knows the power of the word 'pedophile' and he's weaponizing it.
posted by LindsayIrene at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


I understand the logic in the concern that this enables Cernovich and co to repeat the process for any left-ish figure they dislike. But I feel it's missing a few key pieces. Namely, Disney (while obviously not behaving in the best faith) wasn't operating by a principle that the alt-right's directives should always be followed, and I don't except them to in the future. They were responding to some garbage that unambiguously existed.

So why are they still working with Johnny Depp? Why are they still doing racist shit against Asians?

Right now, what it looks like to me, is that Disney listens to Nazis. Disney does not listen to women, and it does not listen to racial minorities.
posted by anem0ne at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2018 [16 favorites]


Could people quit it with the whataboutism?
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:14 AM on July 23, 2018


pointing out that for once white people are the canaries in the coal mines and marginalized folk are probably next on these nazi's target list is not what i'd consider whataboutism.
posted by anem0ne at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


like.

whataboutism is, in my eyes, quite a bit about bad faith argumentation. i'm not arguing that any of you who are in favor of gunn's firing are doing it hypocritically, and pointing out that you're not in favor of x which then makes your support of this bad and wrong.

i'm arguing that disney and other companies that claim to be progressive aren't proving me wrong in that the only thing that gets their attention is nazi bad faith. and that alone is intensely worrisome to me, because at this point we know that social media is skewed in favor of those bigots, and they're using it as a million megaphones.

if you think i'm arguing this in bad faith, then i really can't say much about that.
posted by anem0ne at 9:29 AM on July 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


which. speaking of, to remove at least a source of ammunition for those fucking bigots, here's a script to delete your history of tweets.

yes, it's fucked up you're silencing yourself.
yes, it's fucked up you're trying to memory hole this shit.
yes, it's fucked up you're pretty much a target for just existing to these bigots.
yes, it's fucked up you're ceding twitter to them.

free speech does not exist for us.
posted by anem0ne at 9:33 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


i'm arguing that disney and other companies that claim to be progressive aren't proving me wrong in that the only thing that gets their attention is nazi bad faith.

John Lasseter wasn't shuffled off stage by nazi bad faith. And he was way higher up in Disney than Gunn.
posted by straight at 9:43 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Lasseter's still on the payroll, according to Wikipedia:
On November 21, 2017, Lasseter announced that he was taking a six-month leave of absence after acknowledging allegations of workplace sexual harassment and assault that he described as "missteps" with employees in a memo to staff [...] On June 8, 2018, Disney announced that Lasseter would be leaving the company by the end of the year, but would take on a consulting role until then.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I have no idea what, if anything, drives Disney's firing decisions, but it's neither as simple as "They actually screwed up" (or Depp would be out) nor "online Nazis made a fuss" (or various other people probably would be out). I'm sure ~branding~ is a big part of it... few people went to a film specifically because of Lasseter or Gunn's names, whereas Depp is still a "bankable star".

But I'm not super interested in the simple existence of even-worse people with an even-stronger hold on their job. It makes me feel like I do after reading "Democrat X can't go until Republican Y goes first". Holding to that principle means accountability never happens, at least not until la Révolution causes the needed reforms to the system as a whole.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:54 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Fuck James Gunn. He got what he deserved for so many reasons. Whether he's apologized sincerely or not, the space he was taking up is now (hopefully) open to better voices. Which is a super low bar, considering all you have to do is not make jokes about molesting kids. Specifically, it would be great to see a WoC at the helm, as others in this thread have said.

I see so many people in so many places online asking shades of "he said he was sorry, it was a long time ago, it's not fair to end someone's CAREER over a joke, what could possibly redeem him?" I just don't understand how that can be asked in a sincere way. Sometimes in life, you make a mistake and do something you regret. It doesn't necessarily make you a bad person, some cases excepted. You will probably express regret for your actions. But that doesn't mean there aren't consequences you still have to face. Even permanent ones.

If a guy cheats on their SO years ago, and the person they cheating with tells the SO out of spite and gives evidence, the SO is perfectly within their right to cut that guy out of their lives entirely. No take backsies. Importantly, it doesn't mean that the SO and the cheating partner are best friends now and skip off into the sunset together. Indeed, the SO probably hates that person just as much.

Next, Fuck Disney for hiring him in the first place, for their continued inaction re: the other horrible people on their payroll, and for listening to operatives of the alt-right in the first place. Firing James Gunn was unambiguously the right move, based on not just the content but the VOLUME of terrible shit he said. This said, they deserve no cookie for doing it under pressure from concern trolling racists. Even though it lead to a favorable outcome, I'm sure Cernovich and his goons weren't the first to point these facts out. Why are they listening now? The message that will come across is that Disney heeds the call of Nazis. Disney is not your progressive friend.

Lastly, Fuck to the nth degree actual rapist and sexist rapist Mike Cernovich. He does not get "CREDIBILITY" for pointing out an objective fact. He is not redeemed in the eyes of anyone possessing even the barest minimum of moral consciousness, and we all see this for exactly what it is. For my own mental health, I'm not going to sit here and enumerate the vile, destructive thoughts and actions that this man has directly or indirectly introduced to the world. If there is any justice left in this world, (currently up in the air, but okay) he will get what he deserves too and it should be a hundredfold the consequences James Gunn faces.

Lastly, I'm so sick and tired of hearing all of these "point of order" objections about the possibility of precedents being set when it comes to how we respond to evidence of real wrongdoing. I saw this happening with the Al Franken situation previously and I was just as disgusted by it then. It's a higher and more refined form of whataboutism, but it distills to whataboutism nonetheless. It's beneath us. We're all reasonably intelligent people here, I get it. We have philosophers' hearts. They go low, we go high. Unlike those whose entire raison detre is bound up in narrow conservatism, we try to see all the facets of a situation, and watch out for gray areas and slippery slopes that could be weaponized and lead to innocent people being hurt. And we should! But not about things like this.

James Gunn faced the consequences of actions he actually factually committed. So when Cernovich tries this again on someone who's not actually horrible, guess what? The people with two brain cells to rub together should rush to that person's defense! It's not at all the same thing!

I'm not naive. I know there are too many horrible people out there who will attack and defame and try to ruin the lives of innocent, marginalized people under the aegis of similar concern trolling. The thing people don't seem to wrap their heads around fully is that this is just the reality of the political moment we are in. These trolls are coming for these people regardless because they have nothing but malice in their hearts and they hate them for just existing. If it wasn't through concern trolling, believe me, they'd find another just as expedient way.

So while we sit here, debating the merits of possibly saving a mediocre, rich, white, male Hollywood director who has said- I can't stress this enough- AWFUL things that we should be past making jokes about as a society, because it signals to evil assholes that they can target other people through the same means, I swear it's already in their playbook with a whole host of other dirty tricks that we have and have not yet seen. They're already moving on to the next way to ruin someone's life, because it is in their nature. We don't have to thank the alt-right for pointing out how horrible James Gunn is. Fuck their entire existence. But we do need to respond to legitimate evidence of unacceptable behavior because our society is in upheaval and when the dust settles, I hope to God we've managed to burn out the "squeaky steps" that we would have ignored ten years ago. It's no longer prudent to let abusers, sexists, racists, fascists, homophobes, and their ilk continue to maintain their positions of power because there are people out there doing WORSE things. They've all got to go now or our window closes until the next period of unrest.
posted by Krazor at 9:54 AM on July 23, 2018 [24 favorites]


And I think that's where we differ. I agree with almost everything you say, Krazor, but my conclusions of all of this lead me to jettison the "we go high" aspect because this is an argument we will lose every single time.

The reality of the political moment we live in, to me, means that there's no time for things like honor, and ethics, and goodness, just violence and survival. They will find another expedient way because their goal is to exterminate every last one of us, and maybe it's time we stopped trying to always hold on to what we've always considered "ideal".

I fully admit that it's horrifying. I also fully admit that all the redlines I had set up long ago are long crossed, and at this point it's just senseless mayhem.

I fully admit that I will never, ever, ever see anything resembling the promised land, and that I believe that the internet and everything it's entwined itself with has been poisoned as thoroughly as the soil of Pripyat.
posted by anem0ne at 10:11 AM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


someone who's not actually horrible

good thing all us wise right-minded people can agree on what 'horrible' is
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2018 [10 favorites]


Maybe people don't need to defend Gunn? Especially since "He is a nice man who apologized" or "We've all made mistakes, so why should there be consequences for mistakes" (or similar) are really weak defenses.

I mean, the next logical step is we may as well develop a system akin to China's Social Credit System. Harvest all online data, triangulate every user, and hold every utterance they've ever expressed under strict scrutiny. No do overs, no give backs, and moving forward, aware of whatever consequences shall follow.

I think there's gotta be a middle ground. I can't imagine an apology and curbing said offensive behavior isn't already enough? What kind of compromise is available?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


Which is a super low bar, considering all you have to do is not make jokes about molesting kids.

