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Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

GotG star David Bautista and Jim Starlin are making it worse by apologizing for James Gunn

I think the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise is on its way to being seriously tainted, by one of its own stars, and by a writer whom I wanted to think was a decent man, and is now shattering that image. First, the GoTG star David Bautista opened his big mouth by launching a tirade against his own employer for "succumbing" to what he calls "cybernazis":
Marvel star Dave Bautista went on the attack against his own employer over the weekend by claiming Disney caved to “cyber-Nazis” with the decision to fire Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.

Disney, the company that owns Marvel, fired Gunn late last week after a countless number of old tweets resurfaced in which Gunn “joked” about raping children. He also mocked Mexicans, AIDS, the Holocaust, and rape.

[...] Bautista is aware of Gunn’s tweets, the “Pubescent Girls” video, and Gunn’s apparent connection to [Huston] Huddleston, but is still defending Gunn as a victim of cyber-Nazis out to destroy Gunn over nothing more than “old tweets.”

Almost immediately after Disney fired Gunn, Bautista tweeted:

“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
But he is okay with Gunn associating with a criminal like Huston Huddleston? I think Bautista's just become a liability to Disney/Marvel's movie division, and no matter what costume and makeup/special effects he disguises himself with now, future moviegoers are bound to cringe at the sight of him in his films, if they bother to see them at all. The GotG franchise has just been jeopardized by one of its own stars.

And then, in the comics industry itself, Thanos creator Jim Starlin, devastatingly enough, has just unmasked himself as a hardcore leftist in the worst way possible, with his own apologia on Facebook where he even drags in some conservative commentators into the mess:
After giving it a couple days to think over this James Gunn/Disney controversy, I've come to the conclusion that the Mouse got played. Yes, Gunn's decade-old tweets were distasteful and stupid, but clearly meant to be foolishly provocative rather than taken as advocacy. The whole uproar over them was plainly ginned up by two Breitbart hatchet men, John Nolte and Mike Cernovich, in response to Rosanne Barr's firing for her repeated hate-filled and racist tweets. I have to agree with Dave Bautisa on this one. Disney accepted a ridiculous apple and oranges argument and made one hell of a bad call.
I was recently thinking of buying a paperback of his work on Dreadstar from the mid-80s. I guess now I'll have to hold out a little longer, as he's really crossed the line, acting as though comments from the past have no weight as compared to what the present does. Can we be clear here? Even what you say in the past can be a valid concern in the present, and future, especially if the perpetrator hasn't apologized. Such is the case in France with Jean-Marie Le Pen and Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, neither of whom have apologized for all their antisemitic/racist rhetoric of the past, nor all the McCarthy-ish trouble they caused, which undoubtably made it difficult to oppose Islamofascism effectively. The former shares a bit in common with Senator Joe McCarthy, whom you could say made it difficult to oppose communism effectively in his time, seeing how both were so crude in their own ways of commentary, it had the effect of giving people the wrong impression in certain ways, and intimidating the French into fearing they'd be accused of being like Le Pen if they dared speak against Islam.

The apologists haven't even addressed that filmmaker Lexi Alexander erased her Twitter account, presumably because she came under attack by the establishment for calling out the screwballs who wouldn't defend Roseanne Barr by contrast. All that aside, this is a very sad day when an artist/writer with such a notable resume as Starlin's turns out to be as morally bankrupt as he sounds here, and what's this about Barr's "repeated" tweets? She did say other stupid stuff in the past, but as far as I know, she was only booted by ABC over one mere tweet. As for Cernovich, I'm not sure how prominent his role may be in calling out Gunn, although some respondents to Starlin showed that Cernovich appears to have some filthy crap in his own past record, and if so, then let me assure them I disapprove and think he should be shunned. I've never even read Cernovich columns so I don't care for him anyway. But Nolte, who's been commenting on the subject more, has no serious offenses by contrast, to my best of knowledge, even if he has said things I disagree with. Heck, I don't think I've ever seen Cernovich writing for Breitbart, which means Starlin's ill-informed on that matter too. He got some negative responses, such as this one:
Has Jim actually read the tweets and blog posts in question here? My first inclination was also to say "hey, they were just some edgy jokes from years ago!" ...until I actually saw what the dude wrote.

The tweets and blogs posts are real--they are not part of some right-wing conspiracy. Between this and the stuff revolving around Bryan Singer and Jared Leto, are we now to conclude that the comics industry is cool with pederasty and statutory rape?

This post is beyond disappointing Jim, and crosses into the territory of apologetics for guys going after little boys. I expected a lot more.
This guy's message echoes how I feel. It's a very sad, dark day when a scribe with a reputation as big as Starlin had in the past stoops this low, and it won't be easy to clean up the mess he's brewed so easily. There's a very valid point here: Starlin's stupidity risks casting a dark cloud on what industry insiders think of serious issues, and as recent developments have revealed, there are indeed scumbags who were lurking around.

