... second chances have long been superhero movie staples ...
March 15, 2019 11:54 AM   Subscribe

James Gunn reinstated to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3.

Ten months after being ousted for old tweets joking about rape and pedophilia, Disney has announced that they're rehiring him.
After the firing, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn met with Gunn on multiple occasions to discuss the situation. Persuaded by Gunn’s public apology and his handling of the situation after, Horn decided to reverse course and reinstate Gunn.

The social media messages were indefensible, but the filmmaker never did anything but blame himself for poor judgment displayed at a time when he was emerging from the Troma film factory and attempting to be a provocateur. There were no reports that Gunn ever engaged in the behavior he lampooned. Unlike the defensive posture exhibited by Kevin Hart that led him to skip hosting the Oscars, Gunn fell on his sword early and often and never lashed out at Disney.
posted by hanov3r (81 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I mean if I recall the only reason the tweets blew up was because of a chan op right? So good on Disney for refusing to play the alt-right’s game and good on Gunn for owning it and not doubling down and becoming a turbo-jerk.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:07 PM on March 15 [44 favorites]


Previously.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:13 PM on March 15


Good. He was accountable, he apologized, now he can move on. While there are many critiques to be had about call out culture, it isn’t the unforgiving ostracisation machine it’s always made out to be. If there is no way to atone for the past there is little hope for the future as people and cultures change and grow.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:13 PM on March 15 [22 favorites]


As a reminder, because I didn't recall, here's what Gunn said immediately following Disney's decision to fire him:

“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”

“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”


So good on him, and the entire cast wanted him back after having worked with him for quite some time. Seems like he's a legit decent guy? He said some things that were awful, he recognized that and made a proper apology (not a non-apology like so many dudes make). I'm cautiously optimistic that this is a situation of 'good guy does stupid thing but redeems himself in a good way'.
posted by cooker girl at 12:14 PM on March 15 [46 favorites]


Well, given that it took Disney the better part of a year to reverse course, I'm a bit hesitant to give them credit for this. That said, I'd imagine that the response to the firing got to Horn (he probably thought the move made him look strong, but found out that he actually looked feckless), the election showed where the actual population was, and the success of Captain Marvel basically made things untenable.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:14 PM on March 15 [6 favorites]


While there are many critiques to be had about call out culture, it isn’t the unforgiving ostracisation machine it’s always made out to be.

This wasn't callout culture. This was the alt-right staging a false flag attack draped in the clothing of callout culture like it was the Polish border on September 1st, 1939.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:17 PM on March 15 [60 favorites]


Absolutely great. It's still a little infuriating that anyone at Disney is pretending they didn't just royally eff this up, but corporate politics is corporate politics and I'm glad they found a way to finally reverse their mistake. James gun seems a hell of a nice guy and, for my money, his scenes have the best flow and feel of any of the Marvel movies, to say nothing of their heart and charm. Good for him.
posted by es_de_bah at 12:22 PM on March 15


This wasn't callout culture. This was the alt-right staging a false flag attack draped in the clothing of callout culture like it was the Polish border on September 1st, 1939.

Let me clarify: it was a weaponization of callout culture. People saw through it.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:24 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]


Let me clarify: it was a weaponization of callout culture. People saw through it.

i don't know if they did, people were very split in that last thread.
posted by anem0ne at 12:26 PM on March 15 [13 favorites]


The delicious irony here is that in the interim between the firing and the reinstatement, Gunn was chosen to helm the Suicide Squad sequel for DC. So the end result of all this is that he'll now have two high-profile blockbusters on his docket, entirely because of the attempted right-wing attack on his career.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:27 PM on March 15 [17 favorites]


I'm glad. The issue of how to reconcile offenders to the community is extremely thorny, but the firing reflected no consideration of nuance at any level.
posted by praemunire at 12:32 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


i don't know if they did, people were very split in that last thread.

