By now a lot of us probably know that James Gunn was terminated by Disney for a host of shocking and disparaging tweets that were found on his Twitter-feed only a short while ago. The director of Guardians of the Galaxy was looking forward to taking over the third installment but that’s not going to happen now since Disney and Marvel have effectively cut ties with him over the tweets that were found on his account from years before. To say that he was wrongfully terminated is and isn’t correct it seems since inflammatory speech can be just as bad as the actions they sometimes spawn. But at the same time if people can’t get by the idea of free speech and the fact that people have the right to say what they want then our society is going to continue its downward spiral that was started when social media and everything that goes with it was introduced. It’s not technology’s fault per se, but it is certainly the fault of those that have used this kind of lightning-rod behavior to push forth an agenda that will target anyone and everyone that says something that people don’t like.
He’s admitted that he did say such things and has apologized.
Gunn did admit to the tweets an didn’t shy away from them, though he did attempt to bring them into greater context so as to make people understand why he was saying them and what the real purpose behind such words was. That doesn’t seem to be stopping people from harboring the thought that he’s little more than a malcontent that has no business being in his current position and certainly has no place with Disney, a company that’s been known as a family-friendly corporation for a long, long time. Many of his fellow actors and colleagues are outraged by this and have said so in their own tweets, showing support for Gunn and trying to get him rehired. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like Disney or Marvel will budge.
Disney’s being rather hypocritical when it comes to matters such as this.
Gunn admitted his mistake, he apologized for it, and has made claims that he is far different now as he’s grown as a person and developed a much different outlook on life than he had when he sent the damning tweets that managed to get him fired. But as far as Disney being entirely family-friendly we need to pump the brakes a bit and take a really good look at their content over the years. Normally I’d be one of those telling people to calm down and take Disney movies as they are, not as the evil and twisted tales that people want to make them out to be. But in this case it’s time to turn the tables just a bit and force Disney to look at its content and realize that whatever Gunn has said in the past, Disney has managed to say far worse in their films under the guise of animation, song, and yes, humor.
Gaston in Beauty and the Beast would happily subjugate Belle, while Beast locks her in a tower and appears overly threatening every chance he gets. Maleficent, in the live action version, is shown bereft of her wings after being drugged, a clear case of assault, Jasmine openly seduces Jafar, Frollo kills Quasimodo’s mother and lusts after Esmerelda, there’s openly seductive scenes in a lot of Disney movies that are used as touching moments, and the list goes on. If Disney is going to blame Gunn for the things he said then they need to look to their own productions and possibly come to realize that what they’ve been doing throughout the years is just about as bad if not worse than anything Gunn has said in the past. It’s called being a bunch of hypocrites, and the only thing that seems to assuage this is the overwhelming amount of money that the corporation makes. That in itself is confusing since Gunn has helped Disney and the MCU to make a ton of money since Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 surpassed the original movie.
Look to thine own eyes, eh Disney? Condemning one man for what he said in jest so long ago seems in poor taste for a company that’s been trying to tell our children how to react to certain situations for so long, and has been openly displaying so many different attitudes that society seems to deem as ‘okay’ because DISNEY says they are through their films. It’s true that everyone bears responsibility for what goes on and what our children are exposed to and how the lives of those around us are affected by the decisions that are made concerning what is said and done in society. But firing James Gunn for a Twitter feed that is years old and not all how he operates now seems like a knee-jerk reaction rather than a well-thought out plan.
Disney, it’s time to look in the mirror and realize you’re not perfect either.