LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Renowned director James Gunn has been fired from the upcoming movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” after old tweets reemerged in which Gunn makes inappropriate statements regarding pedophilia and child sexual abuse.
Disney fired the 51-year-old Gunn Friday after the tweets were dug up by several media outlets. They are dated between 2009 and 2012 and joked about issues including pedophilia, child molestation and rape.
“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,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios in a statement to CBS2.
Gunn initially deleted his Twitter account Friday morning, but then later re-published it with the following statement:
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.
“It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.”
“In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.
“For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.
“Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.”
Gunn was scheduled to appear at San Diego Comic-Con Friday to represent the “Guardians” franchise before Sony canceled the appearance.
He wrote and directed the worldwide hits “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Prior to those, he directed the movies “Slither” and “Super,” along with a TV series called “PG Porn.”
He is currently writing and producing a reboot of “Starsky & Hutch” for Amazon.