Marvel film director James Gunn is dismissing cancel culture despite being fired by Disney for tweets he had posted years ago.
The "Guardians of the Galaxy" filmmaker addressed the topic Saturday with a tirade of tweets prompted by the announcement that six Dr. Seuss books would be pulled for racist and offensive imagery.
"Stop calling everything 'cancel culture' because you're too dim to have a nuanced opinion. People can be offended by something, or think something sucks, and that's not 'cancel culture' — it's free speech," Gunn began a lengthy Twitter thread.
"To all of those writing me about the times people get unfairly attacked — yes, that sucks! But that doesn't mean every time someone is offended by something it's 'cancel culture.' Calling EVERYTHING that is a knee-jerk response that destroys your point," he continued, per Fox News.
Gunn wrote that Harvey Weinstein and Looney Tunes character Pepé le Pew should be "cancelled" but Speedy Gonzales should not. His remarks come after New York Times writer Charles M. Blow wrote in an op-ed that Pepé le Pew "normalized rape culture" and that Speedy Gonzales' friends "helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans."
Circling back to the Dr. Seuss controversy, Gunn said the decision for a book publisher to pull books containing images that "are hurtful to minorities" was not cancel culture but free speech.
"Likewise, I sometimes see celebrities getting attacked on here for something minor or nonexistent & I think it's unfair. Other times I see celebrities getting attacked for s--- that's nearly unforgivable, or at least makes me not want to watch their movies. It's nuanced," he wrote.
"Most people know that. Most people have different thoughts & feelings about different situations. But Twitter is a place where the extremes on every conceivable side rise to the top, because those ideas are splashier," he noted.
"And for all of you out there [I see you] saying, 'What about people who try to cancel you?! Do they have the right to do that?!' OF COURSE THEY DO. And I will fight for their right to do so. I may not agree with their opinions but I believe deeply in their right to free speech," he added.
Gunn was fired in 2018 as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" because of old tweets emerged in which he joked about subjects like rape. He apologized repeatedly for trying in the past to get laughs through shock value, and the following year was uncancelled when Disney brought him back as director of the Marvel franchise.
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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