James Gunn Fired as Director of 'GotG Vol. 3'


Harassment campaigns launched by the alt-right are disgusting. The fact these people would go after someone with bigoted views that they share is disingenuous, and Gunn getting fired is exactly what they wanted.

However, there is no part of me that wants to stand in solidarity with James Gunn. In comparison to marginalized workers, Gunn has job security, money, and people who will always stand up for him. These are all things that many marginalized workers don’t have.

Additionally, someone who makes millions off of movies that claim to be about friendship, when instead they’re films about how abusing and saying hurtful stuff to your friends is okay as long as everyone comes together in the end, is not someone I personally care to defend.


What does standing up for / in solidarity with Gunn even mean? Demanding he be reinstated as the director of GOTG3? That seems like an unrealistic goal at this point. Publically decrying the social media harassment campaign that led to his removal? That seems like walking into a trap; the “great part” of this situation, from the harassers’ point of view, is that in doing so we set ourselves up to be misconstrued as defending pedophilia or being just a ready to overlook someone’s past misdeeds for their current politics as, say, evangelicals in the US are for Trump.

I don’t know, I don’t see that advocating for Gunn has much potential upside, and as others have pointed out, it doesn’t seem like he’s harmed much by this (i.e. the guy is already set for life). I think the only way I would discuss this with friends or coworkers would be “yeah, that guy got what he deserved, but it’s worth pointing out the only reason the people who outed him did that was because they disliked his criticism of trump, and this same group mostly spends its time harassing women and minorities online…”


I’m one of those Patreon creatives and I’m literally afraid of the tickle down effect of this kind of harassment, and how it may heighten the harassment I have already seen with my peers and endured myself.

I’m sorry y’all but I don’t consider “oh well he has financial security” to be reason to not care about what happened to him, because letting it pass without comment or with open cynicism doesn’t help smaller creators. It makes the target on us bigger.


I am not sure why people want to throw James Gunn under the bus for this. I was convinced of some crappy beliefs from youtube atheists eight years ago. I have changed, and it doesn’t really matter what age you are. That just seems like ageism to me. I feel like if we do not push back against this that this will further embolden toxic behavior among different fandoms.


This, entirely this.

What do you think alt-right knuckledraggers do when they feel confident? Because they’re probably feeling super confident now that they managed to actually hit the career of a multi-millionaire.


Exactly. Like, yeah, the dude’s white and rich, yeah he’s going to be fine financially; none of that is why we should or shouldn’t be condemning this.

This is a massive win for extremely evil people, one that, just like the ArenaNet disaster, will vindicate and motivate them. Yes, they’ve been organizing harassment campaigns for years, yes, they would have continued to do so without this. But this is the highest profile victory they’ve had in I don’t know how long, and it will mean things are going to get worse.

We need to condemn this, and focus on the people organizing the campaign, and not get bogged down in irrelevant arguments about James Gunn’s privilege or morality. It is a distraction, and it is a distraction that the alt-right intends and counts on.


I just don’t see how this is anything but a pyhrric victory for them. They got a guy who will absolutely bounce back from this fired for some old gross tweets by pretending to care about things they don’t actually care about, and in the process made themselves look like giant assholes to any given casual observer. It’s a completely hollow win that’s of very little consequence. I don’t see how this is going to ‘trickle down’ to marginalized creators when they cut their teeth and spend their free time doing that already. It started a long time ago, this does not strike me as some dam breaking moment.


if online fascists wanna devote considerable time and resources to mildly inconveniencing millionaires for no concrete benefit, then they are not using those resources elsewhere, where they could do more harm to people less able to defend themselves.


They targeted him because he hates Trump.

It’s not about his money, and this didn’t even involve any fandoms. This was about punishing someone for not licking fascist boot.

if you honestly think this all stops with them going after millionaires, you’re missing the bigger picture. To them, this is a massive sign that they can attack just about anyone and rarely face repercussions, and it won’t be long before they start targeting outspoken activists in Hollywood - and us along the way - in a long game to hurt civil rights on a cultural level.

They’re not going to stop going after us because they took down one millionaire. If anything, they’re trying to show their power and attract more people to them to carry out harassment campaigns against the usual targets. It’s about rejuvenating themselves, which is why you’'re seeing G merG te lites in just about every vaguely nerdy medium right now (lit, comics, metal, tabletop games, ect).


When people say marginalized creators are already harassed, I feel like there’s an assumption that this is a binary state. I would be wary of framing marginalized groups as “already having it bad” as if things cannot get worse, in intensity, frequency, and breadth.

