Filmmaker James Gunn is one of the most active members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on social media, weighing in on mundane topics as well as tense political matters. Following a series of tweets in which he was criticizing Donald Trump, Gunn's tweets dating back to 2009 were dug up which used crass language and made light of rape and pedophilia.
The tweets garnered enough attention that Gunn took to Twitter to post a series of messages in hopes of explaining the offensive messages.
"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 shared. "As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."
He continued, "In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. 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."
Virtually all of Gunn's tweets containing the offensive messages were posted before the filmmaker was involved with Marvel Studios. Prior to joining the world of superhero filmmaking, Gunn built a reputation for himself with horror films like Slither, Dawn of the Dead and Tromeo and Juliet.
In 2009, the filmmaker tweeted, "The best thing about being raped is when you're done being raped and it's like 'whew this feels great, not being raped!'" In 2011, Gunn shared the tweet, "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." The tweets have since been deleted.
The filmmaker concluded his message to fans, "Anyway, that's the completely honest truth: 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. Love you to you all."
Gunn will be attending San Diego Comic-Con this weekend to promote a new project. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is slated to hit theaters in 2020.
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[H/T SF Gate]