It's not even that he can't make jokes about molesting kids in private to a group of his close friends or by text message to friends who trust him not to be a pedophile. It's just that he can't yell them out to the entire internet.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


I agree with firing James Gunn, because I think this is true:

we do need to respond to legitimate evidence of unacceptable behavior because our society is in upheaval and when the dust settles, I hope to God we've managed to burn out the "squeaky steps" that we would have ignored ten years ago.

I think that's true, but not because of abstract principles. I think it's true because working with people like that is demoralizing. It pushes women, POC, etc. out of the equation because being around shitty white dudes is fucking tiring, and a lot of us just opt out.

So I really have no personal wish to defend him.

However, a couple things:

We have philosophers' hearts. They go low, we go high. Unlike those whose entire raison detre is bound up in narrow conservatism, we try to see all the facets of a situation, and watch out for gray areas and slippery slopes that could be weaponized and lead to innocent people being hurt. And we should! But not about things like this.

We don't have 'philosopher's hearts.' We're human. We're fallible. Going through the motions of due process may seem like a slog, but it exists to protect us from being led astray by our emotional reactions. We shouldn't take shortcuts because we know we're just - that's what the other guys do.

So generally, I'm against Twitter based insta-firings no matter how justified they look after two seconds of Googling because as far as I'm concerned, that's what 'going low' looks like. Indeed, my own knee-jerk reaction to toss a shitty sounding white guy under the bus is part of why I'd prefer this went through some kind of proper channel, because I realize that I, myself, am biased and might be inclined to discard elements of this narrative that might indicate Gunn had improved.

Basically, I think everybody's job deserves to be anchored by more than Twitter likes because under the right circumstances, I think most of us could be part of an angry mob.

The thing people don't seem to wrap their heads around fully is that this is just the reality of the political moment we are in. These trolls are coming for these people regardless because they have nothing but malice in their hearts and they hate them for just existing. If it wasn't through concern trolling, believe me, they'd find another just as expedient way.

I don't think this is helpful. The things you're saying aren't 'the reality of the political moment we're in,' they're something that is literally always with us, that we have to push back against at all times or it metastasizes. Before the Internet, they were the KKK. The Nazis. All sorts of groups in history. Each time, they just took more and more until we took it back from them, at which point they slunk back into the shadows and worked on their next big awful thing until they were ready for another round.

We can't ever just get rid of the whole lot of them, but we have to deny them a platform, deny them eyeballs, deny them anything they want without fail because when we take a breath, they take another inch.

So while I'm fine with Gunn being fired, the part I have a problem with is Mike 'Pizzagate' Cernovich not being the very next target, and what I really want to be talking about now is how to get rid of fucking Twitter entirely.
posted by mordax at 10:38 AM on July 23, 2018 [13 favorites]


I had PoC friends who went on to work in film/theater and if you think they didn't make vile problematic jokes when they were edgy young people, hah. This fired-by-fake-outrage shit is not going to stop at purging the white dudes.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


I had PoC friends who went on to work in film/theater and if you think they didn't make vile problematic jokes when they were edgy young people, hah. This fired-by-fake-outrage shit is not going to stop at purging the white dudes.

I quite remember doing this myself when I was a young lad who believed wholeheartedly in "free speech" and had done very little interrogation of any of those bedrock principles I thought I believed in.

I've grown a little since then and changed quite a bit.
posted by anem0ne at 10:46 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


so why should we give air to anything cernovich says? ever?
people like him created the mob to fire gunn and jessica price.
they're creating one right now for harmon, oswalt, and black.


Hoo-boy.

Indiewire, today: Dan Harmon Deletes Twitter Account After His 2009 Video Featuring Baby Doll Rape Resurfaces

The video, which you probably don't want to watch. It's gross. MAGA-types doing their thing in the comments.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:52 AM on July 23, 2018


Thanks to everyone for the links to documentation and such. Sigh. Forwarded to friends who I hope will consider that Cernovich is a dangerous asshole AND Gunn is toxic and these are not mutually exclusive points.
posted by desuetude at 11:05 AM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Whataboutism is just so harmful, derailing, and crippling. Yes. The Angry Mob could come after any of us. Before I became an activist, and arguably in the early years of that, I said and did some pretty avoidable, shitty shit. Like everyone else in the world, I have a history of doing things, sometimes, not out of nobility and the long view, but out of panic, unexamined privilege, fear, naïveté, and any number of awkward, geeky isms. Until my 20s and 30s, despite being half Chinese, I thought of myself as basically white, and I acted accordingly. I also have a bad breakup in my past, with a woman who, while embezzling my money and our friends' money, also made time to accuse me of beating her and of emotionally abusing her (the latter which she, ironically, did to me). We almost all have narcissists and abusers in our history. None of us can cast the first stone. If we're afraid of the Angry Mob.

But as I got older, I became more concerned about the people I love and care for than my own skin in this contest. When my end comes, I want to be remembered for standing up and being counted. For having developed a fair, just, and consistent ethics. For having written and spoken about it in the face of adversity. For being a good accomplice to other minorities. For doing good things. If the Angry Mob comes for me, I'd rather stand in front of it alone and make my apologies and amends as I'm able and let my loved ones beat a retreat so they can fortify their own positions.

Letting the Angry Mob define my ethics? Letting the possibility that bad actors will engineer my history so that the Angry Mob will come after me influence my ethics and morals? Never. Not once. Not since I found my footing.
posted by kalessin at 11:09 AM on July 23, 2018 [11 favorites]


Rick and Morty was literally a child rape cartoon by Justin Roiland that "aired" on Dan Harmon's five minute pilot live show. Anyone pretending to be shocked about Harmon having this kind of video and tweets this is acting in bad faith.
posted by Yowser at 11:11 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


What is the appropriate statute of limitations for "being an unfunny gross douchebag"? What penitence is sufficient to atone for it?

if you have time to answer some melodramatic leading questions as well as asking them, I have one of my own: What consequences, natural or externally imposed, however you see it -- informal, social, employment-related, or otherwise -- are appropriate for someone like this? Any at all besides "none whatsoever"?

I do appreciate the transparency of the language here, because if making up for rape jokes is about "penitence" and "atonement" and apologizing for being "gross" then this is just a bunch of prudish religious-based nonsense, and women and other sensitive types need a better sense of humor because we've all made a few of those in our younger days, haven't we. (in fact not all of us have.)

"unfunny" doesn't get you fired. "gross" generally, in most cases, shouldn't get you fired. Not by itself. that's not what non-right-wing people object to in his past comment history, as I'm sure everyone is aware, regardless of the misleading language they choose to use to characterize the problem.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:13 AM on July 23, 2018 [11 favorites]


Rick and Morty was literally a child rape cartoon by Justin Roiland that "aired" on Dan Harmon's five minute pilot live show. Anyone pretending to be shocked about Harmon having this kind of video and tweets this is acting in bad faith.

Indeed, anyone so pretending would be -- by definition. Some viewers (most viewers?) may not know that. I didn't. How many Simpsons fans know the cartoon originated on The Tracy Ullman Show?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:16 AM on July 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


I don't care about Gunn but he shouldn't have been fired. And the troll who arranged it shouldn't have been rewarded.
People need to get the fuck over these things and stop with the platitudes about how people's past minor ( not major ) offenses need to be punished today. It plays into the hands of the people who want to take this country backwards, and it's a self sabotaging strategy for moving forward.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:05 PM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


if you have time to answer some melodramatic leading questions as well as asking them, I have one of my own: What consequences, natural or externally imposed, however you see it -- informal, social, employment-related, or otherwise -- are appropriate for someone like this? Any at all besides "none whatsoever"?

Hey, not to get too much in the way of your uncharitable readings of me, but I actually think it would've been absolutely appropriate for him to get fired for what he was working on in 2012, and for him to get publicly called out and forced to apologize (maybe even take some sensitivity training) if he wanted to work again. James Gunn spent his pre-GotG career bouncing back and forth between shock-jock shlock (e.g. Troma) and basically family-friendly fare, and I think it's really pretty weird and messed up for him to have gone on Twitter in shock-jock persona (and yes, I think there was a performative element here: a bunch of his tweets are RTs/banter with Lloyd Kaufman, and they just generally feel like "trying hard to be shocking"), and he should've been called on it long before now.

But this is not (as far as I know, and do correct me if I'm wrong) a situation where he got called out on shitty behavior and other people came out of the woodwork to reinforce it by adding accusations that he's been awful to them as well. Contrary to Mike Cernovich's implications that Gunn is an actual pedophile, the sum total of all of Gunn's wrongdoing seems to be those tweets that have been out there in public for six+ years. Who are we, now, today, protecting by going after Gunn? Those tweets would have remained buried (or been quietly deleted) had Cernovich not dug them up. Whatever damage they did at the time, was done. There's been no accusations that he's shitty to work with nowadays. Indeed, the people who actually work with him seem to all seem to support him.

women and other sensitive types need a better sense of humor because we've all made a few of those in our younger days, haven't we. (in fact not all of us have.)