There also exist places where queer, trans, PoC, and other marginalized identities are able to thrive within traditional corporate/capitalistic power structures. Often this is because there are unbigoted individuals with more power than them that exist within existing structures and are willing to give opportunities (this is not great for obvious reasons, but it’s a fact). There are dangers in allowing movements to push those people out and replace them.


That’s all legitimate, but I still have a tough time, personally, seeing this charade working several times. But I’m not gonna sit here and act like it’s impossible. I’m just legitimately having trouble wrapping my brain around this tactic working out long term. I’m not here to say it’s all fine or anything, though.

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please do not put words in my mouth about what i honestly think or don’t.

you misunderstand my point. i don’t believe hollywood is an important battlefield of this ideological conflict at all. as an industry, it is one of the biggest motors of US cultural hegemony worldwide. how am i supposed to defend hollywood from fascists when they already have the US army reviewing everything for compliance with its public relations strategy?

i do not see it as a “progressive” cultural force at all. it’s always trailing behind cultural values until shifts in those values, caused by people doing hard work elsewhere for 10, 20, 30 years, can no longer be ignored.

i might be singing a slightly different tune if this particular millionaire was involved in a cultural industry i thought was amenable to change, or free of the kind of entanglement with US state power that hollywood movies have. or maybe not.

of course, it’s also an emotional thing: i’m exasperated that people want to fight for this guy now, when it’s a high profile media spectacle, but never stood up for any of the people i know who carry the weight of trauma from growing up on the internet that nurtured these fascists. i realize that’s not an argument against it. but i’m still fuming.


I want to say that your exasperation and anger shouldn’t be discounted; not all of us can (or should be) cold strategists in this larger fight. I hope that doesn’t come off as patronizing, I legit think that it’s an important viewpoint.

As said cold strategist, I think there’s a few reasons why it’s necessary to prevent situations like this one. It denies future avenues of attack via setting precedence, allows marginalized people to exist more safely within the system of Hollywood, and potentially allows utilization of the massive resources of that industry in the future. Tbh I don’t really care one way or another about Gunn specifically in this situation, as much as the larger implications it has on alt-right tactics and available options to marginalized folks.

I’m not remotely interested in defending Hollywood as an institution either, but what I am interested in is how we can eventually utilize the obscene amount of resources in that industry to affect change. I feel like in order to infiltrate that space, it’s necessary to not have it prematurely overrun by opposition. Or, if you want to look at bringing it down from the outside, it’s necessary to deny the opposition access to those resources such that they don’t become (further) entrenched.


We’ll be locking this thread until the morning.

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closed #79
opened #80

Hello everyone,
Life in general can be busy, and the weekend can often be full of chores or is a time to step away from the internet. Because of that, we forgot to open this thread and we apologize.

We are reopening this thread, as we thought there’s been good discussion here. But there has also been a fair bit of escalation and circular argument. If this thread goes into people trying to get the last word and people engaging in poor faith we will likely close the thread. We remind everyone to look at and consider the rules and wish everyone a nice day.


Exactly, Disney’s very quick reaction to this sends a message to this alt-right mob, just like the ArenaNet reaction sent a message to the toxic elements of their community. “If you get loud enough, we’ll bend to your will instead of defending our employees.”

I’m a fan of the Guardians movies (which you might get from my user name) so I’m disappointed Gunn won’t get to complete that story. But I’m much more concerned about the victory Disney just gave the alt-right, and how it will embolden them moving forward.


Relevant developments - As many people predicted, it seems this has very much energised and emboldened alt-right nazis/gamergate types - Dan Harmon is the current target. Good write up on Polygon.

I believe I read somewhere about someone else getting a lot of heat too but I’ve completely forgotten and can’t seem to find any mention if it! :sweat_smile:

Anyway, this is terrifying?

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Harmon is a way more complicated subject because he actually has done harm. He made a public apology, but he’s guilty of something besides being an unfunny edgelord.

But he’s being harassed for an old shit skit that is being presented out of context by chan scum, ignoring any intended intent.

So this is a situation where Harmon absolutely should have been fired for something else entirely different, but what they’re trying to pin on him is a bad skit to paint him as a pedophile.

Willing to bet him and Gunn were both picked out because these guys know that they’re polarizing figures among leftist circles, and they’re taking advantage of that to start in-fighting.

In other words, they’re using a woman’s sexual assault as a weapon of political jamming. Which is fucking vile.