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Demosthenes's avatar

Was it right for Disney to fire James Gunn?

Asked by Demosthenes (14762points) July 23rd, 2018
12 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Director James Gunn (of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies) was recently fired by Disney after tweets that he made years ago were brought to light. The tweets in question were a series of “edgy” jokes about pedophilia.

I’ve seen some of the tweets; they were bizarre and powerfully unfunny, but clearly the effort of someone trying to be edgy and shocking.

Many people are drawing comparisons between Gunn’s firing and that of Roseanne. Others note that the tweets were brought to Disney’s attention by right-wing activists trying to knock Gunn, an outspoken Trump critic, down a few pegs. Seems to me that it shouldn’t matter who brought the tweets to Disney’s attention. They’re either grounds for firing or they’re not.

A number of Hollywood figures have now come to Gunn’s defense. What say you? A fair move by Disney or a kowtowing to an alt-right smear campaign?

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Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

He is in a position of trust to children. So yes. Any other job I would be cool with it. Other than teacher or coach.

Caravanfan's avatar

This should be a lesson to anybody to be very careful of what they post on any online public feed. Was it right for Disney to fire him? I don’t think so. He’s not a pedophile—he was making a bad joke and being edgy. That was stupid of him. But it was 10 years old.

Here is a good article by David French on the subject and the difference betweeen Rosanne and Gunn

https://nationalreview.com/corner/james-gunn-roseanne-barr-difference/

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

This was a business decision, not a moral one. So asking whether or not it was right or wrong is sort of misleading. Disney feared bad press and a hit to their bottomline, so they fired Gunn to change the optics. And if the fan backlash is big enough to make Disney think that their bottomline is better off with Gunn on the film, he’ll be back.

Is this a fair move? Yes. Disney has every right to protect its investment. But “fair” isn’t the same thing as “right.” Were they kowtowing to an alt-right smear campaign? Also yes. Ignore how old the tweets are. What’s more important is that Gunn had disavowed them and discussed how he had grown as a person before any of this had even happened.

But I think you really want to know if Gunn deserved to be fired. On that issue, I think the article provided by @Caravanfan is spot on. Firing someone for something they no longer are is much different from firing people for who they are currently and keep revealing themselves to be. The parallels between Gunn and Barr are entirely superficial.

@RedDeerGuy1 Just because Gunn works for Disney doesn’t mean he makes children’s movies or is ” in a position of trust to children.” Disney owns a lot of properties, including some that are aimed at adults. This includes Marvel Studios (which is where Gunn comes in) and Touchstone Pictures (which has distributed plenty of movies with PG-13 and R ratings).

ragingloli's avatar

No.
That kind of sense of humour is completely in line with the kind of movies he made before he was hired by Marvel.
Or are you going to say, that you will never look at “Tromeo and Juliet” the same way again?

ragingloli's avatar

I mean this
A theatrically released feature film.
Do not try to tell me that Disney did not know about that.

johnpowell's avatar

To be honest I don’t really care. But I am elated when twitter is a celebrities downfall. Hopefully less people use it. Because Twitter is nearly as bad as the comment section on youtube. Burn the fucker to the ground. Ben can find a new job.

ucme's avatar

Another example of the snowflake generation, get the fuck over yourselves!!

Caravanfan's avatar

@johnpowell I use twitter, but mostly for benign purposes to keep in touch with international friends regarding a hobby. But I agree with you on the whole. In the last 5 years Twitter has been weaponized by both the right and the left to bully, harrass, and ruin people.

Demosthenes's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield I agree that’s an important distinction between Barr and Gunn. Assuming that both companies knew the questionable pasts of both of them, it seems in ABC’s case they took a gamble that Barr would not continue to be a jerk on Twitter and lost. In Gunn’s case, it seems Disney wanted to accept Gunn’s “reform” but couldn’t ignore his past once it was brought to the forefront.

@Caravanfan My friend finally convinced me to get a Twitter. I still have not “tweeted” anything; I only use it to keep up with certain news and academics.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Demosthenes That’s what my wife does too, and me mostly. If you follow the right people it’s pretty interesting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am really undecided. Above all, I have to agree with @Caravanfan the most. Don’t post stupid shite online. Don’t post compromising pictures of yourself anywhere.

si3tech's avatar

IMHO YES!!

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