Enough people saw through it.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:33 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


I’m glad they unsnapped Gunn. I just wonder if they’ll figure out a way to save Gamora in Avengers: The Unsnapening.
posted by valkane at 12:33 PM on March 15 [6 favorites]


I am groot. :(
posted by loquacious at 12:33 PM on March 15 [10 favorites]


I supported Gunn being removed, and I support him being re-instated. He held himself accountable, acknowledge just awful he was, apologized for real (not the "sorry if I offended you" BS), and as noted above everyone in the cast wanted him back.

Mario Batali, Louis C.K. and others have a lot to learn from how Gunn conducted himself.
posted by Frayed Knot at 12:38 PM on March 15 [36 favorites]


I think this is finally an example of someone being sorry for their behaviour, and not simply sorry that they got caught/called out.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 12:45 PM on March 15 [14 favorites]


I am groot. :(
posted by loquacious


grootponysterical!

posted by Celsius1414 at 12:47 PM on March 15 [9 favorites]


I supported Gunn being removed because it was a consequence. Reinstating him seems like no consequence to me. It also seems like it sets a precedent of "When awful shit from your past resurfaces, just say these specific set of words in your apology. That will be enough, then nothing more need be done."
posted by 23skidoo at 12:47 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Like, as long as your apology is self-deprecating enough, as long as your apology makes sure that you let people know that you're okay with whatever consequences may happen, then there will be no consequences for you.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:49 PM on March 15


i can finally stop boycotting all the marvel movies that haven't been released since they fired him in the first place. exactly as planned.
posted by Bwentman at 12:49 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


I have mixed feelings about this entire issue. I fully understand that James Gunn has been very up front and open about his tweets, how he was young and how he made errors in judgement, that he recognizes he was engaging in toxic behavior/culture and that his words were harmful. He's been very good about apologizing and owning up to the choices he made.

My issue is that this kind of second chance is entirely coded in white privilege. People of colour and other minorities rarely get this kind of a second chance and that is what upsets me most about this entire issue.

I'll leave it at that and step out of the thread.
posted by Fizz at 12:50 PM on March 15 [61 favorites]


It wasn't just the apology, though. Many, many people came forward and said that those words from his past weren't the whole story of who he is now. And, as far as I can recall, no one came forward and was like, "Yeah, he's a complete ass, here's what he did/said to me just yesterday"."

Honestly, if literally no one can ever recover from stupid shit they said years and years ago...I just don't know. I know I said awful, stupid stuff in my past. But I'm not that person anymore. The thought of no one ever being able to forgive me for that just breaks me heart.

On preview, Fizz, that's a very good point and one that I hadn't considered. Thank you for saying it.
posted by cooker girl at 12:53 PM on March 15 [45 favorites]


Yeah, nah. Fuck Disney for this. Lest we forget, Gunn made a bunch of super gross rape and pedophilia jokes and didn't apologise about then until after they were uncovered. (He had already apologized for some other gross misogynist shit, but it's never just one thing with these dudes.) This is a slap in the face to all abuse survivors -- once again, a privileged white dude has no consequences for being a piece of shit. So it is and so it ever was.

Also, I really don't care who uncovered his tweets. Would you give Kevin Hart a pass if it had been right-wingers who called him out? In fact, if you're giving Gunn a pass but not Hart, maybe think about why.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 12:55 PM on March 15 [11 favorites]


My issue is that this kind of second chance is entirely coded in white privilege. People of colour and other minorities rarely get this kind of a second chance and that is what upsets me most about this entire issue.

