Ever since James Gunn was fired from his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he directed both Guardians of the Galaxy films and had a influential role overall) I’ve been wondering about the idea that social media is the place where your character is judged and you can never change your opinions on anything that you may have posted public comments about on social media.
Now it is never okay to joke about paedophilia and rape. It wasn’t in the past, it isn’t now and I hope to high heaven it won’t be in the future. But unfortunately, youthful ambitions can override social sensibilities. I certainly did some really stupid stuff when I was younger and I probably will in the future. And by all accounts, James Gunn saw the mistakes he’d made in what he’d posted and took the necessary steps to correct his behaviour and apologised for the offending tweets at the time. But he wasn’t well known at the time so the whole affair went unnoticed. And surely when Disney and Marvel hired him for the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, they would have been able to look at his social media and see what he had posted in the past. More and more job hiring processes involve a social media check of some sort. Could a company of Disney’s size really not take 5-10 minutes to do this?
It seems that some people do live to be offended. Anything can turned into a controversy if enough people kick up a fuss about it and it can be the most ridiculous things that set them off. I once saw a story about a woman in America who started berating an Uber driver because he had a plastic bobbly-head hula girl on the dashboard when he was Hawaiian. That is truly ridiculous.
Some social media posts and anything else like that, recordings etc, do need to be apologised for, whether the intention was to amuse or not. But James Gunn had apologised and taken the steps to improve his behaviour and even use it to tell a great story over two films about a group of misfits able to find a place and a family to belong. And that is something to be praised