Meet Mike Cernovich, the Right-Wing Provocateur Who Got James Gunn Fired

“Twitter is just modern-day gladiatorial combat,” Mike Cernovich tells TheWrap, and warns Hollywood that more is coming

mike cernovich
CBS News

Right-wing provocateur Mike Cernovich claimed another scalp online Friday when Disney fired James Gunn from its “Guardians of the Galaxy” series because of old tweets that Cernovich helped publicize.

Disney made the decision after an organized internet campaign centered around old jokes Gunn made about rape and pedophilia. In a statement, Disney called the posts “indefensible.”

Just hours earlier, Cernovich had helped promote a campaign targeting USA Today columnist Cheri Jacobus, after she posted a bizarre tweet about convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In both cases, Cernovich wasn’t the first to find the offending content, but provided an online megaphone that amplified it.

Speaking to TheWrap by phone, Cernovich warned that more people will lose their jobs.

“The Harvey Weinstein case showed us that Hollywood is rotten to the core. We are continuing our investigation into the conduct and behavior of members of the Hollywood elite,” he said.

“I enjoy just the raw human visceral reaction of jumping into the arena and just swinging the hammer and seeing what is left over afterwards,” he said. “Twitter is just modern-day gladiatorial combat.”

Since first raising his public profile during the 2016 presidential campaign — often for pushing conspiracy theories like #PizzaGate — Cernovich has moved rapidly to rebrand himself as an independent media and Hollywood watchdog. With an army of volunteer sleuths and a muscular Twitter presence, he has proven devastatingly effective — much to the chagrin of his liberal critics.

Critics have noted that Cernovich, like the people he targets, has made offensive comments online. But he, unlike those he has targeted, is not employed by a major media outlet that needs to answer to mainstream audiences.

Past targets have included MSNBC contributor Sam Seder and Los Angeles Times freelancer Perry Fein. His tips to BuzzFeed news also led to the resignation of longtime Democratic Congressman John Conyers over several accusations of sexual misconduct. In March 2017 Cernovich visited the set of “60 Minutes” and warned his interviewer, Scott Pelley, that a new world was dawning.

“The issue is that, that media is an intermediary,” he said. “With social media, I can say to the people here’s me live on video for an hour. The full thing, raw and uncut. So it bring the message directly to the people. It bypasses intermediaries in the media.”