This is completely fair, but I think the response is to try to work out systems in which everyone's failings are judged with nuance and there are corresponding means of reconciliation available to all rather than to try to build a culture of "accountability" that just smashes around indiscriminately. I mean--much easier said than done! But if we're trying to build these systems in the name of a juster society, it seems necessary.
posted by praemunire at 12:55 PM on March 15 [27 favorites]


Eternal purity is the only acceptable standard. I'm sure that will make the world better.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:55 PM on March 15 [31 favorites]


If "not making a ton of rape jokes on Twitter" = "eternal purity" then yeah I guess sign me up for that then...?
posted by Frobenius Twist at 12:57 PM on March 15 [15 favorites]


Unlike the defensive posture exhibited by Kevin Hart

Disagree hard. Hart genuinely apologized, acknowledged that his humor was no longer appropriate, and admitted that he wasn't going to become an LGBTQ ally because that wasn't genuinely something that was inside of him. I felt it was a great apology, and I loved how he didn't just wait for a consequence, he just ended the whole "will he get asked back or not" by making the decision to remove himself from the situation so that the Oscars could move forward without him.

I'm going to bounce out of this thread, too.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:58 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


Gunn made a bunch of super gross rape and pedophilia jokes

I haven't forgotten. Gross rape jokes < saying you'd beat up your own kid for being gay < actual sexual harassment < .... (there's pretty much an infinite escalator possible here)

Publicly acknowledging that what you did was wrong and harmful is not of no value, and I do not think we want to make a world where that's considered to be the case.
posted by praemunire at 12:58 PM on March 15 [17 favorites]


I'm not really a fan of how they killed their only main woman character, so I doubt I'll be coming back for the third movie. Especially since Pratt hasn't been conducting himself well lately.
posted by No One Ever Does at 1:00 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]


Kind of a shame, but I was already trying to figure out how I was going to hang on knowing what a prat Pratt is.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:02 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


Don't want to derail, but can anyone provide a link to an explanation of whatever it is Chris Pratt did? Googling isn't turning up much but a single accusation from Ellen Page about his church, and his response which doesn't seem too horrible... I assume there's more to it.
posted by Roommate at 1:22 PM on March 15


dancinggroot.gif
posted by brundlefly at 1:32 PM on March 15


I assume there's more to it.
I'm not sure that's a safe assumption.
posted by uberchet at 1:35 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


If nothing else, it puts to rest the question of who could possibly do justice to the franchise. Switching out creative vision for a third film is fraught -- X-Men: The Last Stand still sits like a stone in some viewers' minds.

The closest non-Gunn director I could think of to have theoretically made a third one in a fitting style might be Baz Luhrmann, but even that is dubious (even if Luhrmann were interested, which seems unlikely).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:38 PM on March 15


The church Pratt has been advocating is openly anti-LGBT, won't put any LGBT people in leadership positions, fires people who come out while in leadership positions, and has a history of pushing people into conversion therapy.
posted by No One Ever Does at 1:41 PM on March 15 [28 favorites]


I was sorta hoping they'd let the Wachowski Sisters take a crack at it.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:44 PM on March 15 [14 favorites]


I'm not really a fan of how they killed their only main woman character, so I doubt I'll be coming back for the third movie. Especially since Pratt hasn't been conducting himself well lately.

....er, the odds that Gamora stays dead are basically nil, given the setup of this current arc. I mean, I love Gamora, I love Nebula, I love Mantis, I love how complicated and fucked up and vulnerable the women on that series are. If I thought they were gone, I'd probably be furious and walking away, too. But I really, really do not think that will be the case.

I'm kind of delighted with this. I was resigning myself to no one picking up this movie because Gunn is all over the first two, and I know they have had serious problems finding another director to pick it up, and I had previously trusted Gunn to listen to criticism: he made serious improvement between his treatment of women in GOTG1 (frankly: pretty gross) and his treatment of women, particularly Gamora, in GOTG2. I expect him to continue improving, and from everything I have seen, that's... his reputation in Hollywood. Note that Selma Blair, for example, came forward almost immediately and insisted that he had encouraged her from the beginning.

The jokes were made nearly a decade ago, if I remember right. They were not recent. They were dug up in direct response to political criticism today. He had already apologized for some of the incidents around 2012. There is no record of him actually damaging anyone's career, and at least one record of him standing by a woman and supporting her privately and publicly when she chose to go public against a harasser. I care about what the man does more than what he's been. I am delighted by this news.

