After Defending James Gunn through Rape Jokes, Fans Finally Boycott Four Years Later

Photos: Creative Commons (left); Hindustan Times (right)

For many film fans, it seems James Gunn has finally gone too far. In protest of Gunn’s recent creative decisions for DC Films, including rebooting Superman without Henry Cavill, fans are rallying to boycott Gunn’s upcoming Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. This is hardly the first time Gunn’s career has sustained controversy, with scandalous tweets making the rounds four years ago.

In 2018, some of Gunn’s tweets resurfaced from even earlier in his career, featuring provocative jokes about rape and child sexual activity. Consequently, Marvel removed Gunn as director for Vol. 3. However, fans and even actors staunchly defended Gunn, claiming the offensive tweets didn’t accurately reflect his character. Marvel eventually capitulated to popular demand and reinstated Gunn as director for Vol. 3.

But, if not the distasteful jokes, it seems that firing the wrong actor is the unforgivable sin in the eyes of many. “Gunn’s really done it this time,” said longtime moviegoer John Pratt. “Joking about rape is one thing. Hey, it happens. But rebooting Superman again without the actor I wanted? That’s grounds for boycotting!”

“Look, I stood by Gunn when he said he liked to have little boys touch him,” said superhero fan Robbie Cooper. “I’m a forgiving person. But now he’s made a creative decision that didn’t adhere to my personal preferences, and I just can’t condone that kind of behavior.”

“Yeah, they should really bring the other guy back as Superman,” said ordinary, non-celebrity fan Henric Avill. “What an amazing, talented, and handsome actor he was! You know, just throwing it out there.”

At publishing time, DC reported that they had fired Gunn in response to intense fan backlash and are now in negotiations to re-hire him.

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