Live by the tweet, die by the tweet.
One of my most consistent hobby horses over the past couple years on this blog is how annoying I find James Gunn's Twitter personality. Now, he may no longer have one.
The news of the day when I woke up this morning was that Gunn had been fired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after his tweets joking about rape and pedophilia surfaced from ten years ago.
While I don't relish the news in the sense that it's a conservative hit job -- Gunn has been an outspoken Trump critic -- I do take a certain pleasure in the fact that James Gunn will finally have to shut up.
I would have no problem with the guy personally, and I like most of his movies, and I understand the joking spirit in which he made those tweets about "the time Uncle Bernie fisted me" and all that stuff. But he turned me from a supporter into a critic when he let the success of Guardians of the Galaxy go to his head and had to show up every other day on Twitter sending out some kind of non-news that drew attention to his own brand. Some examples of that were when he sent out the video of how Baby Groot's dance moves were based on his own dance moves, or revealed to us "what Groot was actually saying" every time he said "I am Groot," most annoyingly at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Whether all these things were proof of his naked love of the spotlight or not, they came with such frequency that I began to think he needed to have his phone taken out of his hands almost as much as Trump needs to.
Now, it remains to be seen if he'll ever want to tweet anything about himself again.
It's been that kind of week on Twitter. Major league baseball pitcher Josh Hader also had his former tweets come back to haunt him. He tweeted out racist and homophobic remarks back in 2011 and 2012 when he was a teenager. Neither baseball nor his team has decided to punish him, rightly realizing that his own status as a pariah will be punishment enough.
Disney doesn't have the option not to punish Gunn. He had to go.
It does seem like too much of a punishment, at least in terms of what I wanted. I didn't want him to be professionally blacklisted, and of course wouldn't have dreamed of a scenario where he would be. I just wanted some humility. Having one of the Guardians movies tank at the box office probably would have been humbling enough.
But I do feel a bit of schadenfreude this morning as I type these words. James Gunn found a social media platform he liked, became addicted to it and to the attention it brought him, and flew too close to the sun. If he had liked Twitter a little less, maybe he wouldn't have put himself in the position to draw the ire of the conservatives who ultimately brought about the possible end of his career.
Maybe they should hire Joe and Anthony Russo to direct the third Guardians movie. Ironically, it was in the Russo-directed Infinity War that I liked the Guardians the most.
As for Gunn ... well, maybe following a period of much-needed humility he'll get to have a career again.