(Pratt's church is a goddamn homophobic disaster, is what that is, and he's refusing to distance himself or even really openly criticize its stances in favor of talking about how it's important to him personally, so him I'm side-eyeing. That is the only knowledge I have, right now, but it's not great. )
posted by sciatrix at 1:45 PM on March 15 [35 favorites]


"I fully understand that James Gunn has been very up front and open about his tweets, how he was young and how he made errors in judgement..."

I don't understand how this "he was young and foolish" narrative keeps going around. It's my understanding that the tweets in question were made in 2008-2009 when he was in his early 40s.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 1:48 PM on March 15 [12 favorites]


Don't want to derail, but can anyone provide a link to an explanation of whatever it is Chris Pratt did?

Chris Pratt Funds An Evil Anti-Gay Church (NSFW language)
posted by Pendragon at 1:50 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


> ....er, the odds that Gamora stays dead are basically nil, given the setup of this current arc. I mean, I love Gamora, I love Nebula, I love Mantis, I love how complicated and fucked up and vulnerable the women on that series are. If I thought they were gone, I'd probably be furious and walking away, too. But I really, really do not think that will be the case.

I guess we'll see. I haven't seen that Avengers movie (the previous ones, CA3 and A3, didn't really do anything for me), but other people were indicating that her death was one that was likely to stay permanent. Bringing her back might change the calculus, but given Pratt's stance and Disney's general LGBT-erasing stance in Marvel movies, I'm not super inclined to check future offerings out.
posted by No One Ever Does at 1:51 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


> (Pratt's church is a goddamn homophobic disaster, is what that is, and he's refusing to distance himself or even really openly criticize its stances in favor of talking about how it's important to him personally, so him I'm side-eyeing. That is the only knowledge I have, right now, but it's not great. )

oh no. the brain worms ate andy dwyer :(
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:52 PM on March 15 [8 favorites]


What Gunn said before was shitty and no amount of worse stuff being said by other people will make it less shitty. But, it was clear (to me) that he'd repudiated that worldview by the time he started doing Marvel work, not only from his apologies for specific comments but also just in how he conducts himself as a moviemaker and a person (see: Selma Blair); and the people surfacing those old tweets were right-wing assholes doing it for transparently right-wing-asshole reasons.

Anybody else is free to feel that the latter factors don't outweigh his original shittiness, but that's where I am.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:52 PM on March 15 [16 favorites]




I supported Gunn being removed because it was a consequence. Reinstating him seems like no consequence to me. It also seems like it sets a precedent of "When awful shit from your past resurfaces, just say these specific set of words in your apology. That will be enough, then nothing more need be done."

If an apology is so advanced that it is indistinguishable from actual contrition, then maybe the speaker is actually contrite.
posted by anazgnos at 2:43 PM on March 15 [38 favorites]


Re: Chris Pratt/Andy Dwyer
If Nick Offerman can be pretty much unlike Ron Swanson, I have zero expectations for any of the other cast members of Parks&Rec.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:53 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


Does anyone else recall that it wasn't just a matter of old tweets? That there were also photos of some kind of "To Catch a Predator" themed party, where Gunn posed, dressed as a priest, with women guests dressed as little girls?

Seriously, I wasn't following closely -- was a ghastly costume ball invented for this news story last year?
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:18 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


You recall correctly. Google will find you all the stories easily.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:23 PM on March 15


Sorry - I get links to his apology statement (for his words, from years ago), with mentions of the party in the comments. It was not clear to me if the detail was ever substantiated.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:28 PM on March 15




I have no idea how to feel about any of this. I do wonder if they let Gunn come back just because they can't find anyone else to do G3, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:54 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Yes, most of the tweets were a decade or so before. However ---
Gunn was first announced as directing GotG in Sept 2012.
In Dec 2012, he was still tweeting " 'Eagle Snatches Kid' is what I call it when I get lucky". (and he was 46 at the time, so not so much "youthful".)
posted by billm at 4:06 PM on March 15 [6 favorites]