You're reading a lot of stuff into my post that is not actually in my post. But the "in fact not all of us have" here in particular misses the point by a wide margin. You won't get to decide whether you've "made a few of those [fireable offenses]". Jessica Price did not tell rape jokes, she told a mansplainer to take a hike and got fired for it. Currently the decision of whether or not what you've done is worth your job is a decision jointly made by a mob of angry white dudes on the internet and some rich white business execs trying to cover their asses. If you think all you have to do to be safe from that is to simply not be a shitty white dude, you are seriously misreading the situation.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2018 [13 favorites]


I don't care about Gunn but he shouldn't have been fired.

Arguably it makes Gunn a pretty poor choice to helm a family oriented franchise given that he was still at it pretty recently. It shouldn't make him unemployable on other projects. This was a risk-management decision made to protect a brand and it should be seen that way.

And the troll who arranged it shouldn't have been rewarded.

If Disney did anything right in what would be a pretty unremarkable knee-jerk HR decision in some less interesting corporate context, it was moving swiftly enough that Cernovich couldn't make much hay out of it.

And in the end if the consensus is that Gunn got a raw deal because 2012 is long enough ago and Disney feels like they won't suffer for it, they could just bring him back on. To Guardians, or some other project.

Hopefully the attempt to run the same game on Harmon won't work because whatever you think of it Rick and Morty isn't supposed to be family-friendly fare.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:19 PM on July 23, 2018


My feelings about this are all over the map, and frankly I can't imagine anything else.

-- He made a fuck ton of child molestation joke in a public space. And really awful jokes. Just shitty, nasty sub-chan stuff, and that's the sort of thing that general gets people fired if they're not a white dude that everyone is invested in supporting because he has a modicum of talent.
-- He was targeted by an absolute monster. I fully reckon Cernovich is going to do time at some point, or get offed by one of his friends like George Lincoln Rockwell, because that's the sort of world he inhabits. That's shitty and Cernovich should not have a platform.
-- He didn't delete the tweets, which is incomprehensible to me. How confident was he that you can make, like, 1000 child molestation jokes and they will never hurt you? I go back and delete stuff on twitter all the time because I have learned a little more about the world and don't need thoughtless stuff I said just hanging around where it could hurt someone or backfire on me. I thought it was general policy now to go through and scrub your tweets when you become famous, because they will always be trolled by people looking for stuff in your past to hurt you. Seriously, every time there is a new cast member on SNL, somebody reports that 2,500 of their old tweets just immediately vanished.
-- Disney is being hypocritical about this and they always have been and always will be.
-- Gunn isn't owed this job, he did some good things with it and also shitty things like take credit for Nicole Perlman's work.
-- I'm not crazy about the "He was with Troma that's just how things are" defense. I have some experience with Troma -- I was in the first stage adaptation of Toxic Avenger, and was deeply uncomfortable with the material's use of sexual violence as a comic device. There are plenty of criticisms that can be leveled against Troma, which is a place I know people have some affection for but honestly their output was often really awful.
-- I don't really like that the right wing has weaponized using twitter to cost people their jobs, but, then, I do like that the left has weaponized using twitter to cost racists their jobs, and that's just the world of twitter now, I guess. We have to look at it on a case-by-case basis. Did Jessica Price deserve to get fired? I think not. Did Gunn deserve to get fired? I mean, maybe? That was a lot of child molestation jokes, and it is actually entirely credible to think that nobody at Disney said, I know he's made some off-color jokes, but we'd better do a search in case he's made, like, a thousand explicit child molestation jokes. Because who assumes that? Who has made those sorts of jokes, and so many?
-- Mind your Twitter accounts, for fuck's sake. If you've grown up a little, delete the posts and put an apology up for what you said in the past if it was really horrible. I've been deleting ableist language, because I was using some of it without realizing, and I don't need disabled people to stumble on me being shitty in the past when those tweets serve no historic function, they just have no real value except as a possible little land mine of shittiness lurking in my past.
posted by maxsparber at 12:27 PM on July 23, 2018 [34 favorites]


They will find another expedient way because their goal is to exterminate every last one of us, and maybe it's time we stopped trying to always hold on to what we've always considered "ideal".

James Gunn is not "one of us." He might be one of you, but edgelord dudes who joke about pedophilia are unwelcome in my circle. He has not been "exterminated." He was fired.
posted by Stonkle at 12:42 PM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Of course, you have no idea who in your circle has a history of making edgelord jokes that they've since grown out of. Diligence in curating your old posts on a terrible garbage website that most people understandably considered a platform for meaningless ephemera back in 2009 makes for a shitty moral litmus test.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:55 PM on July 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


shitty moral litmus test

What, then, would be an unshitty moral litmus test? I just feel like appointing oneself the arbiter of appropriate moral litmus tests is gonna put everyone in the wrong position for going forward and making any progress at all.
posted by kalessin at 1:01 PM on July 23, 2018


Support for Gunn from a perhaps surprising direction.

Brianna Wu on Twitter:

"Count me in as supporting @JamesGunn too.

I reject a culture that decides you’re only as good as your worst moment. It’s not a standard I would fare well in. You probably wouldn’t either.
"
posted by Major Clanger at 1:05 PM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


You're clearly not in touch with internet culture if you think Brianna Wu coming out against Cernovich is a surprising twist.
posted by Yowser at 1:06 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


James Gunn is not "one of us." He might be one of you, but edgelord dudes who joke about pedophilia are unwelcome in my circle. He has not been "exterminated." He was fired.

i realize that the way i phrased that sentence had a very ambiguous antecedent, but if you look at the context of my previous posts...

you know, fuck that. if you're gonna read my shit in bad faith i ain't got time for it.

feel free to think that i think i'm one and the same as james gunn. maybe getting the pay of a cis straight white dude might make not being one bearable.
posted by anem0ne at 1:08 PM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


What, then, would be an unshitty moral litmus test? I just feel like appointing oneself the arbiter of appropriate moral litmus tests is gonna put everyone in the wrong position for going forward and making any progress at all.

I don't know, perhaps a frank understanding that people are flawed yet reasonable, that they can adapt and make willing change? Somewhere that doesn't strike an immediate, austere binary of permanent in-group and out-group membership? Somewhere between "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone" and "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good"?

I feel we as a culture are an amorphous blob bobbing along with time. We should seek to unify, not outcast.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:08 PM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


Yes, but I am in touch enough with internet culture to think that Wu does not adhere to simplistic models such as 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'. Her reasons, even briefly expressed, seem more nuanced than that.
posted by Major Clanger at 1:08 PM on July 23, 2018


James Gunn was fired, but that's not the end of this. It's being rolled into #pizzagate, which has expanded into #pedogate. I mentioned Michael Rooker leaving Twitter. Now there are tweets on the #pedogate tag that are 'just asking questions' about Rooker's motivation for nuking his account.

It's not enough for you to behave. You have to hope the people in your social network behave, too.
posted by LindsayIrene at 1:10 PM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


She is, of course, coming at the vaguely defensible take from the worst possible direction - of "Oh this isn't so bad, who amongst us after all" with no recognition of the avenue or motivation of the attack - but then she wouldn't be Brianna Wu if she didn't find a way to be wrong while being right.
posted by kafziel at 1:11 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Coming at my earlier point from a different angle, there's the basic question of whether or not he should have been fired, and then the larger question of where he is One of the Bad Ones Who Is Canceled. I might be only one saying yes, he should be fired, and also, he's a basically decent person who has made amends, going by the accounts of others in his life? But regardless, they're separate issues. Conflating them leads to people arguing against the firing on the basis of simple human mercy and There But For The Grace Go I. Whereas I'm like: it's a bad mark on his resume so he doesn't get the job, call in the next applicant, and I hope he lives long and prospers, as I do for most humans.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:15 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


We should seek to unify, not outcast.

Which is a great guideline until one is faced with abusers, assaulters, and harassers, until one wants to have standards about how one is treated, until one wants to have boundaries. This is an age-old tone-policing argument. And for sure it has its appeal. It would be great if we could all get along. But the reality is that we don't, and often victims become victims twice over because they're victims once because of the original harm, and victims again because we ask them to accept their abusers into the community.

I personally think that demanding that we all get along is not the best call. Not until we figure out how to protect victims from our impulse to try to accept everyone.
posted by kalessin at 1:21 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I mean, I suppose I've only seen a couple of his movies, but it seemed to me last year that Gunn was making an effort to be better.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2018


Whataboutism is the Bush v. Gore of arguments. "Nothing about this discussion should be construed to have any precedent or influence on any other discussion."
posted by Guy Smiley at 1:49 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Which is a great guideline until one is faced with abusers, assaulters, and harassers, until one wants to have standards about how one is treated, until one wants to have boundaries. This is an age-old tone-policing argument. And for sure it has its appeal. It would be great if we could all get along. But the reality is that we don't, and often victims become victims twice over because they're victims once because of the original harm, and victims again because we ask them to accept their abusers into the community.

