Robot 6

James Gunn apologizes for ‘poorly worded and offensive’ comments

James Gunn

Faced with growing criticism, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has apologized for insulting comments he made about women, gays and lesbians in a nearly two-year-old blog post, characterizing his remarks as “poorly worded and offensive to many.”

The statement, released last night by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and re-posted on Gunn’s Facebook page, followed outreach from the organization, condemnation by the Human Rights Campaign — “James Gunn’s blog post is offensive not just to LGBT people and women but rather to anyone with even the slightest sense of decency” — and online outrage, all stemming from a deleted February 2011 post on the filmmaker’s website.

Newly unearthed via Google Cache, the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll include commentary in which Gunn refers to Gambit as “this Cajun fruit,” calls teenage mother Stephanie Brown “easy,” admits wanting “to anally do” Kitty Pryde, and suggests Tony Stark could “turn” the lesbian Batwoman.

Here is Gunn’s statement: “A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings.  However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all.  People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I’m an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said. We’re all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I’m learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all.”

Gunn, who was confirmed in September to rewrite and helm Guardians of the Galaxy, had been targeted by an online petition asking Marvel Studios “to cut ties with Gunn and find a new director who has respect for women.” Now closed, the petition garnered 5,037 signatures. Guardians of the Galaxy opens Aug. 1, 2014.

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63 Comments

This is hard to gauge. IDK if he really learned his lesson or if he really meant what he said in the blog, but they have to keep an eye on this guy, not matter what.

I’m not really sure how repentant he really is. The only movie of his that I’ve watched is Super, and that had more than its fair share of creepy, exploitative moments that makes me take his statements with more than a pinch of salt.

Everybody says stupid stuff at some point in there life. I think people just took this way to seriously.

The Nazi ThinkPolice strike again!

Some people need to stop complaining over dumb stuff, and some people need to say things and not give a damn who is offended and have the balls to stand for their rights to say it,

Really, Terry? Fourth post and you’re going to do a nazi/1984 comment?

I think Gunn worded the statement quite nicely. He didn’t make it into a formal press release, but kept it more casual and honest. He’s got some crude sense of humor, that’s true and certain. But I doubt it will affect Guardians in any way. It will be a usual Marvel flick, for better or worse.

“calls teenage mother Cassandra Cain ‘easy,’ ” – Wrong Batgirl. The post correctly lists Stephanie Brown.

“They need to keep an eye on the guy?” Seriously??
Sorry cich, but I’m starting to think the nazi/1984 comparisons are getting more accurate each day.
People need to step back a little and think what kind of society they want to live. This stuff is getting scary, particularly for us creative folks.

The man doesn’t owe an apology to anyone. But, whatever. He seems like a cool guy who makes great movies. If he wants to say he’s sorry then I guess good for him.

H has nothing to apologize for. At all.

I agree with Daniel “They need to keep an eye on the guy?” Way over the top. He made some bad jokes, if you read the rest of the post you can see the tone he wa trying to set. The parts about Emma Frost were actually kind of funny and clearly meant as satire. Regarding the “offensive” material, it looks like he took a shot at satire but missed.
There’s always a big race to be as outraged as possible when something like this breaks. Just relax.

machine- “Some people need to stop complaining over dumb stuff.”

I concur, the problem is this wasn’t dumb. It was a sexist, homophobic screed, something that needs to be taken seriously because acts like this are serious. Maybe it was satire, maybe not, but the fact is there are plenty of people out there who are who are honestly emitting similar vile, bilious claptrap and these people need to be held accountable.

And secondly, detailing which superheroes he’d like to fuck, and how he’d like to do it isn’t something that needs to be said.

The guy is a public figure and needs to act with some responsibility and tact. I feel he has done so by offering the statement but I don’t think all is forgiven just yet.

its funny the double standards that the left wing half of society allows these days.

as long as you are liberal and for every left wing ideological point of view, you are ok to be a hypocrite and post bigoted hateful statements towards gays and womans.

its just pathetic.

cant wait to see all the hollywood actresses now come out and defend this guy, etc etc etc…

i am sure in the end, the left wing will turn the tables on all of us and make this guy out to be a martyr left wing causes. The guy did say he supports all the correct left wing political agendas didnt he?

he basically gave left wing hollywood & left wing politicians and left wing comic book fans a wink wink, that he is just like them so please dont get mad at me and give me a pass.

again, ABSOLUTELY pathetic. if this were any kind of a right wing or right leaning politician, actor or director, he/she would be toast. TOAST.

all this proves is that the left are bigots and accept bigoted comments and jokes as long as its by one of their own. H*ll, if there was ever a person who abused women and was given a HUGE pass by the left wing it was Bubba Clinton and now he is comnsidered a saint by the left wing.

go f*kin figure.