"Bad taste" costume parties on various variations of that theme have been a thing for awhile. Jokes about rape have been a thing for awhile. It isn't that he was a child and incapable of controlling his mouth about his deeply held biases; this is something completely different. There was a whole scene where adults rewarded other adults for casual obscenity like it was high art. It's still echoed in stuff like Cards Against Humanity--not that CAH is always awful in that way, and I think the people who make it aren't even awful at all, but it came out of all the same trends.

Acting like any of these things reflect his genuinely-held feelings about children or something is, to me, something you can only do if you strip away all the context. If you offer somebody a cookie for saying the most violently disgusting thing they can, they're going to come up with some shit. I would desperately like for that phase of US culture to be done with, and I think people who used to be a part of that repudiating it is a necessary part of the process. Unlike with actual abusers, I don't believe that "edgelord" is actually a part of anybody's core identity; if they've stopped behaving that way in public, they're a lot more likely to have stopped behaving that way in general.
posted by Sequence at 4:37 PM on March 15 [24 favorites]


I do wonder if they let Gunn come back just because they can't find anyone else to do G3, though.

More like they know a G3 from anyone else is something like 85% probable to flop hard. Whereas if they suffer through the backlash against this now, they have a future classic trilogy on their hands, to be flogged through every licensing channel conceivable forevermore, amen.

Guardians was designed for that. Down to the soundtrack: instant nostalgia.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:38 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


23skidoo: “[Kevin] Hart genuinely apologized, acknowledged that his humor was no longer appropriate, and admitted that he wasn't going to become an LGBTQ ally because that wasn't genuinely something that was inside of him.”

I’m not familiar with Kevin Hart’s words, but your summary confuses me, 23. Admitting one won’t be becoming an ally of a denigrated group because one doesn’t “have that inside” is a bit like baldly saying, “I don’t have compassion for that group really,” isn’t it?

What’s the functional difference between someone who doesn’t feel being an ally, and a bigot?
posted by Construction Concern at 4:57 PM on March 15 [14 favorites]


Hate.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:09 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


(which is to say, I think that's the claim made by someone staking out a position like Hart's. They admit indifference, but deny hating anyone.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:12 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


These days I'm inclined to believe that when someone 'jokes' often enough about a taboo subject, they're not joking, they're trying to be honest about who they are m
posted by kokaku at 5:23 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


I feel like there's a bit of a double standard here. When someone perceived to be on the right is fired for this kind of thing, cheering is a pretty common reaction. When it's the left, there's a hell of a lot of leeway granted.

Who cares if he regrets it? Who cares if it was a "joke"? Are there literally no other directors (preferably female, of colour) capable of directing this movie that haven't made a slew of pedophilia and rape jokes in their forties?? Of course there frigging is.

There is nothing unique about Gunn, and even if there was, it's not worth sanctioning this kind of thoughtless, glib, gross behaviour. But white dudes just get chance after chance to redeem themselves, while women and people of colour don't even get to step into the ring at all.

If eternal purity means not making repeated jokes about sexual abuse of children, I think that's a standard we should be able to meet, yeah? If I made jokes like that at my work, I would be fired and not invited back, no matter who sorry I was - and that is a standard I support. And it shouldn't matter if I am a "good guy" or contrite or anything.
posted by smoke at 5:38 PM on March 15 [11 favorites]


Wait, are we saying that it'd be better if women and people of colour get chances to redeem themselves, or that white men shouldn't? Because honestly it's really not clear.
posted by Merus at 5:59 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


Good, this whole thing was smoke. Fuck Cernovich.

