In the wake of Disney cutting ties with filmmaker James Gunn following their discovery of offensive tweets he made prior to his involvement with the studio, multiple collaborators have weighed in on the matter to show Gunn their support, including the man who helped launch his filmmaking career. Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma Studios, shared a video telling fans to boycott Disney for their hypocritical behavior.
In a video recorded by Kaufman at San Diego Comic-Con, he calls Gunn the "nicest, most generous, talented, and decent person I’ve known in my 50 years of making movies.”
“If Disney wants to kick somebody else out, they should look at their own movies, their sexist, racist movies that have influenced an entire generation of Americans,” Kaufman explained. “Why do we have so much racism and sexism? It may well have to do with the Disney movies. So maybe Disney [you] should fire yourselves.”
He concludes, "Troma fans who are here, and nerds who are here, go and picket and
Kaufman's comments echo a variety of sentiments shared by various members of Hollywood, calling attention to the specifics of Gunn's removal. The tweets in question, which make light of rape and pedophilia, date back to before Gunn was involved with Guardians of the Galaxy. In that regard, some Gunn supporters defend not the remarks, but that Disney is taking action against something that happened before he was employed by the studio.
The studio's official statement reads, "The offensive attitudes and statements on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
Other supporters noted that the studio maintains positive relationships with Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, despite reports that he assaulted his then-wife Amber Heard. Disney's Buena Vista Pictures distributed the film Powder in 1995, despite writer/director Victor Salva having been incarcerated for sexual misconduct with a 12-year-old star of one of his previous movies while filming, seemingly setting the standard that they don't care about a filmmaker's past and its reflection of the studio's values.
Prior to his involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gunn worked on horror films such as Dawn of the Dead and Slither, with one of his first writing gigs being Tromeo and Juliet. Gunn even managed to include a cameo from Kaufman in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Stay tuned for details about James Gunn's removal.
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[H/T YouTube, IndieWire]