Why James Gunn Was Fired from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy:’ Inside the Offensive Tweets

James Gunn – recently rehired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – was initially fired over a set of extremely offensive tweets. Known for being a provocateur, James Gunn harbors an unusual sense of humor, one that often gets the filmmaker into trouble.

James Gunn
James Gunn | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

According to Deadline, James Gunn, years before working on the Disney-Marvel franchise, tweeted, “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place” and “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped, and it’s like whew, this feels great, not being raped!” Gunn, at the time, must have somehow perceived these tweets as humorous; however, how he could think so bewilders most.

James Gunn even went on to post inappropriate tweets about the Holocaust, AIDS, and the 9/11 attack. Disney wasn’t a fan of Gunn looking for humor in the wrong places and went on to fire the director from Guardians of the Galaxy.According to Deadline, the Walt Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn stated:

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him”


James Gunn, though since apologizing for his tweets (stating that they represented a man he does not identify with) still faces backlash for his comments made in poor taste, as should be the case. However, he does seem grateful for a second opportunity.

James Gunn expresses his gratitude and his desire to continue growing

James Gunn, initially tweeting the offensive comments in 2009, was recently rehired to Guardians of the Galaxy. In response to his reinstatement, Gunn stated:

“I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” the statement read. “I am always learning and will continue to work at being the best human being I can be. I deeply appreciate Disney’s decision and I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all. I have been, and continue to be incredibly humbled by your love and support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Love to you all.”


James Gunn has been lucky enough to receive continued support from the cast and many fans alike. After admitting to his wrongdoing, several Guardians of the Galaxy castmembers felt that Gunn still deserved to lead the production, as he was most suited to the job.

While Guardians of the Galaxy may belong to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney owns the rights, and Disney, first and foremost, is a child-friendly brand. Rehiring James Gunn comes as no surprise, as the sheer act of firing Gunn in the first place sent the message Disney needed to communicate.

When will ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ come out?

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was initially slated for a 2020 release date; however, this was before Gunn was fired from the production. It’s likely that the movie will be pushed back to late 2020 or early 2021.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will, once again, feature Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Karen Gillan. With a star-studded ensemble and a talented (albeit socially misguided) director back in the captain’s chair, the movie should prove to be another Marvel success.