Dark rabbitt, you are a wise person. The people still trying to ruin this person’s career are scum. If you signed that petition I hope karma swings around and bites you.

Must be a slow day in the world of the anti-homophobe crusade if they’re picking on a guy who wrote a few lame jokes two years ago on a poll about the deadly serious subject of having sex with superheroes. I’ve seen episodes of Modern Family that had sharper gay and women jokes.

Seriously, whoever got this petition together needs to go out and find a real problem to bitch about.

Wait lol maybe you are not so wise after all lol.

So GLAAD’s position is that since he offended them in November 2012 with a joke he wrote over a year ago he should never prosper in his career as an apolitical movie director.

Stephen Conway you are not as smart as you think you are lol!

John, hopefully this society tries to tear you apart one day. This guy has done nothing wrong. Bad comedy is not a crime.

Also: public figure James Gunn, of whom I have never heard, is not accountable to the public except how they vote with their dollars, and in that perhaps he is accountable only to Marvel and Disney. It would be a shame if a political group attempted to get people to not prosperfrom this film over something so stupid.

“So GLAAD’s position is that since he offended them in November 2012 with a joke he wrote over a year ago he should never prosper in his career as an apolitical movie director.”

No, it’s not.

As a committed advocate for change and equality in our society, I’m a little peeved that this Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization can so easily abscond from reality and so readily damage the very issues they purport to champion. It’s a little disingenuous to everyone who works so hard on a day-to-day basis for equality. I’m no big fan of Gunn and sure, the comments were incredibly crude, but it takes a bizarre mind to interpret the comments as anything other than (mis-firing) satire. I just find it depressing that a so-called progressive organization would stoop so low, creating hysteria out of an issue which is inconsequential compared to the very real, very tangible discrepancies in our society. This is a witchhunt that will do more harm than good and it will give the real enemies of equality more ammunition, allowing them to cloak their intolerance in yet more cries of “thoughtpolice”.

Joe my dear friend, I know exactly how intelligent I am.

I don’t see where me intelligence should come into a discussion about giving a guy a free pass on sexist, homophobic comments. I don’t think he should be demonised like some others believe, nor do I think he’s a victim of a witch hunt. Frankly, as I don’t know the guy I can only base my opinions on his comments and statements. What has been said should prompt discussion and not righteous condemnation or personal attacks.

If in the fullness of time he is proven to be repentant and sincere, then he should be forgiven and we shall leave this catastrophe behind us. I hope this will be the case, and that this statement is more than just empty words and hot air.

Stephen

@Stephen Conway Why do you get to decide what deserves to be said? There are plenty of blog posts/websites/facebook comments detailing which people/fictional charcters various members of both sexes would like to have sex with. If it’s not something you like to talk about then simply avoid the material. It’s not semething I have any desire to talk about but I don’t think anyone can turn around and say “that doesn’t need to be said”.
@dark rabbitt I think many people who were completely unaware of his political leanings were defending him. It’s nothing to do with “one of their own”. It’s simpy a case of people getting outraged about something so insignificant. Read the whole post, it was just some crappy jokes which failed to hit the mark

“As a committed advocate for change and equality in our society, I’m a little peeved that this Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization can so easily abscond from reality and so readily damage the very issues they purport to champion.”

All GLAAD did is reach out to Gunn, which it often does when celebrities make comments perceived as anti-gay. The organization didn’t spark the outcry over his comments, or start the petition.

Joe can you please calm down a bit? “John, hopefully this society tries to tear you apart one day. This guy has done nothing wrong. Bad comedy is not a crime.” Statements like that can make you appear a bit unhinged. John said he was skeptical and you call for his downfall? IMHO, that is quite skeevy.

WaR0C- Yes, I don’t think there is a need to discuss wanting to have sex with fictional characters yet I never said he shouldn’t be allowed to do so.

He can say anything he wants—but I hope he isn’t surprised when, or if, his career dries up. His comments seemed bang-on for an adolescent boy.

@Kevin Melrose

Apologies, you’re most right. This leaves a more problematic conundrum, when it’s not a question of misrepresentation, but the agency given to mob-law in a digital age.

Unlike a lot of press releases, this actually sounds like Gunn got to put his own words in the apology. I’m glad this nonsense is over. I think it was way blown out of proportion. I get that people found it to be insensitive, but some were calling him to be thrown off “Guardians.”

Apperantly The Flash is the only person fighting Mob Rule

People like to overreact to anything. Did any of the people he was poking jokes at complain about it? Oh wait, that’s right, they were fictional.

