Okay, first lemme get to the straight dope, then offer my commentary after. James Gunn, director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, was fired by Disney / Marvel Studios after an internet mob found old tweets where Gunn made some sick jokes about rape and pedophilia.
What inspired the mob to target Gunn? James Gunn slighted Ben Shapiro in a tweet defending Mark Duplass for defending Ben Shapiro.
If you feel like you’re on a grade school playground, pass the juice box.
So @MarkDuplass, when you back down from standing for tolerance, you do intolerance a service.
Fellow liberals: follow my friend @benshapiro. Help me fight him on his "red-meat" left-baiting act, but stay for his big heart, sharp mind & real willingness to "cross the aisle." pic.twitter.com/17AiPWpvYL
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) July 19, 2018
Mike Cernovich and company then searched through James Gunn’s tweets, looking to expose James Gunn. They found a cache of nasty jokes, which they “exposed.” I say “exposed” because they’re just tweets from years ago that were never deleted by Gunn. As I understand it (this happened in a blur), James Gunn then deleted those tweets. But too late, the damage was done.
Marvel / Disney then decided to can James Gunn.
Now, here’s where some intellectual honesty and consistency is required. Sideline your emotions for just a second, because multiple things can be true at once.
- James Gunn sounds like a reprehensible suckwad. Making rape and pedophilia jokes, especially as a Hollywood director, isn’t good. No, I’m not saying he can’t make jokes about whatever he wants. No, I’m not saying he should make jokes about rape or pedophilia. Don’t twist things just to be a tribalist twit. But Hollywood has a rape and pedophilia problem. Gunn would’ve been wise to know his audience a little better if what he wrote were really just jokes. I can’t believe I had to write that, but welcome to the world.
- James Gunn, as a leftist, just got swept up in the mob attack. The mob attack rules were mostly written and executed by leftists. Ergo James Gunn just got nailed by some of the very rules he may have thought were fair game… for guys on the other side of the political spectrum. Of which many people are smiling over primal reasons I totally understand.
If you're a gleeful Robespierre, don't be surprised if one day you end up in the cart headed for the guillotine.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) July 20, 2018
"Weaponized the left's morality" is an epic way to rephrase "it's ok when we do it." https://t.co/hLWGsaAyLG
— neontaster (@neontaster) July 20, 2018
- It’s likely some of the same people moaning over James Gunn falling victim to the Twitter mob either made up the mob which targeted Mark Duplass or cheered for the mob. If not Duplass, how many of the “Oh no, not James Gunn!” people online bullied Scarlett Johansson for her now-canceled role as a transman? Uh huh.
- I, Courtney, do not like internet mobs. I do not think they should have as much power as they do over people and their entire lives. Regardless of who makes up the mob (leftists or righties) or who the mob’s targeting (a leftist or a right-winger). Especially over people who’ve done nothing wrong (Read Dear Victims of Internet Outrage Mobs: NEVER Apologize!). No, I’m not saying James Gunn is free of wrong-doing. I’m not comparing him to the other scalps the mobs have recently taken. Don’t twist my words.
- James Gunn alraedy apologized for the tweets he issued years ago. You may accept or not accept his apology. That’s your call.
- The point above may inspire idiots online, who make up their own mob of losers, to come after me. Somehow suggesting I’m supporting a sicko. No. I’m not. What James Gunn wrote is nasty. I’m not defending his jokes. I’m not defending his tweets. I’m not saying Marvel should’ve fired him or if they shouldn’t have fired him. That was their call to make. What I’m asking you to think about is do we want to become a society which alters the lives of people over things they wrote or said years ago? Especially private citizens. We’re not even talking about a politician here, but a film director.
Yes, people love to hate Hollywood. Yes, I sometimes hate Hollywood. Especially when Hollywood stands on its high horse preaching to the rest of us while covering up for an actual rapist like Harvey Weinstein. Yes, I hate that Hollywood shoves agendas down our throats at every opportunity.
But I also find the internet mobs disturbing. Even if I’m not a fan of James Gunn or what he tweeted about kids.
I think @JamesGunn is an a**hole, as my exchange with him earlier this week made clear. I also think that firing him for vile old joke tweets is bad precedent and a mistake. There is no limiting principle to the outrage mob. https://t.co/wtSFzrIUER
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 20, 2018
I’m not one to often say “this is complicated,” but this one is complicated. There are a lot of issues at play. Not the least of which is James Gunn is a sicko. The left set up these rules, and when one of their people gets caught in it, it does seem fair that the leftists have to play by their own rules. I said as much when Samantha Bee called Ivanka a c*nt but wasn’t fired, the same week Roseanne lost her show.
But the mob is making me uneasy. I’m not thrilled with how much power it has amassed in just one week. I’m disturbed by how many scalps it has taken in just one week. I don’t think James Gunn’s case is the same as Duplass, Johansson or Cavill. James Gunn said nasty things. The other three were attacked by the mob for no good reason.
This is just a mess. Honestly, it’s hard for me to make a coherent conclusion here. For reals.
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