“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson erased approximately 20,000 of his tweets days after Disney fired “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn over offensive online remarks.
Johnson explained on Twitter that he wasn’t deleting his tweets under any official directive, but was preemptively destroying ammunition in the event right-wing trolls try digging them up to ruin his career.
“No official directive at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that bad,” Johnson tweeted. “But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a “why not?” move.”
No official directive at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that bad. But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a “why not?” move.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 25, 2018
In wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Hollywood’s zero tolerance mentality has started applying to offensive statements as well. Gunn’s controversial firing came shortly after Amy Powell was ousted as head of Paramount TV for allegedly making “racially charged” remarks about African-American women. Weeks earlier, ABC canceled its revival of “Roseanne” when series star Roseanne Barr tweeted racist comments about former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Gunn has since apologized for his tweets and said he understands the business decisions involved with his firing.
“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.”
Johnson said he’s been using apps such as TweetDelete to mass erase Tweets, rather than go through each one individually.