If you feel James Gunn shouldn’t have to apologize, and that it is time to make a stand against people complaining loudly to get their way, please sign my petition.

http://www.change.org/petitions/marvel-studios-leave-james-gunn-directing-guardians-of-the-galaxy-and-ignore-the-whiners

He absolutely should be apologizing. The stuff he wrote was very offensive.

Having said that, an apology is enough. Someone realizing they said something awful when they were younger but now realize it was wrong is perfectly okay. There is no reason to punish him for it.

If he REFUSED to apologize, that woudl be a whole other thing, but that is not the case here.

“If you feel James Gunn shouldn’t have to apologize …”

Gunn doesn’t have to do anything (insert usual caveats for death, taxes, et al). That said, a mindset has taken hold that apologizing is a bad thing, a sign of weakness, when it actually demonstrates self-awareness, empathy and, in some cases, concern for the bottom line.

We can theorize why someone dug up a deleted post from nearly two years ago, but Gunn deleted it for a reason — likely either because, as he says now, he realized it’s unfunny and offensive to a lot of people, or because with his higher profile comes increased scrutiny. Whatever the reason, he’s (seemingly sincerely) apologized, which should pretty much end the controversy (but it probably won’t).

Wasn’t the whole thing a “promo” piece he did for his movie SUPER? Which, in part, deals with the kind of overenthusiastic comic fans who would write that type of list?

People who follows James Gunn knows this was satire, and bad satire at that (at least IMO) and they know that what he said in his apology is true. He is a proponent for the Gay and Lesbian rights, and he does protray strong-minded women in his messed-up but awesome films (and The Scooby Doo films to a extent.) The guy came from Troma, and if you know Troma, you understand what he tried to do, and failed at.

In reference that he is a public figure, you are right, he does need to careful minded of what he said. The problem is that this is coming from when he wasn’t highly recognized yet, and no one really knew or cared about him until it was dugged up via the Google Cache. This isn’t like Brett Ratner calling people the F-word and insulting actual women (He insulted Olivia Munn and more or less called her a whore). He did that while taking a highly known job (producing the Oscars) and he has been and always will be a douche.

He apologize, and he did it fairly quickly, which is something real sexists aren’t capable of doing. So lets move on to people who really are causing harm to the LGBT and Women’s rights.

You face a different level of scrutiny when you’re suddenly making a movie for Marvel/Disney that’s part of a multi-billion dollar franchise. This is a huge leap for James Gunn who previously made genre movies (Slither, Super), and created a web series of “PG Porn” where Belladonna, playing Lucy in a spoof of Peanuts, gets to say, “You’re faggot, Charlie Brown”. It’s not like he’s got a huge body of work that people are familiar with, like when Joss Wheadon got picked for Avengers. James Gunn is still building his image in main stream entertainment. More people probably know him as the dude who was married to Pam from The Office than the guy who wrote the script for Lollipop Chainsaw.

So when people hear he’s doing a Marvel movie, and they start googling to find more info about him, it’s in no one’s interest to have disparaging comments come up. If he was just some dude in a bar, sure, he could say, “It’s been 2 years, get over it!” But he’s a guy looking to make millions of dollars involved with billion dollar properties- it doesn’t do anyone any good to have those kinds of things lingering out there. GLAAD gave him the opportunity to address his comments and he did- he seems repentant and hopefully it ends there.

For the people complaining about liberal conspiracies- you should remember what happened a few years back when Ed Brubaker did an arc in Captain America with a militia that the media assumed was supposed to represent the Tea Party- he caught all sorts of hell over it. Marvel is a huge business, they don’t want to offend people on either side.

Show me one person who has not said something ill temptered.

I’m much more offended about Roman Polanski getting any thing besides repeatedly beaten in jail for what he DID vs what this guy SAID.

I was hoping this was one of those situations where he apologized for people finding it offensive rather than actually apologizing for saying it, because the guy did nothing wrong.

You know what…we’re becoming a society where everybody has to think, believe and feel the same way. Don’t dare have an opinion contrary to the majority…he didn’t owe an apology to ANYBODY… but since it struck such a silly nerve with folks. He had to be PC about it…

I’m guessing he wrote that stuff in the authenticity of the moment…and it was FANTASY…he was not threatening anybody’s life or slandering real, living people…he was talking about comic characters in comic-boy-fantasy-fashion….dang…we can’t have our own fantasies….or own ramblings…

There are a lot of folks who don’t like me or hate me because of my ethnicity….but that’s their problem…I’m not out to change them…I’m going to let them, do them…and I’m going to do me… I can only control me…and when we get to the point where we are trying to control each other…then it’s going to be down hill from there…some people just won’t be controlled by other people…

^ “You know what…we’re becoming a society where everybody has to think, believe and feel the same way.”

