Any views expressed herein are entirely my own
Vol. 3: My Thoughts on James Gunn
Every asshole on the internet has given his/her/its/zir/zat/zim’s take on the James Gunn situation. So I figured, I’m an asshole on the internet, I should give my opinion on the James Gunn situation. First off, I think Bleeding Cool, Comic Book Resources, and the various comics and movie websites out there are giving Mike Cernovich entirely too much credit for taking down James Gunn. Gunn has spent quite a while hectoring Star Wars fans, comics fans, and just the “geek community” in general through the Twitter page that he is unhealthily attached to. I had said it in conversation with friends that Gunn needed to get an analog hobby because his being a raging, insufferable prick on social media was going to bite him in the ass one day. And wouldn’t you know, it did exactly that. I didn’t see Gunn’s offending tweets from Mike Cernovich, I first saw them shared by some random nerd on Twitter. That’s who took Gunn down. Nerds. It could have been some Star Wars fan, or maybe, just maybe (given the content of the tweets), it could have been one of the nerds that he had, just prior to the incident, accused of pedophilia because he doesn’t understand the difference between criticism of shoulder span on an animated vs. tit size. That’s why I say these sites are giving Cernovich, as they often do, too much credit. The topic of the tweets versus the content of Gunn’s then current outrage fit matches too closely. I didn’t even know that Cernovich had commented on it at all until CBR and Bleeding Cool got their collective panties in a twist over him. I would wager that it was probably the same for quite a few people.
Do I think Gunn deserved to lose his job? Well, yes. Don’t get me wrong, I love offensive jokes. In fact, I believe every topic should be grounds for a joke. I don’t buy into the “comedy is supposed to punch up” line that is so popular among people with no sense of humour these days. That being said, Gunn lost my defense (whatever my two cents as a random jerk on the internet is worth) the moment he decided to traffic in outrage. He spent far too much time hectoring and impugning the morals and senses of humour of others for me to shed a tear when the noose he was fashioning to hang others found its way onto his own neck. I don’t think that Gunn’s jokes were something extra offensive. I don’t think that he’s really a pedophile. He didn’t have to hold himself up as a moral paragon and arbiter of all things right and proper, but he did, and someone he pissed off decided to hold him to his own standards. No amount of online petitions, protestations from Dave Bautista, and cries of “right wing witch hunt” from pop culture bloggers will change the fact that this was a career suicide. Over a fucking cartoon. What an idiot.
My question to James Gunn would have to be this, was it worth it? Was playing the role of online bully to a bunch of nerds talking about a cartoon character’s shoulder span really worth your gig as a writer and director on a billion dollar film franchise? As much as I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy and Super, I don’t think people should be crying for the loss of James Gunn. They should be looking at this as an example of why you shouldn’t traffick in phony outrage. Eventually, you’ll piss someone off and it will be turned back around on you.