James Gunn’s Vile Comments a Lot Worse than Some Want to Admit

Written by Michael Cummings on July 27, 2018

Last week, Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn was fired from Disney after a series of tweets were brought to light.

Some of them here:

“I like it when little boys touch me in my silly place. Shhh!
“The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of What It Feels Like When Uncle Bernie Fists Me”
“The Expendables was so manly I f*****d the sh*t out of the little p***y boy next to me!”
“The hotel shower is the weakest ever. Felt like a three year old was peeing on my head.”
“Three Men and a Baby They Had Sex With”
“I’m doing a big Hollywood film adaptation of the Giving Tree with a happy ending – the tree grows back and gives the kid a ****job.”

Sadly, there are more.

Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire creator and host of The Ben Shapiro Show wrote the following:

Now he’s out of a job over decade-old disgusting tweets regarding rape, monkeys ejaculating on children, and similarly horrifying material. The tweets are purely loathsome.

That doesn’t mean he should have lost his job at Disney. Gunn says that his tweets were “outrageous and taboo,” adding, “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.” If everyone in Hollywood lost their jobs for saying loathsome things, there would be a lot of people in Hollywood about to lose their jobs (virtually every major comedian, for starters).

With that said, there are really two questions we need to unpack here. First, should Disney have fired Gunn? Second, were people right to call for Gunn’s head?

As to the first question, we need to examine a few factors: How much did Disney know about those prior activities before firing him? And how much did Gunn’s prior activities impact the current project? Now, Gunn had worked for years on Troma Entertainment, where he made “schlock” complete with disgusting jokes like Tromeo and Juliet. (Some of those jokes find their way into the first Guardians of the Galaxy film – e.g. the reference to Star-Lord’s ship being covered in semen.) So Disney knew about a lot of this when they hired him in the first place; there were news stories about his past years ago, and he apologized for such jokes in 2012.

Ben also said this:

I’ve been writing a weekly column since I was 17 years old, which provides a great window into seeing how my thinking has changed – and a great window into how people say dumb things when they’re young, and hopefully grow over time.

I don’t think Ben and other conservatives who made similar comments are taking this seriously enough. With one possible exception, the remarks Gunn made in 2012 were gross and X-rated, but they weren’t about young children (the exception was about a 15-year-old). The more recent tweets were gross and X-rated, and involved young children. For Ben to compare what he wrote when he was seventeen to what Gunn wrote is, to borrow a phrase from Pulp Fiction “, ain’t the same ****ing ball park. It ain’t the same league. It ain’t even the same ****ing sport!

Outrageous and taboo are one thing, and should not cause someone to get fired from his job provided that person has squared himself away. Outrageous or taboo concerning sex with children should disturb us all, and should not be allowed in the public sphere. Gunn’s musings aren’t about
socialism, racism, or slavery. They aren’t about shoplifting, Holocaust jokes, or even lurid tales between adults. They’re about sex with young children.

And with more of this evil crap coming out of Hollywood, we need to do what we can to keep this element as far away from the innocent as possible.

photo credit: Gage Skidmore James Gunn via photopin (license)

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.