But there was something there to Gunn s behavior. It sucks that we re not talking about the misogyny that produced it, women s voices that were silenced because of it, the talent that could have been fostered instead of squelched, where Marvel is at with dealing with misogyny being reproduced in its workplace, how Marvel and Disney are ensuring the erasure of misogyny in those workplaces.

Who are the women creators whose work I should look up and support because they were shut out of Marvel? That s what I want to know. I don t care about tweets, I don't really care about this guy.

This whole thing was smoke, but that doesn't mean there wasn t a fire somewhere, we just never saw it, and we don't know, even now, whether it was put out. The ability of the right wing to distract people from the fire by talking about the smoke is disappointing.
posted by eustatic at 6:25 PM on March 15 [10 favorites]


I feel like there's a bit of a double standard here. When someone perceived to be on the right is fired for this kind of thing, cheering is a pretty common reaction. When it's the left, there's a hell of a lot of leeway granted.

It's more because we use ourselves and our own pleasure/understanding as the measure of "good" and react based on that. People like Guardians of the Galaxy, so that shapes the reaction differently then had this happened over a some movie they didn't like. We don't want to believe we are enjoying things that are problematic since that draws us into more troubling issues when all we want is to be entertained without having to think about what it is we are being entertained by.

There was no sense in Disney firing Gunn over things he said years before Guardians of the Galaxy 2 when they were perfectly okay with the thing in the movie that are every bit as problematic as what he'd said previously. Mantis and racism/orientalism, the Tarantinoesque "humor" in the handling and erasure of the mother, the general douchery, the stupid juvenalia in the regular Marvel movie moral of "friends" being the most important thing of all no matter who they are or what they've done as long as someone else has done something worse, and the key "heroic" moment of the movie being a galaxy wide celebration of an abusive foster father who justifies his abuse by saying he did it for the kid is all on par with the other crap Gunn said, but if you don't look at it that closely and just get on for the fun ride it gets ignored for the pleasures that come from playing with the conventions that have always allowed such things.

I can't stand the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but there are others where I've done the same thing, tried to justify or turn a blind eye to troubling content because I enjoyed some other aspects of the movies. The conflict is hard to avoid with much of the media around us, the desire for pleasure from an industry concerned with profit not morality save for when it might impact their bottom line and our own wish to think we aren't contributing to the problem makes taking the full accounting of the media we consume really challenging. Liking can work at odds with understanding in that way, but better accounting needs to happen so the need to look more closely at our pleasures and own them can't be ignored.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:24 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


There is nothing unique about Gunn, and even if there was, it's not worth sanctioning this kind of thoughtless, glib, gross behaviour. But white dudes just get chance after chance to redeem themselves, while women and people of colour don't even get to step into the ring at all.

As a person of color, I would much rather people of any race or gender get second chances over joke made years ago (or even more recently) than not, especially when it comes to employment.

A planet of cops and let-me-speak-to-your-manager's doesn't feel like liberation to me.
posted by Ouverture at 7:27 PM on March 15 [40 favorites]


Photos Of James Gunn At Pedophilia Themed Party Surface

Basically a more elaborate version of Cards Against Humanity.
posted by JamesBay at 7:45 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


do the people in this thread who are mad about those tweets have any memory of actually living in the year 2008?
posted by JimBennett at 8:49 PM on March 15 [16 favorites]


grootponysterical!

I am groot!?
posted by loquacious at 11:45 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: A planet of cops and let-me-speak-to-your-manager's
posted by MrBadExample at 12:25 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Re: Chris Pratt/Andy Dwyer
If Nick Offerman can be pretty much unlike Ron Swanson, I have zero expectations for any of the other cast members of Parks&Rec.


I watched that whole show through more than once, and I don't think Andy Dwyer would ever have whipped his dick out at Leslie Knope when she wasn't expecting it, for a laugh.

Chris Pratt literally actually did that to Amy Poehler, on-set. Honestly, fuck the franchise.