I mean, that's kind of my point. James Gunn is now among the "abusers, assaulters, and harassers" who people are happy to see out of work. It's the same Sex Offender Registry that recognizes the 18 year-old who slept with a sophomore and a serial abuser of minors as equals. It's imperfect, but it's what we've got to work with.

Personally, I've made some tasteless, edgy jokes during stand up, and even though I've long since distanced myself from the material, it makes me anxious to feel like an old recording of me shootin from the hip to make people laugh on stage could come back to haunt me, in particular with what our evolving culture continues to evaluate what constitutes as "objectionable," and to what punitive measure.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:57 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Of course, you have no idea who in your circle has a history of making edgelord jokes that they've since grown out of.

"Grown out of." Ha. The guy was in his 40s.

Look, I don't know James Gunn. Perhaps he has learned to be a kinder person. But I am unsettled by the minimizing going on in this thread and elsewhere. I don't know if it's tribalism or the missing stair phenomenom or what. Why is abhorrent behaviour OK if it's coming from someone who makes funny movies and dislikes Trump? Why is he automatically one of "us" (assuming "us" is the left) and therefore worthy of defending?
posted by Stonkle at 2:00 PM on July 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like people are overlooking that 2012 is when he started working on Guardians. It may be a while now, but they are not two widely separated creative phases.

I don't think he's getting the full pariah treatment. He's been taken off one very high-profile franchise, to cut the legs out from under a horse that Cernovich was almost certainly hoping to flog way past death.

Maybe this is the moment that we start to figure out how to respond to these incidents with some nuance.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:09 PM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Why is abhorrent behaviour OK if it's coming from someone who makes funny movies and dislikes Trump? Why is he automatically one of "us" (assuming "us" is the left) and therefore worthy of defending?

Because he apologized AND makes funny movies AND dislikes Trump. He's fair from perfect, obviously, but until I hear reports of him doing worst than this I'm inclined to say "that was fucked up, don't do it, lets move on," (realizing my opinion doesn't matter much to him or Disney).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:14 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don't know James Gunn either. I don't know if he's a kinder person now, but the people defending him certainly seem to think so.

But I am unsettled by how rigid the "good/bad" dividing line seems to be in this thread and elsewhere.

I am a minority multiple times over, with at least one of them already viewed... unfavorably... by people like Mike Cernovich and often completely misunderstood by people who are good "liberals". I also know that in my youth I've said a lot of things for various reasons, which include:
  • wanting to fit in because, well, who doesn't, and as someone who's coded as foreign by my face I might have been so desperate to fit in I was willing to be self-deprecating without yet learning what Hannah Gadsby so elegantly summed up
  • completely and whole-heartedly believing in free speech as a goal in and of itself because that mindset was inculcated in you by everything you've seen
  • being completely blind to what privileges you had because you were raised as a straight christian male in a conservative straight christian culture
  • having no understanding as to what being queer actually means to you because there's been no representation so your first few forays are embarrassingly shameful
And those are just three shitty reasons off the top of my head about things I've probably done and said in the past.

If you go back through my posting history on this very site, going through my old handle, I'm sure you could dig up some pretty dumb shit I've said. Does that make me suddenly persona non-grata?

Maybe it does.

Because the way it feels to me is that if this shit can happen to a shitty white dude who has everything at his back, it means that I have zero backup if I find myself offered up as a sacrifice. It means that I know I cannot count on anyone when the cybernazis come for me. And it underscores to me that if those nazis continue to extend their reach into the real world like they already have, people will definitely look for reasons to say I deserved it somehow if they're able to dig up some old shit that's indefensible.

But yeah. Sure. Go ahead and group me in with edgelord dudes who think pedophilia jokes are okay just because I'm seeing a completely different canary in a coal mine and freaking the fuck out.

I understand wholly. People like me who've made mistakes and maybe changed and grown have no allies when the Eye of Sauron bears down on us. And existing already as someone incorrectly American/female/whatever means that I'm already running full speed away from its gaze.
posted by anem0ne at 2:16 PM on July 23, 2018 [25 favorites]


I think there's gotta be a middle ground. I can't imagine an apology and curbing said offensive behavior isn't already enough? What kind of compromise is available?

For me, I imagine a spectrum. On one side, nothing happens to Gunn- he keeps making GotG films and his career keeps moving forward the same as if he had never made any of those jokes on Twitter. On the other side, he loses his career and everyone remembers him as an actual pedophile and a rape apologist. I think what's happening right now *is* a compromise between those two extremes- he's lost a job, but I really don't think this will sink his career. I mean, Woody Allen's still making films. R. Kelly's still making music.

For me, an apology and the curbing of said offensive behavior are necessary but not sufficient for a critical mass of people to move past the volume of horrible jokes he tweeted out. What's missing from the equation is 1) some amount of consequences, which losing a job would count as, and 2) something beyond an apology to help scrub all those tweets from people's memories. From the way he phrased his apology, it seems like he's making it clear that he feels okay with accepting getting fired as a consequence for his previous behavior, and if he's a decent guy like all his defenders feel he is, I don't think it will be too difficult for him to do some good stuff that will overshadow the large number of awful tweets that people currently associate with his name.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2018 [8 favorites]


four, not three.

apparently i can't fucking count anymore.
posted by anem0ne at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2018


apparently i can't fucking count anymore.

FOUR! FOUR SHITTY REASONS! AH AH AH! /count
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:26 PM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


something beyond an apology to help scrub all those tweets from people's memories

There is a reason that 12-step programs focus not only on apologies, but on truly making amends.
posted by kalessin at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Because he apologized AND makes funny movies AND dislikes Trump.

Yikes, this really feels like privilege in action. People can do shitty stuff but if we like them it's okay? It's not ok to me, and a lot of non pizza gate people, too. I don't care how much someone dislikes trump. >
posted by smoke at 2:31 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Here's the thing. Whether or not Gunn is defensible is irrelevant. It doesn't come to that. The proper response, the only response, to Mike Cernovich saying anything, is "Did you hear something?"

Anything past that, any acknowledgement at all, is unacceptable. He's a rapist who is responsible for people dying. This is not "the worst person you know just made a great point" territory, this is someone who is poison to any and all discourse, literally who cares at all.
posted by kafziel at 2:32 PM on July 23, 2018 [14 favorites]


anem0ne - you claimed Gunn as part of "us" and that's what I (poorly) responded to. I don't agree at all that this is an us vs them issue and I'm sorry if I stung you.

I completely understand why the internet hate mob scares you. Cis het white guys don't get destroyed like others are. Gunn will still have work and money once this blows over. Or... everything that 23skidoo just said.
posted by Stonkle at 2:32 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


anem0ne - you claimed Gunn as part of "us" and that's what I (poorly) responded to. I don't agree at all that this is an us vs them issue and I'm sorry if I stung you.

And it's fine that you disagree with my thoughts on the matter, but I mean, kind of an object lesson here, innit?

Should I just assume you think I'm persona non grata now and vice versa, given our previous interaction? Or not?

Given that your offhand comment casts shade that suggests I think pedo jokes are okay, and with the way that reads to me I obviously can't be sure whether you're an ally or not...
posted by anem0ne at 2:37 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yikes, this really feels like privilege in action. People can do shitty stuff but if we like them it's okay?

No, if they apologized and there doesn't seem to be reports of said or other shitty behavior going on, then I personally am inclined to give'em to forgive'em.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:56 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't care what you think about me. I apologized because you commented about it twice and it was clear you misinterpreted what I said and were hurt. I try not to hurt people as a matter of course.

James Gunn is always going to be a "them" to me. People like him - people who are blind to their privilege and don't care if they hurt other people - have carelessly stomped on and used people like me for eons. His loss of employment due to callously mocking other people's victimization for his own gain is a rare example of someone like him actually being held briefly accountable for their behaviour.
posted by Stonkle at 3:00 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't care what you think about me. I apologized because you commented about it twice and it was clear you misinterpreted what I said and were hurt. I try not to hurt people as a matter of course.
Here's the thing. Did I, though? That comment of yours very clearly suggested that I was in the same group as James Gunn, a group that thinks pedophile jokes are funny. How did I misinterpret that?

Now, I'm going to assume you didn't really mean it that way. You did, after all, try to make amends by apologizing. And what happened there is a microcosm of what's happening all over with people like Gunn who have skeletons in their closet.

I don't fucking know if he's still a dickbag or not. I don't care if he is, because I don't care whether he's in or out when it comes to the movie. What I do care about is the fact that it's clear that one can dredge up anything from the past, and regardless of whether the person is different now, there seems to be a very rigid line.

The past is a different country, they say. Past me, boy me, definitely made light of prison rape in one of my earliest comments on this site. Feel free to go look it up. Past me, before that, definitely made shitty jokes about race and being gay and about women and definitely held some really obnoxious views about the IMPORTANCE! OF! FREE! SPEECH! If all I had to go on was past me, today me, woman me, would definitely think that privileged fucker was a complete and utter irredeemable shitheel.