That’s right. To paraphrase Harry Dean Stanton in Avengers, “it’s a condition.” Political correctness is savaging the way future generations will be able to interact. Enough, already. Let’s sweep away the eggshells!!

I find this whole situation laughable.

I am a Republican (cue instant bashing). I am a Christian (cue further bashing). I think homosexuality is wrong. But I live in a world that increasingly believes these things to be right and normal. I disagree…..peacably. I don’t condemn anyone for their transgressions, perceived or actual. Some of my best friends are gay, actually. I don’t tell them how to live, and they don’t tell me how to live.

For me, as an individual, to take someone’s comments and ascribe any weight to another individual’s opinion of any subject, and use it as a basis for scorn, ridicule, or condemnation is the epitome of hypocrisy. I have made mistakes in my life….as has every living being on this planet. James Gunn made some comments that some found offensive, some found funny, some found out of place, and some just didn’t care due to desensitation to the current world’s views…..so who cares? His opinion of any issue should not affect your opinion of any issue. His opinion of any issue does not affect his ability to make a movie in any way, shape, or form. His opinion is just that…..his. And the fact that his statements clearly were meant in a joking manner, and not reflective of his own opinion anyway, has been missed by many.

But sadly, it’s far too easy in our current society to ridicule someone else for their opinions, rather than form our own based on education and forethought…..

Once again a totally UNoffensive joke, this time one from almost two years ago, gets all the thin skinned crybabies all outraged. GLAAD comes along showing that it’s just as big a bully as anyone else and gets its way.

It’s ironic that the comics industry picks chooses what censorship it does and doesn’t like

That’s right, Brad. It’s hypocrisy epitomized and a grotesque distortion of the molehill-to-mountain adage. The ones who cry out for justice over jokes and sarcasm are the real wolves in sheep’s clothing, not the persecuted lambs they claim to be. It all boils down to who thinks for himself or herself, and who enjoys bandwagon jumping. It’s pathetic!

This world needs to unclench a bit.

@Skott – Incredible, isn’t it? “Selective censorship”!!

Wow so many hypocritical ,and humorless people with to much time on their hands.

Love to see what these people would do if they had something important to worry about.

@Skott- You may actually want to read the article again, GLADD just posted his apology, never actually ‘bullied” him. That would be the Human Rights Campaign that’s doing what you are assuming.

I’m so sick of people apologizing for things like this. The apology doesn’t mean anything anyway. Anyway, I’d rather hear comments like Gunn’s than have shows that glamorize teen motherhood.

So if a guy who is a republican conservative and christian were to have made the same “jokes” as this left wing liberal guy, what alot of you are saying is “you all would be A-ok with it?”

sorry folks, that a crock of sh*t. he would be roasted alive.

end story.

so what everyone is saying is a guy can jokingly call a girl a “slut”? hmmm?

It was good (and smart) of Gunn to apologize. It was a real apology, not a “sorry if you were offended” non-apology. I believe him that the original article was simply a poorly thought-out attempt at humor, not evidence that Gunn is homophobic or misogynistic, but it was offensive. Sometimes being deliberately provocative is funny (very, very funny in some cases), but it requires both talent and deliberation to do it right, and in this case he missed the mark by a wide margin. While I think that being offensive is sometimes justified if it’s really, really funny (I keep that to myself when I post on my favorite feminist-themed websites, lol), I respect those who disagree.

Perhaps if Gunn had clearly been writing the article from the POV of a stereotypical sexually insecure/frustrated fanboy, that could have made for a funny article. In that case, anybody whose response to the article was, “Right on!” would have inadvertently revealed that they were both neanderthals and not smart enough to get it.

It’s weird how angry some people get that others have the nerve to be offended by statements that are offensive. And I love how the low reading comprehension people are calling out GLAAD. I harbor no ill will towards Gunn, because he does seem to get it, but I don’t think very highly of a lot of people posting here.

@Lorrie – Did you just type “low reading comprehension people”? Funny, I could’ve sworn Gunn was making jokes about FICTIONAL characters. That is, they do not exist. Yet he makes references to what he would do sexually with them. Imagine that. Are you actually going to be offended “for” Kitty Pryde? He obviously was not being serious. And how do you know he wasn’t writing from the PoV of a fanboy? Did you ask him? If you know James Gunn, do ask him and report back to us since the two of you are so chummy.

It’s not a question of reading comprehension, but one of general perception as a concept. I notice a woeful lack of it in your post.