But there was something there to Gunn s behavior. It sucks that we re not talking about the misogyny that produced it, women s voices that were silenced because of it, the talent that could have been fostered instead of squelched, where Marvel is at with dealing with misogyny being reproduced in its workplace, how Marvel and Disney are ensuring the erasure of misogyny in those workplaces.

Who are the women creators whose work I should look up and support because they were shut out of Marvel? That s what I want to know. I don t care about tweets, I don't really care about this guy.


Well, there's Nicole Perlman, who wrote the entire first GotG, and then Gunn kicked her off the franchise so he could write the second one himself, and started saying that he actually rewrote the whole script himself and basically none of her stuff was still in it, and blamed the union for her even still having a credit. And surprise surprise, the second movie was grossly misogynistic, in content and message! I'm shocked, are you shocked?

She did most of the groundwork for Captain Marvel and got one of five "story by" credits for her trouble, though, and currently also did Detective Pikachu.
posted by kafziel at 12:54 AM on March 16 [11 favorites]


Metafilter: A planet of cops and let-me-speak-to-your-manager's

Nyet. In Soviet Metafilter, soccer mom asks to speak to cop's manager.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:11 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


do the people in this thread who are mad about those tweets have any memory of actually living in the year 2008

I have no strong feelings on his re-instatement, but yes I do and I thought those kind of jokes were shitty and a poor reflection on those who made them THEN too. If you're willing to be a shithead for a cookie, you don't get a pass just because other people did it too and there were cookies?

I am very uncomfortable with the idea in this thread that the whole drama was manufactured and he didn't deserve any blowback for this, even whilst I believe he might be a good guy who doesn't deserve to be written off over it.
posted by stillnocturnal at 3:13 AM on March 16 [9 favorites]


It certainly is interesting to contrast this discussion with the one happening in Meta right now about recommending The Grand Sophy, a book written 70 years ago and an author decades dead, that's for sure.
posted by smoke at 3:46 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


If tasteless jokes are enough to get you fired, I’m honestly not sure how Sarah Silverman has managed to do two Wreck It Ralph movies.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:54 AM on March 16 [11 favorites]


I take increasing repercussions both legally and socially for abusing power extremely seriously. Yet I think it's extremely important to differentiate that James Gunn made some truly offensive comments, which is not the same thing as so the many people who have lost careers permanently because they sexually harassed or actually raped people which I think can be warranted. I am not in favor of the apology and take a year off and return redemption arc for cases of rape and repeated sexual abuses done by people in power. To me, at that point, you have proven you aren't worthy of that kind of power and we SHOULD ensure there are jobs for all people, even felons and rapists, but it's fine with me if they are jobs moving boxes around in a warehouse at the bottom of the power hierarchy. (That said I want all jobs to have living wages as well.)

I had mixed feelings about the firing, however I think it provided some kind of consequence and maybe that is needed to shift this kind of behavior. I don't think that the whole thing was overblown or that it's behavior that should just be ignored. I support the rehiring and I am genuinely hopeful that he will live out his words and work even harder to be a kind hearted and ethically aware human being going forward.
posted by xarnop at 5:22 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]


If tasteless jokes are enough to get you fired, I’m honestly not sure how Sarah Silverman has managed to do two Wreck It Ralph movies.

A lot of the same people who got Gunn fired went after her next, but she very publicly told them to get bent, and Disney ignored it, and it fizzled out.
posted by Etrigan at 5:27 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


A planet of cops and let-me-speak-to-your-manager's doesn't feel like liberation to me.
Depends on which cops and which managers.
posted by doctornemo at 9:47 AM on March 16


What Gunn said before was shitty and no amount of worse stuff being said by other people will make it less shitty. But, it was clear (to me) that he'd repudiated that worldview by the time he started doing Marvel work, not only from his apologies for specific comments but also just in how he conducts himself as a moviemaker and a person (see: Selma Blair); and the people surfacing those old tweets were right-wing assholes doing it for transparently right-wing-asshole reasons.

