I have finally decided to make an in-depth article about the whole James Gunn situation. I’ve wanted to ever since the whole thing blew off, and finally now, after seeing the whole cast of Guardians of the Galaxy showing their support, releasing a statement, here I will express everything I have to say and rule out any misconception that has been made regarding the situation.
I will go into the subject of what James Gunn’s tweets were, who James Gunn truly was 10 years ago, Mike Cernovich, James Gunn’s exposed views on subjects of rape and finally James Gunn’s own personal experience with child abuse.
There are a lot of arguments against Gunn, such as the following statements:
“James Gunn was 41 when he made those tweets! James Gunn deleted 10,000 tweets of pedophilia and rape jokes” “I’ve got kids and you are disgusting for defending a pedophile!” “Nobody in their right mind JOKES about pedophila”
But to quote one of James Gunn’s films, “Sometimes how it looks and how it is are two separate things”.
I think I will start off ruling the biggest misconception that has been made regarding the topic: the number of tweets.
There are a lot of people stating that James Gunn had posted over 10,000 tweets remarking pedophilia, but there were around 20. However, James Gunn did remove around ten thousand tweets from a three year span off his twitter account.
I found a reddit thread which put a lot of James Gunn’s tweets into context, showing how some of James Gunns tweets were plain offensive, while others were not exactly what they seemed. I’ll post the important ones in here for you to see, although if you would like to take a look at the whole thread, here is the link.
As stated here, Wesley Von Spears is James Gunn’s pet dog. It does put things into a different perspective as I can now “see” the joke. I also found sources describing how the Guardians of the Galaxy character Groot is actually inspired by Gunn’s love of his dog, as well as his character Rocket, the talking racoon, is more of an adaption of James Gunn himself.
In this tweet, the context is described that James Gunn was doing a public reading when he spotted a convicted pedophile, so the whole thing was not, as misconcepted, a personal reading to a pedophile for the shits and gigs.
All of these have something in common. Those are all “fake retweets”, since twitter retweeting apparently just didn’t work like it does today, it would include the “retweet” mark in the beginning of the tweet: RT @twitterusername in the beginning of a tweet and then add the context to it from the following person. In this case, it was more like the equivalent of writing a funny facebook status on your friends news feed while he went to the bathroom for a couple of minutes. All of these people are close friends of Gunns who he has worked with, for example Lloyd Kaufman, who is the founder of Troma Entertainment, which is the company James Gunn started first working for making shock comedy films.
I want to come back to this tweet because I think it depicts a sad reality people seem to be denying these days. Years back, people had less filter. The big discussion on sexual abuse wasn’t out in the open like it is today and people were far more insensitive to such jokes and real life cases.. I believe the whole discussion became big around 2011–2012, which can’t be a coincidence to be the same time James Gunn made a public apology about his offensive tweets. But what does that have to do with Justin Bieber, you may ask?
Justin Bieber is the victim of the largest bullying scheme ever having been existed. I mean think about it, everybody was calling him homophobic slurs and saying disgusting things regarding him as soon as he became famous, and back then, he hadn’t even hit puberty, so his voice wasn’t manly. After being the target of the most mean spirited jokes and just plain out hatred, it doesn’t surprise me he grew to be an “asshole”, a bitter guy who does things probably just in order to prove his masculinity. I feel sorry for the guy, but just think back and realize people were not as PC eight years ago.
Again, the OP of the reddit thread had a good point here. “Little pussy boy” most likely was not a reference to a child, but rather a reference to emasculate and degrade the guy sitting next to him calling him a “pussy” and a “boy” rather than a man. This made much more sense to me as this tweet before just confused me.
There are people who actually believe this is a link referring to child pornography, but the link actually directed to the song “Divinyls — I Touch Myself”
The OP of the Reddit thread categorized each joke for the relevant term for them, resulting that only 5 jokes on there were legitimately about pedophilia. Again, you can check the reddit thread yourself.
James Gunn 10 years ago
The next argument I want to go to is the “James Gunn was 41 when he wrote those jokes” argument, suggesting he should have known better than to write these jokes.
I’d like to begin by saying, yes, he was 41. But he was also a successful director for R rated comedy. He was not some loser in his moms basement tweeting smack on the internet.
James Gunn’s career began in 1995 when he was hired to Troma Entertainment to co-write the script of “Tromeo and Juliet”.
In the years of James Gunns infamous tweets, James Gunn had not slowed down on his shock comedy career, R rated films along with a PG project named “PG Porn”. Here is a video of James Gunn himself acting with the popular pornstar Sasha Grey back in around 2008.
I personally find all of James Gunn’s PG Porn video series hilarious, and I also think this can just highlight my point that this was indeed the sort of work James Gunn did when he was 41, and he was successful at it too, releasing films such as Slither, even the Scooby Doo movie and more..
Seeing this you can probably understand how it was a surprise to me and fellow followup fans learning he was working for Disney in the future, but that made me feel proud of him, and very excited knowing whatever he would put into his hands would be a masterpiece, and I was right because I knew he had more heart than obscene sexual and dark jokes, how? One of my two all time favorite films is his movie “Super” from 2010.
