James Gunn has been removed as director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise following a series of offensive and controversial tweets written by Gunn between 2010 and 2011 that resurfaced on the internet earlier this week. The director, who brought Marvel’s intergalactic team of misfits to life back in 2014, was in the middle of working on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. No replacement has been announced by Disney.
“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,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement to THR.
Gunn responded to Disney’s decision in a statement: “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.”
The director noted that he understood and accepted Disney’s response to the tweets.
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today,” he said. “Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
As of this writing, both Gunn’s Twitter accounts and website are both down. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.