As a gay man, I think this was completely overblown. Did he make some crude comments? Hell yeah.
But were his comments specifically homophobic? I don’t think so.
Taken in context, I think he is probably very enlightened and open when it comes to homosexuality. My straight friends and I have discussed which celebrities could make us “turn”… even turn the straight friends gay (mine is Shakira btw). And I would imagine that it is completely natural that a straight man is sickened by the thought of his anatomy slapping against another man’s anatomy during sex, just as gay people would be vice versa.

So yeah, there is a lot of blatant homophobia in the world today, but this guy was just using crude humor, which was meant to be seen by people that follow him. Totally overblown.

In simpler terms:
A comedian saying he would beat his child if he ever came out to him is over the line/not funny…
A straight guy saying he is disturbed by the thought of male on male sex is just obvious.

Yeah, “low reading comprehension.” GLAAD wasn’t the first to call attention to Gunn’s blog article (which anyone who can actually read would know), and asking for a comment about a brouhaha on the Internet involving LGBT issues (which is kind of GLAAD’s job) isn’t being a “bully”, like some people are claiming. It gave Gunn an opportunity to clarify his position and hopefully win over his critics.

It can be unpleasant to be a female fan of comic books, particularly superhero comics. You have to put up with demeaning portrayals of female characters, and then when you speak out against it, you get insulted by the worst kind of stereotypical fanboys (and too often the creators themselves) who would prefer you not be allowed in their little clubhouse because taking the sexism out of superhero comics is somehow going to ruin them. It seems like every month or so there’s something (like the Tony Harris incident), to remind you that you’re the “other.”

But honestly, I wasn’t all that bothered by the comments Gunn made about the (straight) female characters. It was pretty sexist and not particularly funny, but when the uproar started I certainly wasn’t among those calling for Gunn to be removed as director of GotG, although I understood why some people felt so strongly about it.

My biggest problem with Gunn’s article was that there was too much, “Ha, ha, that male character is gay” type humor for any character who isn’t a stereotypical he-man, and the comment about Batwoman being turned straight was particularly unfortunate. Why? Because it’s far too close to the types of things that are said about real-life people. If he was trying to lampoon that type of mentality, instead of celebrate it, he needed to approach it in a different manner.

I agree with the people who say that this is no big deal. There’s a difference between crude humor and hate. This was humor, simple and plain.

Daniel Tosh says stuff just as offensive, and he is WAY more popular than Gunn was two years ago. Yet, no one starts petitions against him. It’s not like Gunn says homophobic, sexist stuff all the time. It sounds to me like someone has an even more personal agenda. People make mistakes, Gunn apologized for his, now lets move on.

Furthermore, how do we know Gunn is straight? He himself described himself as an “outsider”. People need to realize when their own issues are the problem (not other people).

“Censorship! Free speech!” – Nope
“Left! Right! Light, reft, fight!” – Uh-uh
“There are far more IMPORTANT things!” – Try multi-tasking your brain

Neckbeards are incapable of thought.

Gunn has never been funny; the worst parts of his movies are when he tries to do humor. Gross, weirdly graphic and offensive is what he thinks is funny. (Example: Rainn Wilson hitting people with a wrench for cutting in line in Super *could* have been funny– it’s a funny concept– but Gunn decided to illustrate the gaping head-wounds the victims received, with sound effects and all, and took the whole thing out of the realm of comedy and into the realm of weird horror-fetishism).

That said, I really do believe the guy does not hate gays. He really is just that out of touch with what he finds “funny”.

Still not a fan of his movies but the guy is alright with me. Big ups for being a real adult about this, which is something you can say about far too few people in entertainment when they make a mistake.

Why, oh why, is nobody bothered for Gunn’s remark about poor Reed Richards, he of the 28-inch length and half-inch girth?

I read the whole list again and LOL’d at that one.

@Ger – thanks for your input!

@Lining Silver – I concur, Tosh leaves Gunn in the dust when it comes to this sort of stuff.

I just read the blog post, and I have to say that it isn’t nearly as bad as all this hype suggests. As a bi-male, I didn’t find the comments on the homophobic end to be particularly anti-gay, so much as juvenilely fixated on the straight gross-out factor of male same-sex acts. I think a straight guy can be totally supportive of the gay community and be grossed out by gay sex. Did he need to talk about it publicly? No, but he did, and it’s over. It was, on the other hand, pretty sexist, but the very nature of the topic that he decided to write about was going to objectify women, men, and whoever else wound up on that list. All that said, it is still fun to joke around about which superheroes/heroines you’d like to bang, so maybe we all just need to lighten up.

More tempest in a teapot hyperbole and histrionics from the newbie internet faux geek girls.

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