James Gunn Says DC Complained About Peacemaker's NSFW Batman Insult

Warning: this story contains spoilers for Thursday's Peacemaker, "Chapter 4: The Choad Less Traveled." Peacemaker (John Cena) takes aim at the DC universe in the mature-rated HBO Max series from creator James Gunn, who says DC was "not too fond" of an insult about Batman. In "Chapter 4," the wannabe superhero squabbles with his father's next-door neighbor (Mel Tuck) about the Dark Knight and why he "doesn't kill people." When the neighbor argues it's because Batman is a superhero, Peacemaker fires back: "Because he's a p—y!"

"I was very surprised because they were not too fond of Peacemaker calling Batman a p—y," Gunn, who scripted all eight episodes of The Suicide Squad spinoff, revealed on The Hollywood Reporter's TV's Top 5 podcast. "I'm like, 'But he talks about all these other terrible things about all these other superheroes that are much worse than calling Batman a p—y.' Not only that, Batman is the only one he makes a fair point about; everybody else he's really just believing stuff that he read on the Internet."

That includes a profanity-laden rant about Aquaman (Jason Momoa) in Episode 1, "A Whole New Whirled," where Peacemaker accuses the undersea superhero of "f—ing fish" — a claim he read about on Twitter. 

Ultimately, DC executives "were great," Gunn said. "They let me get away with what I got away with at the end of the day." Asked why DC took issue with the Bats-phemy but not vulgar barbs at Aquaman and Superman, Gunn said with a laugh, "I don't know. You'd have to ask them. I don't know why him calling Batman a p-y is potentially more offensive than him saying Superman [has a poop fetish]. I don't understand why one was brought up and one wasn't."

Though Gunn enjoyed creative freedom on the R-rated The Suicide Squad, the series creator said HBO Max had "some concerns" about a reveal in Episode 2, "Best Friends, For Never," where audiences learn Peacemaker's racist father is the white supremacist supervillain The White Dragon

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"That was a delicate situation," said Gunn. "The only other thing that HBO Max ever said to me at all was, 'We're HBO and you guys are saying the F-word so many times!'" 

Starring John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Jennifer Holland, Chukwudi Iwuji, Steve Agee, and Robert Patrick, new episodes of DC's Peacemaker premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.