“Super” was a script James Gunn had been developing ever since 2002, it was deeply personal for him and so it was a project he would back out of as well as turn back to continuously. James Gunn’s ex wife, Jenna Fischer (Gunn’s former wife from 2000–2007) expressed that Super was her favorite story that Gunn had made when she gave him a phone call in 2009, encouraging him to finally turn it into a movie, suggesting him to hire Rainn Wilson as the main protagonist, who worked with Jenna in the cast of The Office.
Super has a beautiful message, although being a dark and gory film in itself. The film features Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon.
“I think that one of the things that drives me in telling stories, and art in general, is finding the beautiful in a big mass of ugly.”
***SPOILERS*** The ending of the movie Super:
The reason why I’m attaching a video of the ending of Super is to show the initial message it represents. The plot of Super begins with Rainn Wilson’s character “Frank” getting married to Liv Tyler’s character “Sarah”.
Frank is a pretty mediocre guy who meets Sarah, Sarah is a recovering drug addict who marries Frank, thinking she has finally found a good guy and that he will “save” her, however shortly after they get married she gets addicted to drugs again and leaves Frank for Kevin Bacon’s character “Jaq”, who is a drug lord who doesn’t treat Sarah at all well.
Frank decides to become a superhero, meeting Libby (Ellen Page’s character) who insisted to become his sidekick. Frank and Libby go to Jaq’s ranch to save Sarah, although after Frank has saved Sarah and offed all of Jaq’s guys, he accepts that he is not the right guy for Sarah, crying tears of happiness for having saved Sarah and seeing her blossom with a truly kind man and having had four beautiful children.
This reminds me of Gunn’s divorce with Jenna Fischer and how they remained friends after the divorce, as James Gunn has previously stated:
“I never quite understood how two people can love each other deeply but, when they break up, they grow suddenly hateful and cruel. Just because a relationship doesn’t work, doesn’t mean the other person is bad. I’m proud of the good relationships I have with most of my exes, but especially Jenna. She’s a great person, a true and wonderful friend, and she’ll always make me laugh.”
Along with this beautiful message, Super also holds a pretty crude scene depicting Ellen Page raping Rainn Wilson. This is the only film I have seen where a woman assaults a man, but its not depicted in a way that “the man likes it”, as you might think it would. James Gunn realizes rape is wrong even when it comes to a woman assaulting a man, and throughout the film Libby comes on to Frank and he continuously denies her until the assault takes place, resulting in Frank to run to the bathroom and puke.
When you think about this film being released at the same time as he made these tweets, it does give you a certain perspective. Maybe they were just jokes, right?
I think here I should finally add the subject on child abuse as well.
How come through all of these tweets on James Gunn and pedophilia have blown up like they have, but this tweet in particular hasn’t gained any attention whatsoever?
After all of these tweets on pedophilia, is James Gunn a victim of child abuse as well? I looked into it, and this is what I found. I’ll first mention Mosignor Russell J. Obmann.
I looked for Mosignor Obmanns name and what info there could be gathered from all this. It turns out James Gunn has expressed a lot on the subject when it came to Obmann.
I found an article from 2014 where two quotes were taken from James Gunn’s now deleted blog. It was out of a list he had made of “100 things I hate” which was written in 2006.
On the list he had mentioned Obmann in the two following statements:
10) Monsignor Russell J. Obmann, the pastor at my grade school, St. Joseph’s in Manchester, Missouri, who gave the young boys in my class alcohol and showed them porn, and probably other stuff as well. He was later caught having sex with a male student, but was only reprimanded by the Catholic Church. Now he’s dead.
11) The fact that we all told our parents that Russell J. Obmann was doing this shit, but they thought we were being silly and making up stories because he was a dick even outside of being a child molestor.
This is only a piece of information, but on another Buzzfeed article I found from 2017, Gunn goes a little deeper into the subject on Russell J. Obmann.
In the article, Gunn describes how his school was dominated by “pretty maniacal bullies” who made his life hell. According to Gunn, the catalyst for that behavior was the school’s monsignor, Russell J. Obmann.
He describes again that he was giving young boys in class alcohol and pornography and that he was molesting the kids in fifth grade.
He also talked about how he mentioned this to his parents, but their response having been ‘Aw, Jimmy.’ James Gunn’s noting “You know, this was back in the ’80s, before people were sensitive to that stuff. They just thought we were making up something about the monsignor at our school.”
Although Gunn doesn’t go into deep about what his personal experience with Obmann was, he describes the difficulty coming from home and from being bullied at school.
James Gunn is the oldest sibling of 6 and raised in a Catholic family, a family James Gunn describes having been “dysfunctional”. He expressed how there were many alcoholics within the family, explaining how his father made it especially difficult at home. Being the oldest sibling of all 6, this must have been tough for Gunn, taking in a lot of responsibility. “I was a director from the time I was a child”.
Sean Gunn, the youngest Gunn’s siblings, whom James Gunn has featured in many of his films describes how they had to obtain “survival skills” within the family and how although the difficulty their father had raised, it created a tighter bond between the siblings.
