The Guardians of the Galaxy Scandal


Molly Briggs, Co-Editor-In-Chief

The Guardians of the Galaxy Scandal

Molly Briggs ’19, Co-Editor-In-Chief


Due to the recent #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Hollywood has begun to show an intolerance for offensive behavior regarding sexual assault and has spurred consequent action for many such cases. And it wasn’t any different for the Twitter scandal that occurred within the Marvel Cinematic Universe this summer. This July, James Gunn, the director of Marvel’s wildly successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, was fired from Disney after several of his tweets involving pedophilia and rape were brought to light. The tweets were written several years ago, from 2009 to 2012, but were recently resurfaced after Gunn criticized Trump on Twitter, causing two conservative provocateurs, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec, to search through Gunn’s Twitter history.

James Gunn claimed that these tweets were simply jokes, but Walt Disney refused to tolerate it, finding it unacceptable in this era and not in line with their family-friendly image. Disney’s studio chairman stated, “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’s Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values and we have severed our business relationship with him.” After being fired, Gunn issued an apology statement saying: “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.”

But James Gunn took it a step further by attending a pedophilia-themed party and posting about it online. The theme of the party was “To Catch a Predator,” the title of a popular NBC reality television series featuring hidden camera investigations that impersonated underage people, with the goal of detaining male adults trying to inappropriately contact these children. Gunn posted several photos on his personal blog with costumes and references to pedophilia.

Despite this myriad of ‘jokes,’ there came a strong push to get James Gunn back as the director for the next movie in the series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3—a push being led by the cast of the movie itself. Actor Chris Pratt, along with his costars, posted a letter signed by the entire cast urging for his reinstatement. The Star-Lord/Peter Quill actor added, “Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.” But despite Gunn’s widespread support, Disney and Marvel are standing by their decision to not reinstate him as director for the next installment. Although sources claim that Gunn’s original script will still be used in Vol. 3 (currently scheduled to be released in 2020), the new and yet to be found director will still tweak it and leave their mark.