In a truly shocking turn of events, Disney has severed ties with director James Gunn and removed him from the production of Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3. The move follows the discovery of a number of old social media posts written by the director, wherein Gunn joked about a variety of highly taboo subjects, including pedophilia and rape.
Disney has not issued a statement on the firing at this time, but Deadline confirms this to be the case.
We will update this post as further statements roll in. Chances are, we'll be hearing something from Gunn (who has since deleted both his personal site and his Twitter account) as well as Disney's execs in the very near future. Stay tuned.
UPDATE #1: Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn has issued the following statement, via The Hollywood Reporter:
"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
UPDATE #2: According to Variety, Gunn will not be appearing as planned at tonight's Sony presention at SDCC:
"Gunn was originally expected to participate at Sony’s Comic-Con panel, tweeting out a tease that he would be in Hall-H at the time of the event, although it was unclear what he would be hawking. The panel is supposed to present footage from Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, neither of which is directed, produced, or written by Gunn. He will no longer be participating, according to an individual with knowledge of the event."
UPDATE #3: James Gunn has issued a statement on his termination. Via Deadline:
“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.”
Please feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments below as this situation develops.