DISNEY kicks Guardian’s Director | Sunday Observer

DISNEY kicks Guardian’s Director

 The third instalment of the Guardian’s of the Galaxy is looking to have a new director after the Walt Disney Company made a controversial move to fire the American filmmaker, James Gunn, just last month.

The 52-year-old was fired due to jokes he had made a decade ago about paedophilia, child abuse and rape. Mike Cernovich, an alt-right conspiracy theorist, reacted to the filmmaker’s criticisms of President Trump by drawing attention to tweets made by him about sensitive issues, in which he seemed to draw humour from it. Gunn was immediately met with criticisms from the public, which resulted in Disney firing him as a director of the next instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, as well as being dismissed from a role to help lead Marvel’s ‘Cosmic Universe.’

Gunn later responded to the criticisms stating: “I have regretted those jokes for many years since. Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now is offer my sincere and heartfelt regret. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies.”

However, Disney’s decision to remove Gunn as a director has also received widespread criticism from multiple journalists, entertainers and actors. American comedian, Bobcat Goldthwait, who voiced the roles of Hade’s Henchmen on the 1997 Disney film, Hercules, responded to Gunn’s firing by asking Disney to remove his voice from an upcoming park attraction based on the film itself. Media outlets such as Collider, National Review, MovieWeb, Vulture and the Independent have all openly criticised Disney over its decision to remove Gunn from the franchise; later resulting in an online petition that received over 360,000 signatures that urged Disney to re-hire Gunn as the director of the third instalments.

On July 30, 2018, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast members, released a joint statement through social media expressing their support for Gunn in the hope of having him reinstated as director.The letter read: “We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen and discuss,”.

They then went on to state: “In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3, as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.”Later on, August 9th, it was reported that Marvel was attempting to convince Disney to reconsider its decision over the American filmmaker.

Kurt Russell, who played the role of Ego in the second instalment, spoke out about the incident saying that “It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now, and I get it” he then went on to say: “But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people. You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something which lead him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy,” Russell continued. “He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”

The support for Gunn from the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy does not stop there. More than a week ago, a fan on Twitter asked the actor, Dave Bautista who plays Drax the Destroyer, if he had “any plans or response” if Disney doesn’t re-hire the American filmmaker. In which the actor responded with “I will do what I’m legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for,” he replied. “GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. It’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel.”

However, despite backlash from several celebrities, including the Guardians cast, both Marvel and Disney have mutually decided not to reinstate James Gunn as the director of the upcoming Guardians movie. Alan Horn, the head of Disney Studios, met with Gunn to discuss his future with the company. The meeting was set up as “a courtesy to clear the air” with the 52-year-old filmmaker. 

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