James Gunn, the writer-director of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, 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, who apparently deactivated his personal website in the midst of the online firestorm, added, “In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.”
Gunn, a political liberal who tweets frequently about his opposition to President Donald Trump, 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.
On the internet, though, nothing stays buried forever.
And some online sleuths dug up dozens of old tweets of the sort Gunn admitted were “offensive,” many from between 2008 and 2011.
“Expendables is so manly I f—ed the s— out of the p-ssy boy next to me,” he wrote in one.
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!'” read a tweet from February 2009.
“I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am,” said another, referring to a notorious group for pedophiles.
And in a tweet from 2011, he teased fans, “I’m doing a big Hollywood film adaptation of The Giving Tree with a happy ending — the tree grows back and gives the kid a b—job.”
Gunn tried to explain himself even as he became a trending topic on social media. “For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it,” he wrote.
“My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over,” he added. “I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today.”