Suggesting yet again that eventually everyone will be undone by something they wrote on the Internet, James Gunn has been forced to apologize for a blog post he wrote as a lark nearly two years ago—a lark that, unfortunately, some found deeply offensive, prompting a petition calling for Gunn to be fired from writing and directing Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy. Most of that controversy originated with(and is best summed up by) this post at The Mary Sue, which uncovered Gunn's February 2011 entry "The 50 Superheroes You Most Want To Have Sex With: 2nd Annual Poll Results!" (since deleted, but revived in perpetuity thanks to Google cache). As you might expect from a title like that, Gunn's article contained numerous—indeed, nearly 50—musings on having graphic sex with superheroes, an admittedly tasteless and juvenile exercise, entered into by the Troma-schooled Gunn about comic books.
Unfortunately, what Gunn's post also contained were several remarks that have been labeled homophobic, sexist, and misogynistic, leading to his being condemned by the Human Rights Campaign. Among them: calling Gambit a "Cajun fruit" whom his girlfriend wanted to engage in a three-way, adding, "The idea of my balls slapping against Gambit’s makes me sick to my stomach;" expressing a desire to see the lesbian Batwoman "turned" by Tony Stark; and making a dull thud of a joke about how, since Batgirl "is a teen mom and all, you know she's easy." Add to that various other gags about female superheroes with "daddy issues," Emma Frost being a "rude bitch," and his being unable to forget the time Spider-Woman was impersonated by a member of the Skrulls, "So I finish on her face"—then stir with the continuing arguments about the undercurrents of homophobia, sexism, and misogyny within the comics community—and you have a recipe for Internet controversy, magnified by the extreme scrutiny afforded anyone involved with a giant movie.
And so naturally, a day of heated back-and-forth ensued. Gunn's decriers shamed him for perpetuating those attitudes and (rightfully) pointed out that, if it was an attempt at satirizing those attitudes, it was incredibly thin satire. His defenders pointed out that Gunn is simply into shock value—as evidenced by Super and Slither—and his vocal support of gay and feminist issues elsewhere reveals him to be a decent guy when he's not trying to make 50 dirty jokes about having sex with cartoons. Some people said that anyone who would even entertain thoughts like this had no business working anywhere near a Disney-produced family blockbuster. Others said that those people should calm down. And no doubt, some others, whom we're not going to go looking for, were just upset that Rocket Raccoon didn't even make the list.
Anyway, the whole scandal finally reached the inevitable with the apology Gunn sent to GLAAD:
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don't think it's funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I'm sorry and regret making them at all.
People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I'm an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said.
We're all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I'm learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all.
So now the Internet can all move on to debating whether Gunn's apology reflects genuine sentiment, or just an obligatory effort to save his job. And then it can finally get back to debating every other, less uncomfortable aspect of Guardians Of The Galaxy's production.
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