Daniel Radcliffe ‘Guns Akimbo’ Director Jason Lei Howden’s Online Abuse May Have Killed the Film

Daniel Radcliffe fans were looking forward to seeing his new movie, Guns Akimbo However, now writer/director Jason Lei Howden’s online actions have soured many viewers on supporting the film, and its distributor may have even cancelled the release. 

Daniel Radcliffe | | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Here is a brief history of Guns Akimbo and Howden lashing out online one week before his film’s release. Due to the nature of the discussion surrounding Howden, Trigger Warning for racial slurs and suicidal thoughts. Guns Akimbo is due for release Friday, Feb. 28.

‘Guns Akimbo’ is a different movie for Daniel Radcliffe

Since playing Harry Potter, Radcliffe has chosen roles adventurously. Radcliffe played a flatulating dead body who spoke to a lonely man in Swiss Army Man. He played an FBI agent undercover with white supremacists in Imperium and he played a young man saddled with devil’s horns in Horns. Guns Akimbo could be another step forward beyond Harry Potter. 

Guns Akimbo star Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe | Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Guns Akimbo promised ultraviolent action. Radcliffe plays Miles, an innocent man entered into an underground online death match. The organizers of the hunt bold guns onto each of Miles’ hands, effectively forcing him to compete and making it difficult to turn to authorities for help. 

Jason Lei Howden brought Dilara lbir into ‘Guns Akimbo’

Howden referred to another social media bullying incident in his tweets. So to understand the Guns Akimbo director’s attacks, it is important to understand the background. A private DM in which Much Ado About Cinema editor Dilara Ebir used the N word surfaced. 

Ebir posted an apology for using the word and promising to work towards re-earning her trust. The Much Ado About Cinema staff quit, and Ebir continued receiving hostile tweets from users. On Thursday, Feb. 20 she shared another apology video in which she attempted suicide. 

Both Ebir’s apology and her videos are now removed from Twitter. Friends report that she is now recovering in the hospital. 

What Jason Lei Howden said

Howden accused the writers who left Much Ado About Cinema for cyberbullying, tagging them in his tweets even though they were not the ones who attacked Ebir publicly. Howden removed his tweets and screencaps include too much profanity and abusive language to share. 

He referred to the Much Ado staff as “woke cyberbullies” and “trolls with added hypocrisy.” He also defended the private DM for which Ebir apologized. “The PRIVATE DM that was maliciously leaked was obviously an ironic joke,” Howden wrote. “Can’t believe anybody would think she was being serious.”

Journalist and film critic Valerie Complex was one of many who replied to Howden. She wrote, “No one should be saying the n word at all, even in jest.” The writer DarkSkyLady wrote a Medium post about why the issue of the racial slur is important and how Howden was minimizing it. 

The official Guns Akimbo account replied to DarkSkyLady:

“Troll article from someone who cyberbullied a woman until she attempted suicide. I hope @Medium knows you attempted murder with online bullying.”

Is Daniel Radcliffe’s movie still coming out?

Complex shared screencaps of Howden’s tweets. She also pointed out that he accused Complex and DarkSkyLady of involvement in Ebir’s suicide attempt when they had no involvement in the events of Feb. 20. 

Jameela Jamil came to their defense too.

Awards Watch founder Erik Anderson noticed on Sunday, Feb. 23 that Box Office Mojo removed Guns Akimbo from their release calendar, and IMDB no longer lists Saban as the film’s U.S. distributor.

Representatives for Saban did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Feb. 23 regarding the film’s release or their knowledge of Howden’s behavior, or the operation of the Guns Akimbo account. 

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.