James Gunn has apologized for a series of resurfaced, offensive tweets that made light of pedophelia and rape — and resulted in his being fired as director of Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
Gunn released a statement on Friday afternoon, about an hour after Disney severed its relationship with the director of the first two “Guardians” movies.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said. “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.”
Most of the tweets date between 2008 and 2011. In one, Gunn wrote, “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!'”
Disney studio chairman Alan Horn said on Friday, “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.”
Disney did not announce a replacement for Gunn. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is slated to hit theaters in 2020. The prior two films have grossed a combined $1.6 billion globally.
Gunn’s apology said he accepted Disney’s decision.
“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.”