Hot Take: Should James Gunn Be Reinstated?

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When James Gunn was released from his contract at Disney and lost his job directing Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.3 I initially thought, that’s a shame. Whatever he said must have been bad and moved on. I have since read some of them and they ARE bad, not funny and indefensible.They also happened seven to ten years ago. I realize there is no statute of limitations on free speech but it is certainly true that people change. Things you might have said in the past do not necessarily reflect the person you are now. We are human, mistakes are made.

Perhaps Disney/Marvel can look no further than some of their own characters to see. Natasha Romanoff was a Russian spy. She did many horrible things in service to her country. They didn’t call her the Black Widow for no reason. But years past, she changed and now she is an Avenger. No one mentions her previous life (other than Loki) because that is not who she is NOW.

Tony Stark was an arms dealer, like his father before him. He made his fortune selling weapons of mass destruction. The fact that he sold them to the U.S. government didn’t change the fact that his weapons sometimes killed innocent people. After seeing the destruction he wrought, he decided to change. He no longer wanted to make those weapons. He changed. It can happen.

I realize that these are fictional characters. But many times, fictional characters are based on real life circumstances and emotions. The fact is, Gunn made a mistake many years ago trying to be humorous and controversial and he apologized for it then and now. It doesn’t excuse it. It doesn’t condone it. But it was the in past and he is obviously not that same person now. The letter posted today and from the entire cast in support of him would seem to prove that. I doubt they would support him if he was still THAT man.

In the end, it is Disney/Marvel’s decision. They can play it safe and follow the course they have chosen or they can listen to the people who have worked with him for a long period of time. These are the people who know who James Gunn is now. They are some of the people who have quit social media in protest of the way they thought he was treated. That kind of loyalty isn’t given away, it’s earned. Last but not least, you might also consider that he is the man who has made your company a great deal of money with two successful GOTG films. Just something to think about.