I don't know if James Gunn is bad. I do know that past him said some indefensible, toxic shit and the bill had to come due. It sounds like he's tried to make amends. I am not going to pretend to say he's done enough because I don't know.

What I do know is that past me has some shit if it were dug up would be utterly indefensible.

What I do know is that your offhanded remark saying that I obviously think pedophilia jokes is okay is rather indefensible, given that it plays into the fact that queer men and trans women are viewed as sexual predators.

And if we crystallize that moment in the past, and keep using that as a cudgel, and don't allow for more space for nuance, for the inherent dynamism of a person, it makes it really easy for people like Mike Cernovich to pick us off individually. It makes it really easy for the hate mob to convince others that yes, I'm a nasty piece of work who thought dead baby jokes are funny. It makes it really easy for people to think that I deserve whatever happens to me.
James Gunn is always going to be a "them" to me. People like him - people who are blind to their privilege and don't care if they hurt other people - have carelessly stomped on and used people like me for eons. His loss of employment due to callously mocking other people's victimization for his own gain is a rare example of someone like him actually being held briefly accountable for their behaviour.
I'm not saying that you should consider someone like James Gunn to be "us". I totally understand that in many ways he's the same sort of person that's stomped on people like us for eons. I have expressly avoided reading those tweets of his because I know the anger and hurt is not something that I could handle right now.

What I am saying is that I am more afraid of the people who targeted someone like him, who haven't even made the window dressing attempts to grow, because they are gleefully excited about actually stomping my face into the curb. And I 100% feel like refusing to give any credence to anything they say and deal with this shit on our own terms is something I can live with.

But watching a company who knew drop him because Nazi scum made a ruckus while completely ignoring all the other toxic shit because the Nazi scum aren't making a big deal about it? It makes me very uncomfortable.

I just got decent skin. I don't want it spread on asphalt.
posted by anem0ne at 3:21 PM on July 23, 2018 [12 favorites]


I think we can call men like Gunn and Hardwick (who, like Franken and Takei, look like they may have been taken advantage of? I don't think we the people will ever be privy to enough details to know for sure.) to accounts for what their accusers said, AS WELL AS work to defang the super media-savvy Nazis who've learned how to spin the right story for media to eat up with spoons and then re-serve to us in a format that just makes us go click-wild.

In fact, I think if we held the media responsible for their irresponsible use and promotion of these kinds of scandals to drive clicks and advertising, and also their irresponsible use and promotion of the whole reality TV trope for sensationalism (and promoting our reality TV president), we'll be doing a lot of the important work.

I don't think that, out of fear of misplaced accusations, we should fail to move forward and demand accounts from people who appear to be up to no good. And if that calling to accounts is being portrayed as an Angry Mob, then I have a problem with that. Because I think we should be able to ask people who appear to be up to no good to speak up for themselves and talk about what may have gone down. Most folks I know would like accused folks to be formally evaluated somehow, not fired or dropped like a hot rock. But they also would like to see some form of justice be done, some form of amends sought and made, in cases where the accusations seem like they may have some grounding in reality.

Despite understandable concerns about false accusations, they are still quite rare and current statistics put false accusations for sexual assault at about 1 in 20 (or 5%). False reporting is still quite low because the penalties for reporting and thus formally becoming a victim are quite steep. Also, people in general are not as bad as we fear they are.
posted by kalessin at 3:38 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


[Cernovich] thinks (or claims to think)

I wish there was a one word verb for “claims to hold an opinion for blatantly bad faith reasons”.
posted by ambrosen at 5:09 AM on July 23 [11 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


"to ratfuck"
"he is a ratfucker"
"ratfuckery"
cf "to Roger Stone"
posted by eustatic at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


If you go back through my posting history on this very site, going through my old handle, I'm sure you could dig up some pretty dumb shit I've said.

I've gone through 4 mefite handles over the years. Multiple reddit handles, two twitter handles (and then deleting it). My response to ever saying anything stupid online is this.
posted by weed donkey at 4:05 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


kalessin, I don't see how you can lump Gunn in with Hardwick, Franken, or Takei, all of whom were accused of assault, whereas I didn't think we were taking accusations of actual pedophilia at all seriously in this case.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:13 PM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm with anem0ne on this one. I participate very little in social media (I've averaged 8 comments per year on the blue in the twelve years I've been a member) because I'm terrified I'll say something accidentally hurtful, or something that gets misinterpreted, or something that's acceptable humor today but is considered offensive twenty years from now, or or or.

This isn't really a rational fear on my part; I'm probably the opposite of an edgelord (a centerpeasant?) and I'm unlikely to ever be in a position where I'd be under that kind of scrutiny. But this sort of thing still feeds that fear. It's a competing access needs issue.
posted by fermion at 4:16 PM on July 23, 2018 [13 favorites]


I don't see how you can lump Gunn in with Hardwick, Franken, or Takei

I am talking about them all as potential victims of The Angry Mob, possibly sparked by a psyop from unknown MAGA operators.
posted by kalessin at 4:18 PM on July 23, 2018


This isn't really a rational fear on my part

It's effective, though, which is the point. Cernovich and his ilk have found a way to weaponize our morality and sense of decency and fairness to discourage people from criticizing Trump and the alt-right for fear of becoming targets themselves.

So, saying Gunn deserves it anyway, and maybe he'll be replaced by someone better, I think completely misses the point of what's happening.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:28 PM on July 23, 2018 [19 favorites]


Thanks for the clarification, kalessin. I feel like it important that we don't lose the fact that those are four individual cases with their own nuances.

I wouldn't want to devalue the accusations against, say, Hardwick by claiming they were a right-wing smear campaign, any more than I would want to make Gunn's actions seem worse than they are by lumping him in with people accused of things like abuse, rape, and sexual assault.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:38 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am talking about them all as potential victims of The Angry Mob, possibly sparked by a psyop from unknown MAGA operators.

In Gunn's case, the operator is quite well known. Lumping him together with those others who are actually, credible accused of sexual assault is exactly what Cernovich is hoping to accomplish.
posted by LindsayIrene at 4:38 PM on July 23, 2018 [11 favorites]


It feels like my comments here are now getting to the point where they're not being helpfully or charitably interpreted or engaged with, so I'll skedaddle.
posted by kalessin at 4:43 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Stonkle and anem0ne, please let the back-and-forth over that one comment rest. Nothing good will come from steering into a hyper-personal spiral. Please everybody, keep it focused on the external situation, not on other Mefites, and let's please be decent to each other in here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:46 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Question: has any Woman or any POC who has actually worked with him come out to defend Gunn at all?

Just curious.

And no, I dont think he should have been fired, but then I dont think he should have been hired in the first place - with his known public record of inadvisable (at best) jokes
posted by Faintdreams at 5:05 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


has any Woman or any POC who has actually worked with him come out to defend Gunn at all?

Dave Bautista and Pom Klementieff have been explicitly supportive. Zoe Saldana has tweeted, "I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will," which is more ambiguous. Karen Gillan is about the same so far: "Love to every single member of my GOTG family."

Outside of the Guardians cast, Selma Blair has been a big supporter and has promoting a Change.org petition.
posted by LindsayIrene at 5:16 PM on July 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


One easy thing Gunn could have done? Deleted the tweets back when he felt that they were no longer funny. Bingo, Cernovich doesn't find them, or if he had screen shots, well, now ya gotta prove it wasn't a photoshop. But no, he left the tweets up. Edgelord that he is.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:29 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


Woulda shoulda coulda.

There's this script, but I tried it earlier today and it seems like my archive doesn't contain the necessary csv, so when I get some time I might poke around and have one that reads the json instead.
posted by anem0ne at 7:36 PM on July 23, 2018


I think it's also important that the audience for this movie includes millions of people who've never seen Family Guy, don't know who Dan Harmon is, never went to a live comedy show, didn't use the internet and have no idea what an "edgelord" is.

A lot of us see the context that a lot of people were making these kinds of jokes ten years ago, but there are people for whom "one liners about being a pedophile " is a novel concept and Disney wants no part of helping them learn about lamentable trends in early 21st century shock comedy.
posted by smelendez at 7:40 PM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


Bobcat Goldthwait Suggests Disney Remove His Hercules Voice From Ride in Support of James Gunn
"I love @jamesgunn. He’s a loyal friend, super talented, passionate and kind. I wanted to say something, here it is:
Dear @disney, I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I’m suggesting that you remove my voice from an attraction that’s coming to your park. It’s called WORLD OF COLOR - VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES. You see here’s the deal, years ago I made a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes. Many that I’m embarrassed about now, and I’d hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I’m openly critical of the president and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters. I think James Woods may have recorded a voice for this new attraction, too. Why not check out some of his whacky past tweets?! They’re a hoot!
For the record I do stand with survivors of sexual abuse and I was wondering if you guys are still making money off of your movie POWDER? Asking for a friend.
Thanks, Bobcat"
(I have mixed feelings about this whole thing and have not seen any of the GOTG movies but just saw this and found it relevant)
posted by primalux at 8:50 PM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


There is no reason to think Hardwick and Franken didn’t do what women said they did, and Takei admitted in an interview years ago that he gets men drunk and gets forceful with them, so I don’t know how the Gunn story became an opportunity to whitewash actual inappropriate behavior from other men.
posted by maxsparber at 4:50 AM on July 24, 2018 [7 favorites]


One easy thing Gunn could have done? Deleted the tweets back when he felt that they were no longer funny. Bingo, Cernovich doesn't find them, or if he had screen shots, well, now ya gotta prove it wasn't a photoshop. But no, he left the tweets up. Edgelord that he is.