This is the one thing that irks me and makes me feel like the nitpicky one that can't let sleeping dogs lie. His tweets weren't just from a decade ago, he hadn't concluded this behavior before his work with Disney, and he just wasn't young. He was forty fucking six (dob 08/05/1966). He was confirmed to have started working on Guardians of the Galaxy on September 18, 2012. On December 22, 2012, he tweeted the child rape joke as follows:

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

This was after he made his apology in November of 2012 for his homophobic slurs in print on his personal website in 2011 as a 45 year old man.

I don't know James Gunn from Adam, and I love love love the Marvel movies in a way that's yet to be determined if healthy, but I'm sorry. I've seen too many men in power turn 7 years into "a decade ago," a first apology (see 2012) into a second apology, and blur lines of culpability (it was before GoG! No it was not - he was young! he was 46).

I'm all for second chances. I'm all for redemption arcs. And fuck the alt-right. That doesn't mean someone who makes rape jokes while writing a comic book movie, ostensibly for children, and only makes amends an apology when the hurt hits him, and even then does it (in my opinion) disingenuously, gets access back to millions of minds and tens of millions of dollars in future influence. I'm happy if he's changed. I'd rather a better person have gotten his trappings at Disney.
posted by avalonian at 10:43 AM on March 16 [16 favorites]


This smells like Disney waiting for things to "blow over" and then proceed as planned to collect box office receipts. Disney has always been morally flexible, and it's never damaged the bottom line.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:45 PM on March 16


A planet of cops and let-me-speak-to-your-manager's doesn't feel like liberation to me.
posted by Ouverture at 7:27 PM on March 15 [25 favorites −] [!]

Depends on which cops and which managers.
posted by doctornemo at 9:47 AM on March 16 [+] [!]


If there's one good thing to come out of this thread, it's this perfect illustration of one of the less spoken of and more important political divisions in American politics - more so I sometimes think than Right vs. Left or Mainstream vs. Margins.
posted by AdamCSnider at 1:23 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


All cops are bad vs some cops are bad?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:14 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


Well, there's Nicole Perlman, who wrote the entire first GotG, and then Gunn kicked her off the franchise so he could write the second one himself, and started saying that he actually rewrote the whole script himself and basically none of her stuff was still in it, and blamed the union for her even still having a credit.

Thank you! let me know where i can read more about this. This is the problem, not tweets.

The problem with taking your hiring, firing and promotion agenda from Mr Cernovich, rather than Ms Perlman, is that you end up talking about the wrong things, and end up with solutions to problems that don't exist.

It's not about 'right' vs 'left', it's considering who is injured by misogyny, giving them a hearing, and considering the course of action that that person wants heavily. We don't even know what Ms Perlman wants, although proper writing credit for what we think is awesome in Marvel movies seems obvious. I'm off to do more reading about this.

Right wingers do not give a shit about fixing misogyny, they are just trying to sabotage the effectiveness of #metoo tactics by drawing false equivalences and hoping no one is paying attention. They did this to Rep. Omar, and they succeeded in this instance--> 'right vs left' is the frame, and the cynicism, that Cernovich is hoping you fall into.
posted by eustatic at 4:53 PM on March 16 [9 favorites]


P.S., Perlman wrote the Gamora mini-series in 2016, which is 1) dope as hell and 2) commentary on murder, bullshit men, acrimony, vengance, and black holes.

It makes even more sense now.
posted by eustatic at 6:38 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Feels like kind of a shame that Perlman spent two and a half years working on Captain Marvel, from initial take to research and interviews with the Air Force to story treatment and development to full script treatment, only to be dropped AGAIN when they hired a new scriptwriter to do the script. She said at the time that the version of the story she and her co-writer had developed was what was going to be used, but Marvel sure did give that new scriptwriter full "story by" credit, along with both directors, who weren't hired until four months after Perlman's script treatment went in.
posted by kafziel at 6:56 PM on March 16


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