James Gunn, the director of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has been removed as director for the third installment following outrage over offensive tweets he made several years ago.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible,” Walt Disney Studios said in a statement.
“[They are] inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
The decision was made despite Gunn removing the tweets in question and apologizing for them, according to a BBC report.
The director reacted to the news in a series of new tweets, in which he once again apologized and insisted the he is now a “very, very different man than [he] was a few years ago.”
“I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” the tweets read. “I am very, very different than I was a few years ago.”
2. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) 20 июля 2018 г.
”My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over,” Gunn wrote.
Gunn was the creator of the Guardians of Galaxy movies, the first of which was a huge success, raking in more than $771 million around the globe. The film was reportedly one of the most successful Marvel movies ever. The director was also involved in the making of the widely successful Avengers franchise.
According to BBC, the tweets that sparked the public’s ire included jokes about pedophilia and rape. They were first unearthed and advertised by the Daily Caller.
On a side note, Gunn is a vocal Trump critic and was among those who called the US president a “traitor” after the recent Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A replacement director for the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie has yet to be announced.