We become who we are by every action that we take. Some of those actions are more important than others. I've said some pretty dumb shit in my time. Some of it recently. A lot of it when I was young, dumb, stupider, when a lot of societal norms were a hell of a lot different than they are not. Most of it (thankfully) has vanished into the ether that is increased entropy as places I've written stupid shit on have shut down or have been written under old aliases. That being said, I'm sure if I was a person of interest to these clowns they'd could still probably tie me to stuff that would make you be aghast and think twice about what kind of person I really am. But I digress.

If anything, it proves that even completely fucking jackasses can have a redemption arc and totally reform themselves which should be damn well encouraged.

Also, the Streisand Effect.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:17 AM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


In the early days of twitter, there was no reporting option for offensive tweets. That came along in 2013. It was much more of a slog to even report an account than it is today, and pretty much the only thing that would get you kicked off was spamming.

Because if you were reading shitty things, it's because you wanted to read shitty things. The advice back them was, don't like the shit someone is saying? Don't fucking follow them. They hurting your feels with @replies? Block 'em.

It's sort of like the idea of turning the channel.

I remember the days of early blogging, and when people first started getting fired from their real world jobs for shit they said on their blogs, and I always felt pretty much the same way. "If that blog offended you, why were you reading it?" Then twitter came along and was the first "micro-blog," and it didn't take long for people to start having real world repercussions for the stupid shit they said online.

And in a medium of 140 characters, you don't exactly get a lot of profound thought. Especially in the early days. People are pointing out that 2012 isn't that long ago, but twitter wasn't even around until 2006.

In the early days it really felt more like riffing with friends than anything else. You struggled to find an audience and you struggled to make sure your friends had one as well (or at least the cool ones). You gave Follow Friday shout outs to others, and hoped they did the same. It was a lot like the internet without google. You have no "who to follow" or promoted accounts or really any other way to find fellow tweeters. Hell, there were even directories where you could sign up and list your interests to find other people who shared interests.

Hashtags weren't natively supported, Retweets were done manually (by adding an RT before the tweet) and accounts and tweets never really "went viral." Then Ashton Kutcher came along and changed all that by being the first user to get to a million followers. Then the influx of celebrities came and twitter changed for the worse (if you ask me). It went from a medium of short jokes (the idea of a twitter thread was pretty much non-existent then) to allowing all kinds of media.

I've been using twitter for 10 years. I have multiple accounts. I use my real name on all of them just like I use my real name here (my handles on twitter are all special interest handles associated with various hobbies or sites).

I have a hard time giving the same significance to something someone said as to some of the things some people did. Gunn is no Matt Lauer.

hurdy gurdy girl linked to the actual tweets. I read them. Some are fairly innocuous. "This hotel shower is the weakest ever. Felt like a three year old peeing on my head." I honestly don't get some of them, or at least what they are referencing, like, "This may be the plant version of adopting a damaged 12 year old girl who steals your money and accuses you of molesting her." Some are actual quoted retweets, and some are obvious roasting of friends. "RT @blackehart "I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am. Some of those guys are still my BFF's." And yes, a few are actually pretty damn problematic, but most standup is much worse. Think of your favorite entertainer. There's a good chance he or she has something just as bad in their twitter stream. And no, I'm not suggesting people excuse shitty tweets, and no I am not saying Disney shouldn't have fired him, but I can tell you for sure I wouldn't have.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:55 PM on July 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I find the purity culture stuff going on in this thread nauseating. It's one thing when we're talking about the leaders of movements, because power has been invested in them we need to be confident that it's being distributed appropriately. But James Gunn is not a leader of the #Resistance. He makes comic-book films.

It might feel like you're holding people to high standards, but that's not what actually happens. What happens is that your allies get the brunt of your wrath because they're in your view (and your way), your followers live in fear that every mistake or confession will be remembered and weaponised as soon as it's convenient, regardless of merit, and your actual enemies are barely troubled by your rage. That supposed moral clarity is a tool of oppression waiting to be used.

For an example of the damage this can do, here's a comprehensive look at Requires Hate, a strident Thai feminist writer whose targets were, in the majority, other female professional writers, with frequent attacks on people of colour.
posted by Merus at 8:59 PM on July 24, 2018 [10 favorites]


I think it's perfectly justified to hold those on our side to our higher standards. If one does not, well, you end up with things like the dirtbag left who are awfully misogynistic/homophobic/transphobic, with their "ironic" bigotry that's barely distinguishable and frequently indistinguishable from the real thing.

Rape jokes aren't okay. Pedophilia jokes aren't okay. I feel like that's not even a sides thing, to be honest.

At the same time, I also think it's perfectly justified to respond to tribal shits doing these attacks in bad faith with tribal defenses. Fuck Cernovich. Fuck the Nazis. If this had been dredged up by someone who wasn't a pro-rape, bigoted fuckhead, I wouldn't be furious at how this went down.

They've already made this tribal. Clearly so, because they haven't gone after R. Kelly, for instance, because if this were actually about pedophilia and rape, Cernovich and his ilk wouldn't have hesitated, but instead there's just silence.

The rest of us in opposition to these Nazis? These fascists? We should protect our own, for as long as is reasonable. That's how alliances work.
posted by anem0ne at 10:16 PM on July 24, 2018


I don't think "Don't make a shit ton of rape and pedophilia jokes on Twitter" is an impossibly high standard. Shit, I don't even think it's a high standard, it's just a standard. Most people can achieve that standard without even trying.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:52 PM on July 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


(six years ago)
posted by philip-random at 11:55 PM on July 24, 2018


Don't, when called out on it at the time, make a big supposedly heartfelt apology, then persist with the behaviour regardless. That's the detail that damns Gunn.

We should protect our own, for as long as is reasonable. That's how alliances work.

Gunn is not "our own". He is not some resistance dude. He is, as has been pointed out, a bloke who makes comic book films. What makes him "ours"? I don't buy into the enemy of my enemy automatically becoming a friend. And I don't subscribe to a litany of rape jokes making someone anything other than decidedly not "ours" for any "us" that I want any part of at all.
posted by Dysk at 2:48 AM on July 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I don't know about the enemy of my enemy being a friend, per se. An ally, perhaps. Like the Soviets and the Americans against the Nazis.

I'm not a big believer in the concept of allyhood, to be honest, since allies often don't have skin in the game. In cases like these, I don't have skin in the game outside of a very theoretical, "they're coming for me next" sort of fear.

I'm totally willing to have the current battle in the culture war fought over someone else, like a cis-white dude, rather than me.
posted by anem0ne at 5:43 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


My problem with "ally" (applied to myself, or others) isn't so much about skin in the game as about effort, commitment and also expectations.

To me being an "ally" implies actually acting to accomplish effortful things in the world, on a committed basis. It's OK to just be a supporter or even to merely be aligned in one's personal politics and contributions and relationships but that's different than meaningful "alliance." To be aligned is not to be allied.

The other problem with the subtext of "ally" in the sense of "alliance" comes through in kind of entitlement you sometimes see in people who hold themselves out as allies. This is often criticized as "holding your allyship hostage," i.e. to some dispensation of retained privilege -- but I think it's kind of baked into the cake. Alliance has a transactional connotation and terming it that way gives people the sense that they should get something back -- even if just gratitude. Why, though?

Do it because it's what you believe in and don't confuse alignment for committment to action or even more casual support.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:04 AM on July 25, 2018


Meanwhile, Cernovich's troll army is staying busy. People (as in ordinary people, not celebrities) who push back against the Gunn-is-a-pedophile stuff are being targeted, accused of being being pedophiles, doxxed. The lessons of g*merg*te have been well-learned.

I think the goal isn't just to punish and silence anti-Trump sentiment; it's also meant to discredit #metoo and make accusations of sexual harassment and abuse less credible.

It's odd, reading how this is being reported and discussed. There's an entire level to it that's being mostly ignored.
posted by LindsayIrene at 6:04 AM on July 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm totally willing to have the current battle in the culture war fought over someone else, like a cis-white dude, rather than me.

I'm totally willing to let rape jokes lose the culture war myself.
posted by Dysk at 6:13 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think this Vox article has a good take on the whole incident.
posted by exolstice at 6:57 AM on July 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Think of your favorite entertainer. There's a good chance he or she has something just as bad in their twitter stream.

lol, no? There are a lot of rhetorical fallacies in your post but really, don't assume everyone has the same taste in entertainers as you do, or that we're all incapable of applying our own standards to the media we consume and the people who create it.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:34 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


> I don't think "Don't make a shit ton of rape and pedophilia jokes on Twitter" is an impossibly high standard.

