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Marvel film director James Gunn is dismissing the severity of cancel culture despite how he himself was once the victim of cancel culture. 

Amid the most recent cancel culture firestorm following the announcement that six books from Dr. Seuss would be discontinued for racist imagery, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker mocked those sounding the alarm.

“Stop calling everything ‘cancel culture’ because you’re too dim to have a nuanced opinion. People can be offended by something, or think something sucks, and that’s not ‘cancel culture’ – it’s free speech,” Gunn began a Twitter thread on Saturday. 

“To all of those writing me about the times people get unfairly attacked – yes, that sucks! But that doesn’t mean every time someone is offended by something it’s ‘cancel culture.’ Calling EVERYTHING that is a knee-jerk response that destroys your point,” the director explained. 

While he defended Looney Tunes character Speedy Gonzales from being quote-unquote “canceled,” he suggested that disgraced film mogul and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein deserved to be “canceled” and that fellow Looney Tunes icon Pepe le Pew is “offensive” for the way “he treats that cat.”

“And a book publisher deciding not to publish some books because some of the images in them are hurtful to minorities, is not cancel culture. That’s THEIR free speech at work,” Gunn wrote, alluding to the Dr. Seuss controversy. “Likewise, I sometimes see celebrities getting attacked on here for something minor or nonexistent & I think it’s unfair. Other times I see celebrities getting attacked for s— that’s nearly unforgivable, or at least makes me not want to watch their movies. It’s nuanced.”

He continued, “Most people know that. Most people have different thoughts & feelings about different situations. But Twitter is a place where the extremes on every conceivable side rise to the top, because those ideas are splashier. And for all of you out there (I see you) saying, ‘What about people who try to cancel you?! Do they have the right to do that?!’ OF COURSE THEY DO. And I will fight for their right to do so. I may not agree with their opinions but I believe deeply in their right to free speech.”

Gunn’s last tweet alluded to the controversy he himself faced in July 2018 after resurfaced years-old tweets showed the director joking about rape and child molestation.

“I like when little boys touch me in my silly place,” one tweet read.

“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’” Gunn wrote in another.


Gunn explained at the time that his tweets were attempts of being “provocative” and “taboo” and that he repeatedly expressed regret for them over the years. However, Disney fired Gunn from directing “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” amid public uproar.

However, unlike the vast majority of those who faced the wrath of the viral mob, Gunn was uncanceled as Disney reinstated him as the director of the Marvel franchise in March 2019. The film is currently scheduled to be released in 2023.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JUNE 25: James Gunn attends the premiere of Disney And Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ on June 25, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Other Disney employees haven’t been as lucky. In 2018, Roseanne Barr was fired from ABC’s highly-successful “Roseanne” reboot after she made a racist tweet attacking former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. Last month, “The Mandalorian” star Gina Carano was fired after an Instagram post commenting on current political divisions in the US invoked the Holocaust.


Gunn appeared to approve of the online bashing of Carano, liking a tweet that invoked him reading, “Oh f*ck don’t drag @JamesGunn into this unfortunate trending topic.”

More recently, “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison was benched for initially defending current “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos resurfaced of her attending an “Old South” themed party at a plantation in 2018, though he himself suggested he will return to emcee the long-running reality show. 

Representatives for Gunn did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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