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James Gunn, You're Fired!

Marvel Studios' golden boy gets the boot after controversial tweets resurface.

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James Gunn, You're Fired!

James Gunn got himself into some seriously hot water this week when nearly decade old tweets of his resurfacing. The posts in question are coarse and lurid to say the least, joking about touchy subject matters such as pedophilia and rape.

Gunn quickly issued an apology for these remarks, but the damage to his resume and reputation was done. The tweets were in fact deemed so offensive that The Walt Disney company has pulled Gunn from the director's chair of the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3". As a multi-billion dollar corporation, and in particular one whose brand is largely associated with children, Disney could not allow any association with such behavior. Except occasionally when they can.

Last year, Pixar head John Lasseter came under fire with accusations of sexual harassment and assault of female employees. Disney's response was to suspend Lasseter for six months rather than remove him outright. Many are now pointing to this incident as hypocrisy on the company's part in the wake of Gunn's firing.

This year, however, seems to have brought a sea change in how controversial creatives are dealt with. Rosanne Barr was also laid off and had her projects canceled after racist remarks were made on social media.

The ramifications for Walt Disney as a whole go beyond a simple P.R. nightmare. Gunn served as director for both the first and second films in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series, among the most successful and acclaimed of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup. His removal leaves one of Marvel's flagships without its captain, so to speak.

Some have suggested that "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi take up the post, seeing as that film was very much made in the "Guardians" mold. But regardless of who is tasked with taking up this project, this brings an unwanted shakeup to the house of ideas.

There is also the larger question of what old skeletons are hiding in the closets of filmmakers and stars not just at Disney, but across Hollywood. We have already seen a number of big names brought down in the wake of the #MeToo movement, so it's not unreasonable to assume more still could have careers undone by offensive posts on the web.

James Gunn's firing could prove surprisingly consequential, and the lesson is clear: what you put online lasts forever. Let this serve as a lesson to those in the entertainment industry and the world at large, something that seems like a great, hilarious idea now, might come off like the worst idea ever in ten years. Mistakes of the past can now haunt you forever, so watch what you say.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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