Except it wasn't a ton. Again, the actual tweets. There were only a handful of tweets that are being called out as problematic. If there are more, I haven't seen them being noted. Of these several of them are fairly innocuous. "My new film: Jerkloose-A small town where eating off is illegal, & 1 high school kid jerks off in front of the others to show how fun it is." Show me to my fainting couch! Sure, there are some shitty ones in there, but it's not tons. So lets be accurate and say he had a handful of tasteless and offensive tweets.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:35 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's more than a handful (which to my mind means about five) just in the image you linked. As well as the rape and pedophilia jokes, transphobic slurs feature fairly prominently.
posted by Dysk at 7:40 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


In the image I linked the vast majority are not rape jokes, and many are a hard sell to put in the pedophilia camp as well. Again, not defending the content, just saying that if these are the tweets that have people upset, only a few are truly obnoxious. I don't have objection to someone saying, "Even one rape or pedophilia joke is too many!" But to describe Gunn as someone who tweets "shit tons" of rape and pedophilia jokes just isn't accurate.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:52 AM on July 25, 2018


I counted 8 tweets that reference sex with children/boys in some way on that link you provided. I don't have any way of knowing if that's everything. I think it's probably a personal thing whether that's a dismissible handful or a shit ton but it seems strange to insist that everyone has at least 8 tweets in their past referencing raping little boys or that using child molestation for cheap laughs is just a thing that happens to everyone.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


a strident Thai feminist writer

Strident feminist? Really? Try to do better.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2018


Yeah, I'm not buying the "but those tweets about sex with children aren't that bad!" argument. The least offensive of the tweets in that image is damning enough on its own.
posted by Dysk at 7:54 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


> There are a lot of rhetorical fallacies in your post but really, don't assume everyone has the same taste in entertainers as you do, or that we're all incapable of applying our own standards to the media we consume and the people who create it.

I am not assuming everyone has the same taste in entertainers as I do, but if the last 18 months have proven anything to me, it's that no matter how wholesome the person appears to be, there's often some shitty behavior there. And you should apply your own standards, but few people are going to be able to withstand a deep dive of their lives and come out smelling all pretty (especially artists). Cast the first stone, judge not, glass houses, etc.

> I think it's probably a personal thing whether that's a dismissible handful or a shit ton but it seems strange to insist that everyone has at least 8 tweets in their past referencing raping little boys or that using child molestation for cheap laughs is just a thing that happens to everyone.

Who insisted that? I also said nothing about dismissing them.

> I'm not buying the "but those tweets about sex with children aren't that bad!" argument.

That's not my argument. I'm saying some of those are a stretch to say they are about having sex with children, rape, or transphobia. Some obviously are, but it's a leap to go from these to pretending that Gunn was some prolific shock tweeter.

> Gunn is not "our own". He is not some resistance dude. He is, as has been pointed out, a bloke who makes comic book films. What makes him "ours"?

I would argue that he took his platform and fame and has been using it to speak truth to power. That's more than a lot of people are doing. The majority of people are staying silent.

Again, I don't have a problem with Disney firing him. That's their right.

But I'll take someone who has said some stupid shit, but is now fighting the good fight, over someone who refuses to engage.

I also think things would be a lot different if he was actually advocating these things. I'm not going to use the "it was just a joke" defense, but someone making off-color comments about rape and pedophilia is a lot less offensive to me than, you know, actual rapists and pedophiles.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:11 AM on July 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I guess I see a huge difference between someone like Gunn and someone like Roseanne. Gunn doesn't come off as someone who is apologizing just because he got caught. Compare his reaction to Roseanne's.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:30 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


> I think this Vox article has a good take on the whole incident.

Just finished reading that. Thanks for the link. He breaks down a lot of my objections to the narrative of the internet outrage machine taking down another deserving monster.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:10 AM on July 25, 2018


Except it wasn't a ton. Again, the actual tweets.

Yeah, I've seen that, I think everyone has. Ton is a weight, so I clearly was using it metaphorically. I used "shit ton" because that looks like a shit ton of shitty tweets to me. No need to tell me I'm wrong- there is no precise definition of "shit ton". You don't think it's a shit ton? Cool, whatever.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:18 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments deleted; comparison to Requires Hate noted, criticism of the word 'strident' noted, let's not get into an extended spiral on that specific side issue.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


That Todd VanDerWerff Vox article is really good:
I said above that what Cernovich wants to do is destabilize reality; that might seem like a big leap, but think about it. We’ve already gone from “these are bad jokes” to “if the tweets are true,” from carefully examining the thing in context to quickly glancing at the thing with as little context as possible, so that it looks as bad as it could possibly be. And when you’re fighting a culture war, and grasping for requital, I suppose that’s fair. Culture wars, too, have their victims.

But this still leaves us with a world where the terms of the game are set by a bunch of people who argue not in good faith, but in a way designed to force everybody into the same bad-faith basket. They are interested not in finding a deeper truth but in the easy cynicism of believing that everybody is as dark-hearted and frightened as them, that the world is a place that can never be made better, so why even try? Flood the zone with enough bad information and turn reality into enough of a game and you can make anything you want seem believable, until bad jokes become a dark harbinger of a horrific reality looming just over the horizon.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:13 AM on July 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


We should protect our own, for as long as is reasonable. That's how alliances work.

That's not an alliance. That's codependence.
posted by maxsparber at 10:22 AM on July 25, 2018


Cernovich does not give a flying fuck about which Judean People's Front we sort ourselves into.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:26 AM on July 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


I don't make make my decisions based on what is good, bad, or indifferent for Cernovich. My alliances are principled, and jokes about raping children fall outside my principals.
posted by maxsparber at 10:33 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


> But I'll take someone who has said some stupid shit, but is now fighting the good fight, over someone who refuses to engage.

It's not as if there aren't plenty of other options. The United States does not lack for talented script writers and film directors who understand comic books.
posted by desuetude at 10:48 AM on July 25, 2018


sometimes, people who fall outside of our alliances and principles need sticking up for.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:03 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Which is to say: we shouldn't need to see if Gunn ticks off enough of our "ally" boxes to be worth defending. He's worth defending because the premise and methodology by which Cernovich went after his job was total disingenuous bullshit.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:05 AM on July 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


The United States does not lack for talented script writers and film directors who understand comic books.

I haven't seen either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies mainly because I'm just not into the whole Super Hero end of the things, but I have heard them singled out as unique and rather brilliant by more than one person whose taste I respect. Which tells me that whatever Mr. Gunn's got going (good or bad or ugly or all of the above), one thing he's not is a cookie-cutter creative type. So to suggest that he's easily replaceable feels like a pretty weak sauce.
posted by philip-random at 11:14 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


sometimes, people who fall outside of our alliances and principles need sticking up for.


Oh, for Christ's sakes, he's a millionaire. He'll be fine.
posted by maxsparber at 11:22 AM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Come on. that's misreading my point pretty hard. I'm not at all approaching this from the angle of how James Gunn, specific person, is being impacted.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:27 AM on July 25, 2018


we shouldn't need to see if Gunn ticks off enough of our "ally" boxes to be worth defending. He's worth defending because the premise and methodology by which Cernovich went after his job was total disingenuous bullshit.

This is a tricky one to rally too enthusiastically around, though. "Someone got fired from something where the biggest issue is that they were hired in the first place, but this happened due to terrible people who're using it to do more terrible things".

It's enough to go "From the gorilla-brained loins of Cernovich, nothing untainted may spring" and draw a line around the actually-wrong behavior without having to turn it into "Should we extend a defense to someone we don't want to for the sake of having more bodies on 'our' side, even if they aren't really" sort of thing
posted by CrystalDave at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2018


I haven't seen either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies mainly because I'm just not into the whole Super Hero end of the things, but I have heard them singled out as unique and rather brilliant by more than one person whose taste I respect. Which tells me that whatever Mr. Gunn's got going (good or bad or ugly or all of the above), one thing he's not is a cookie-cutter creative type.

Brilliant, but perhaps not particularly unique and maybe even a little bit of a cookie-cutter. When it comes to one-liners and pop culture callbacks and such. But, a really well refined cookie-cutter that makes cookies people really, really enjoy and look forward to. It's mostly very endearing, although not immune to its own moments of crass immaturity. But, isn't that a bit beside the point?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


It is. Picasso was a legitimately brilliant painter, but that doesn't make any difference when we discuss the fact that he was absolute shitheel.
posted by maxsparber at 11:54 AM on July 25, 2018




"Correction:

*"In firing James Gunn, Disney shows that y'all are all for people getting canned, dragged, & cancelled for doing/saying foul racist, misogynistic, & etc shit unless it is someone that you *like*.

Then it's wrong. Then there suddenly has to be a line."