Along with Sean Gunns words, he describes this has a lot to do with the story of Guardians of the Galaxy. “The overarching theme of the movie is that this odd band of space protectors is trying to evolve from a dysfunctional family to a strangely functional one.”
James Gunn doesn’t go into depths of what really went on during his childhood, but thinking from my own experience of having had an abusive alcoholic father, I understand he wouldn’t expose it publicly, because maybe he knows something I do from my dad sobering up.
He’s no longer that person today and although all of those things were wrong he did years ago, I still forgive him and know he is a good person now. (Its crazy how compared to that, people are outraged over old tweets)
It doesn’t really surprise me that James Gunn grew up having several anger issues, although he never really did anything worse than offensive, it doesn’t surprise me he would surround himself with dark humor and hang with fellow misfits, seeking approval through laughter.
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, if life gives you assholes, make a Troma movie.”
This also makes me think of the Guardians of the Galaxy character Rocket, the talking raccoon, which James Gunn describes “is him”
I sort of want to put an interesting quotation by James Gunn regarding his views:
“I guess I am an optimist in a pessimist brain, if that makes any sense. I believe in the innate goodness of most people in this world, and yet I’m a damaged soul like many other people and have my own demons and things I struggle with”
I think it was in the second movie where Rocket softens his edge and describes how his humor is only his defensive shell, as he becomes more vulnerable towards his new “family”.
James Gunn has expressed how working on the script and working with Disney has changed him into becoming more vulnerable, so this part of the story is more than relevant to who James Gunn has become today, following his career on Guardians of the Galaxy. Sean Gunn expressed on twitter how he saw these changes in James Gunn whilst working with Disney:
I want to add the actual support James Gunn has given toward the #metoo movement and how he himself has made a stand against Hollywood predators. Think about it, the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy has signed a statement to support James Gunn and yet people are suggesting he is one of the bad people of Hollywood.
I’ll begin with Selma Blair, who in support of James Gunn, has deleted her twitter account and urged Disney to rehire James Gunn.
She shared how James Gunn helped her through dark times having shared her #metoo story regarding sexual harassment she endured from the film director James Toback, posting on facebook:
“For my money, Selma Blair is a hero. I know she in no way wanted to have to come forward with this story, but she still did it. Most of these women (and, yes, some men) have nothing to gain by telling their stories, about Toback, about Weinstein, about O’Reilly, about Cosby, and about the others yet to come. They do it for the sake of others, for the future, and for justice.”
This is not the only facebook post James Gunn has made against the sexual predators in Hollywood.
In the much longer facebook post than I am showing you here, James Gunn describes how he was on the way with three close female friends to a party when they started having a casual conversation about a whole lot of sexual harassment they had endured in their lives and how they have gotten used to this being an everyday part of their lives, but these descriptions horrified James Gunn, motivating him to make this stand.
James Gunn has always been very active on social media, on the topics of social justice as well as when it comes to views on politics. Most public figures avoid this, because just as a waiter at a restaurant needs to be costumer friendly, “famous people” also need to be consumer friendly, and risking political conflict toward your consumers is bad for business.
This is where I’ll bring Mike Cernovich to the discussion, because a whole lot of people say that the only reason he exposed these tweets to the public was because of James Gunn’s political views. If you look at James Gunn’s twitter and scroll down you’ll quickly notice; “Wow, that’s a LOT of anti-trump tweets”, more than active on voicing his opinions on America’s president, Gunn’s twitter is literally just flooded with them, making it not hard to believe that Mike Cernovich targeting him having something (or everything) to do with that.
So who is this Mike Cernovich?
Mike Cernovich is very open on being a Trump supporter. He also is a conspiracy theorist having great involvement with the Pizzagate theories, which resulted in the shooting on december 4th, 2016 attack launched on a pizzaria in Washington. A man named Edgar Maddison Welch had opened fire believing he was saving numbers of children being trapped in a sex-slave ring. He was sentenced four years in jail.
Pretty crazy stuff, but the guy seems to be all for exploiting pedophiles in Hollywood, however when it comes to his views on sexual abuse, none of those stands “stand”, Mike Cernovich himself is convicted rapist and himself has made much worse tweets than James Gunn ever has, expressing how rape is the “natural” way of reproduction and how he doesn’t care for women being raped, these are not jokes, mind you. They’re full statements.
Here you can read an overview of his most disgusting tweets.
Heres a poll he created a few days ago I found very amusing, though I believe if it had gotten more attention the percentage of “Evil” would’ve gotten even higher.
I have covered most of what I have wanted to say now. This article took way longer than I ever expected. I’ll end it with James Gunn’s public apology from 6 years ago, also reminding you through all of what I have had to say I know James Gunn himself already accepted and understood the reasons why he was fired. I simply made this article because I care, and I honestly find James an inspiration and always have and through these tough times, I just think it matters to show everyone the James Gunn I see, rather than just the James Gunn you might have just discovered around 11 days ago. Thank you for reading. I wish you well.
James Gunn apologized 6 years ago for these tweets publicly.
“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,” he continues. “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. — James Gunn.”