Last week Disney fired Gardens of the Galaxy director James Gunn for a series of old tweets. The tweets came out after right wing nut job Mike Cernovich posted them in retaliation for comments Gunn has made of Donald Trump.
I don't know much about Gunn but he has apologized for the tweets stating, "I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humour…. 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." I believe the sincerity of his apology. someone who does know him is Dave Bautista, and he has stated, "James Gunn "is one of the most loving, caring, good-natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have."
We all have said stupid and possibly offensive things in the past. I know I personally I have made offensive statements in the past. And quite possibly will again in the future. But as humans we evolve and learn from our past mistakes. At least most of us do. Gunn said those things not necessarily because he believed them but because hey though they were funny or would incite discussion. But they are not his views now, nor have they been since being hired by Disney. It is behavior like this by Disney that gives fodder for the right against the "liberal Media."
Yes there are times when firing someone for offensive behavior is, in my opinion valid, such as Rosanne Barr's firing. But when those who know Gunn come out making statements about what a kind and caring person he is; we should give people chances to evolve and be better people. Criminals come out of jail and talk about how they are reformed but then can't get jobs. What happened to rehabilitation? What happened to second chances? What happened to being human?
Yes, Disney is the company of Mickey Mouse and all that is good and family friendly. So maybe this might not have happened if Marvel were owned by another studio. But that shouldn't matter. Disney should also stand by the core ideals of decency and support people becoming better people. The right-wing media doesn't care about inappropriate behaviour, Fox News loves a president who sexually assaults women and cheats on his wife with porn stars.
I'm not saying Disney needs to go as far to the left as Fox is to the right. But, we somehow seem to live in a world of one extreme to the other, and it is the liberal extreme that allows people like Cernovich to search old twitter tweets post them and get that person fired. A lot of people speak out against Trump, and what Disney has done here is said to others like Cernovich, go out and search for statements made by other critics of Trump to get them fired as well. Until we reach a point where everyone becomes afraid to say anything as we turn from a democracy to a fascist country.
As a stock holder in Disney I'm always happy when one of their moves does well at the box office, but my hope is that the next Guardians of The Galaxy doesn't do so well without John Gunn, and that maybe large studios like Disney will spend a bit more energy supporting it's filmmakers instead of unnecessarily condemning them. Also, I would really like to see is Warner Brother have Gunn direct one of the DC movies and turn it into a powerhouse, giving Disney and Marvel a bitch slap in the face.