I'm SICK 😷"

posted by maxsparber at 12:03 PM on July 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


Hey let's just link to a disgraced naval pee tester, chaos agent, and vile alt-right figurehead. Twice. Because why not.
posted by Yowser at 4:50 PM on July 25, 2018


> I haven't seen either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies mainly because I'm just not into the whole Super Hero end of the things, but I have heard them singled out as unique and rather brilliant by more than one person whose taste I respect. Which tells me that whatever Mr. Gunn's got going (good or bad or ugly or all of the above), one thing he's not is a cookie-cutter creative type. So to suggest that he's easily replaceable feels like a pretty weak sauce.

Well, I've seen them both, and while I was pleasantly surprised by how good the first one was, I think that suggesting that he has a once-in-a-lifetime unique vision is also pretty weaksauce. The sequel was...fine. It was a second helping to please an audience that leaned pretty hard on the good work in the first film. Less coherent storytelling and thuddier one-liners, but enough callbacks and heart to make you leave the theater feeling good enough.

But even if the second GotG film had been as good as the first, I'd still be okay with making some room for another director and writer to take a crack at it. Bonus, perhaps without the lazy sexism and racism?!
posted by desuetude at 5:48 PM on July 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


You're going to have to clarify who you mean, Yowzer. Marc Bernardin, writing against the firing? Or that Twitter account supporting it? (I'm personally unfamiliar with either person.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:23 AM on July 26, 2018


MovieBob weighs in. (SLYT)
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 7:56 AM on July 26, 2018


MovieBob the open eugenicist? Not sure that his opinion is worth listening to.
posted by kafziel at 9:59 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


Disney used the new backlash against these 10-year-old tweets to do something they’ve been dying to do for quite a while (firing Gunn). Gunn wanted more money than the studio thought he deserved, he was and has been “difficult and demanding” to work with. Disney often makes problems like this Twitter re-discovery go away and they could have easily done it again. And they can also make sure something/someone gets a lot of negative press.
posted by Kloryne at 12:22 PM on July 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


It would be hilarious if Disney was working with Cernovich to use parallel construction as a budgeting strategy.
posted by rhizome at 1:14 PM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Guardian's Marina Hyde has a few relevant thoughts:

If you haven’t read Jaron Lanier’s short but brilliant book Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, I can only recommend. For technological idiots like me, who need the machine explained to them in a wonderfully eloquent and engaging fashion, it is a true mind-opener. Using evidence and his vast insider knowledge of Silicon Valley, the author and tech visionary makes it very clear that, far from toiling in the furtherances of whichever noble cause they think they are, those who feed the internet outrage machine are under an illusion.

They are nothing more than busy data ants, who in reality – BIG REVEAL – work for the likes of Facebook and Google. These are mass-behaviour-modification machines that thrive off discord and – without wishing to downgrade anyone’s genuinely impassioned and sincerely held beliefs – it really doesn’t matter what sort. Everyone’s participation, on whichever side, hastens the dystopia. Your causes, my causes, everyone’s causes are essentially meaningless – they are plot devices. And the plot is the mass, unprecedented manipulation of human behaviour and its subsequent exploitation for money. Everyone works for the machine, which doesn’t think that fat-shaming matters, or paedophilia matters, or black lives matter, or you matter. For a honeymoon period, it may feel as if that is a price worth paying if you are furthering a cause in which you believe – but, as Lanier shows, this always turns out to be a mirage.


Found in this piece: Ban fat-shaming show Insatiable, its critics cry. But none of them have seen it
posted by philip-random at 9:57 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


That article Godwins itself in the first fucking sentence.

The author also admits that she hasn't seen it. So on what basis she's defending it, I don't know.
posted by Dysk at 10:09 AM on July 27, 2018


nobody's seen the show. That's the point. All of this is in response to a less than two minute trailer.

From the article:

Now, Insatiable’s creator has been pressured into defending her artistic endeavour from detractors who have not even seen it. “When I was 13, I was suicidal,” wrote Lauren Gussis in a statement. “My best friends dumped me, I was bullied and I wanted revenge. I thought if I looked pretty on the outside, I’d feel like I was enough. Instead, I developed an eating disorder … and the kind of rage that makes you want to do dark things. I’m still not comfortable in my skin, but I’m trying to share my insides – to share my pain and vulnerability through humor. That’s just my way. The show is a cautionary tale about how damaging it can be to believe that outsides are more important – to judge without going deeper. Please give the show a chance.”
posted by philip-random at 10:35 AM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


and as for the godwinning, good point -- it speaks to the very hyperbole she's condemning later.
posted by philip-random at 10:36 AM on July 27, 2018


what does the Stasi have to do with Hitler/Godwin's Law?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:59 AM on July 27, 2018


Sorry, practically Godwins itself. Either I brainfarted or my phone ate it when I was trying to edit a typo.
posted by Dysk at 11:24 AM on July 27, 2018


Note: Jaron Lanier is a charlatan.
posted by rhizome at 12:50 PM on July 27, 2018


a quick google search on Jaron-Lanier-charlatan doesn't get you much (nor does switching fraud for charlatan). The first link (once I insisted that it must include charlatan) gives this Hacker News discussion thread from 2012 with exactly one occurrence of the word charlatan --

Mr. Lanier makes some very sound and persuasive arguments. If you don't agree at least take the time to ponder it and give it the respect that it deserves. Writing him off as a charlatan or an opportunist isn't an argument, but a cheap character attack.
posted by philip-random at 1:08 PM on July 27, 2018


Bonus, perhaps without the lazy sexism and racism?!

The sexism was pretty lazy. The racism was...pretty shocking to me and an affront, I'd say, especially since there are virtually no Asian characters in movie MCU (and the TV ones are mostly limited to stereotypes.) James Gunn was making huge mainstream media that was specifically degrading to women of color.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:43 AM on July 28, 2018


Yeah, and the big reason for that degradation between the first movie and the second is that the first one was largely written by Nicole Perlman after years of research, with enough changes by Gunn to stick his name on as a co-writer, and she was fired and the second was written entirely by Gunn.

Gunn ain't great. A fact which is entirely irrelevant to the actual issue here.
posted by kafziel at 1:40 PM on July 28, 2018 [3 favorites]




I'd sign onto that statement. Disney, have your people call mine.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:25 PM on July 30, 2018


Interesting, before I leaning Gunn's way, but the idea of paying to watch GotG, after reading those comments, gives me pause.

It's not just the Tweets, it was the "whore" comment in the first one, which was so outta left field and some issues in the 2nd just seemed off. Nothing terrible by itself, but a pattern of some very warped humor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:13 PM on July 30, 2018


Most of the cast of Guardians has publicly signed a document asking that Gunn be reinstated, while making it clear they don't support what he said.

They go on to emphasize the man they know, and the man he was when he made his apology for this type of behavior years ago, is a good man. A man who has grown as a person. Here is said apology from years ago, dated November 30, 2012, for a blog he ran:

“A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny,” Gunn wrote on his Facebook page. “In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all.”

Then, 23 days later, he tweeted this:

"'Eagle Snatches Kid' is what I call it when I get lucky."

You know that kid in school who, when effectively called out for their completely inappropriate behavior, would give what seemed to be a meaningful apology only to follow it up with continuing said behavior once the teacher was gone? Yeah, that's James Gunn except in his 40s the whole time. All this letter tells me is Gunn knew the power of his apology when he gave it, and millionare actors value their millionare directors that make them millions. /rant
posted by avalonian at 2:21 PM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


And perhaps I am too ignorant to be offended by "'Eagle Snatches Kid' is what I call it when I get lucky." I don't get it. If there is a euphemism, or a double entendre, or a cultural reference I am missing it. Unlike Drax, it's going right over my head.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:33 AM on August 1, 2018


By timing, it was a response of some sort to a video that went viral, posted to Metafilter among many other places.

The video turned out to be fake, a CGI project/joke by some students or something to that effect, but it initially fooled a lot of people and, of course, fueled lots of jokes, most in much better taste than Gunn's.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:46 AM on August 1, 2018


"get lucky" win the jackpot and/or have sex - means both simultaneously.

"eagle" meaning himself.

"kid" presumably meaning that when he has sex with a kid (child) he calls it "eagle snatches kid"

Having known some dirtbag comedians, I think he just couldn't resist making a gross pedophile joke when it popped into his head. Likely meant to illicit one of those groans and laughter that goes along with "you so nasty!" type humor.

Later when you try to "go straight" and work for Disney such crass, ill-thought, one-liners might come back to haunt you.
posted by amanda at 8:21 AM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


In a post-Cosby world, you can't fault some people for having trouble discerning humor from reality. This has always been the case with dirtbag comics. There will always be people who don't get the joke, who take it at face value or just aren't wired for crass-ness. Some of those people would expect Disney to be that way. But Bill Cosby joked about dosing his dates. Turned out, he goddamn was dosing his dates!
posted by amanda at 8:33 AM on August 1, 2018


So. James Gunn doesn’t need defending. He’s a big boy and he’s going to be fine.

But we need to stop playing the fascist’s games.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 10:02 AM on August 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


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