Newly-ousted "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn has at least one defender, and it came from the most unlikely place: Conservative media star Ben Shapiro.
"I think @JamesGunn is an a--hole, as my exchange with him earlier this week made clear," the Daily Wire editor-in-chief tweeted on Friday. "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."
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
Gunn, who helmed both "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies for Marvel Studios, a Disney subsidiary, was dropped from the franchise Friday over old tweets.
"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," said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement.
Gunn apologized late Thursday after a series of old (now deleted) tweets resurfaced in which the filmmaker made what he admitted were "offensive" jokes about taboo topics like rape and pedophilia. "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo," Gunn wrote in a series of tweets. "As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor."
Gunn frequently tweets about his opposition to President Donald Trump, and thus drew the ire of fans of the president such as right-wing provocateur Mike Cernovich, who began posting a series of old tweets by Gunn, many subsequently deleted.
Online sleuths then dug up dozens of old tweets of the sort Gunn admitted were "offensive," many from between 2008 and 2011.