News & Politics

Disney Director James Gunn Gets Reprieve from Roaming Outrage Mob

James Gunn arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Ant-Man and the Wasp" at El Capitan Theatre on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

In 2019 America, we tend to think of sociopolitical matters in terms of left and right. If you’re on the left, you blame the right. If you’re on the right, you blame the left. (And if you’re like me, you get blamed by both. At least I can work my own hours.) But the roaming outrage mob is a bipartisan entity. Nobody is safe. Red or blue, MAGA or #Resistance, Coke or Pepsi, whatever. If you mess up, or if you’ve ever messed up in your entire life, the mob can descend upon you at any moment. That’s why I’m glad the manufactured outrage hurled at Tucker Carlson over the past week isn’t working. And now the outrage mob has suffered another loss, as one of their biggest victories has been overturned.

Mike Fleming Jr, Deadline:

I’ve learned that Disney has reinstated James Gunn as the writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and I’ve confirmed it with Marvel and Gunn’s camp.

The decision to rehire Gunn –he was fired last July by Disney after alt-right journalists made public a fusillade of decade old social media missives that made light of pedophilia and rape — was one that was mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studios.

I’m not sure they were “alt-right,” but whatever. That’s pretty much what happened. Gunn tweeted a bunch of gross stuff a decade ago, which Disney knew about when they hired him. But then there was #outrage over it and Disney panicked. I thought his firing was an overreaction. As with Tucker, I didn’t see how a bunch of old jokes hurt anybody. If you don’t like him, don’t pay attention to him. How tough is that? Why do you need to get people fired for hurting your feelings?

But I was also ambivalent about Gunn’s firing, because just a couple of months before that, he said this:

Roseanne Barr was making a lot of money for Disney too, and she got fired for just one bad tweet. But of course that was different, because she likes Trump and James Gunn doesn’t. He’s in the tribe and she’s not. So he got his job back and she didn’t.

The whole thing has gentled him down some:

I’m a little surprised Gunn accepted their offer. If they didn’t stand behind him last time, over some bad tweets, how can he trust them now? They put him through the wringer for almost a year, and now everybody’s just going to pretend it never happened? I guess it’ll give Gunn and his bosses something to talk about as they’re frolicking around in huge piles of cash like autumn leaves.

You know what probably convinced those Disney executives to reverse their decision? That “Rehire James Gunn” billboard outside Disneyland. I was skeptical that it would work, but it did! Sorry I doubted you, guys.

In other Marvel news, I’m sure you’ve been waiting breathlessly for my review of Captain Marvel. Here it is: I haven’t seen it! I feel guilty about imposing my toxic masculinity on my fellow moviegoers and throwing my cash on the huge pile Disney is raking in. But I also feel guilty for not participating in this stunning victory for feminism, and I’m sure I’ll feel just as guilty when I finally see it and give it anything less than four stars. Sorry, everybody!

I did enjoy her appearance in the latest Avengers: Endgame trailer, though:

They can’t seem to do anything about Brie Larson’s sullenness and lack of affect, so they’re turning it into a positive. Thor likes this blank-faced mortal. Look how unimpressed she is! Okay, great, she’s terrific, now go beat up Thanos already.