Not only has Starlin dampened his own reputation with this garbage post of his, people could start viewing some elements in his past resume differently. For example, comics stories dealing with deaths:
  • The Death of Captain Marvel, where Mar-Vell of the Kree was put to rest
  • Batman's A Death in the Family, which saw 2nd Robin Jason Todd murdered by the Joker
  • The Infinity Gauntlet, which has themes of death involved, including the Angel of Death whom Thanos gets involved with
  • DC's Death of the New Gods miniseries, which began with Big Barda just dying without any kind of a fight at the beginning (which I'm sure wouldn't please Jack Kirby, since he'd dedicated Barda to his wife)
In addition, if he has an obsessive love for villainous characters like Thanos (and less so for heroes, the real bunch who deserve the spotlight), people could end up wondering if he's either mentally deteriorated, or if he's become a broken old man desensitized to violence in real life and channeled his lenient views into his past work. They'll also begin to lose sympathy for a guy who complained Tom Brevoort mistreated him. As galling as Brevoort is, Starlin's ill-informed reaction to this whole mess is truly awful. Say, I just remembered: one of the series with a connection to the Infinity War crossover from 1992 was Wonder Man (issues #13-14), written by Gerard Jones, who's now facing a jail sentence for child porn trafficking. Does Starlin think Jones' crimes should go without consequence? That would be very ill-advised, and will only soil his reputation even more. Jones has tainted Infinity War as well as Simon Williams' early 90s solo book because of his offensive crime.

There were more negative responses, such as:
jesus christ liberals wont take responsibility for anything will they? if trump had tweeted this shit 10 years ago people would be calling for his head never mind sacking him. but its hollyweird moneymaker (((james gunn))) of course we have to rise up in his defense. for the record, this whole "sack people for offensive tweets" schtick was started by the liberal crybabies on twitter and tumblr in the first place.
As Roseanne Barr stated, she was blacklisted by the same people now defending Gunn. I honestly don't find Barr's humor appealing (and I'm honestly skeptical of her "conservative" credentials), and she did do crude stupidity in the past - especially her doxxing George Zimmerman's address, which was wrong, and she got sued for it - but if she really has to lose her revived sitcom, than Gunn will have to lose his writing and directing gig to boot, period. As another said:
No sir, if you making rules and principles, you MUST stick to them without any tribalism, till the very end. Otherwise it's blatant hypocrisy and I have no sympathy nor respect for hypocrites. Earth will literally make a giant leap as a population in just one single day if all people will utilize what they preach themselves.
Exactly. Lesson for Starlin to learn from - don't follow insular customs. It's practically what's dragging down the comics medium with a code of silence to accompany it. Furthermore, if Disney caved and rehired Gunn at this point, there's every chance they'd pay a heavy price in public relations. The public's memories aren't always as short as some might think. Somebody else stated:
Jim, let this go. The Mouse didn't get played as you put it. James dishonored himself and the brand. I understand it was 8 years ago but this was a 44 year old man glorifying pedophilia. These aren't jokes. There is no humor in Child Rape. Wake up please. Don't talk about it. He was an employer that was fired. He can make other movies. But the mouse didn't get played we did thinking he is a decent man. He feels remorse now but only after it surfaced did we realize how disgusting he is. You should take the high road and STAY CLEAR OF PEDOPHILIA. Nothing good will ever come from it.
I would just disagree with the part about Gunn being able to continue making movies. It won't be that simple. A man with a mind that vile has no place in entertainment, and I'm skeptical he's really sorry for what he said.

If Starlin's smart, he'll quietly drop the subject, though considering the subject matter is so repulsive, I think it'd be far better if he publicly apologize, especially to all the victims of rape and child abuse whom his words could end up denigrating. What he said was stunningly irresponsible, and now whatever I read from his past resume will have to be taken with a grain of salt, and I'll have to separate the artist from the art. No matter how you look at it, it's very, very sad when guys like Starlin damage their reputations by defending scummy people whom no sane person would let anywhere near their families. Such approaches do no favors for comicdom at all.

Update: I just found this Infinity Gauntlet panel posted on Instagram where it looks like the Trump hotel in New Jersey is one of the structures devastated. Which gives us a clue what Starlin might've thought of Trump back then, and could take on a whole new meaning now.

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Death has been the main theme in Starlin's work since he was an amateur writing and drawing for fanzines in the 1970s; Thanos is the best known example. Religion as a preoccupation comes a not-so close second.

Cernovich has appeared on the Breitbart radio program, and when they report on him on the news site, they describe him respectfully, as a writer, journalist and White House correspondent. The site has flirted with the sleaziest elements of the alt-white, and he is one example.

There is a difference between someone who keeps on sending out racist tweets after being told she needs to stop, and someone who has stopped long ago but finds old tweets he repudiated long ago used against him. Roseanne, who is a Trump supporter but not a conservative, is not Gunn.

To be honest, I'm actually a bit surprised that Disney even BOTHERED to fire Gunn at all for those tweets given that they have under their employ several more people who were just as bad if not worse at times (and besides, after how Iger handled Jemele Hall's racist tweets against Donald Trump on ESPN where he effectively implied that he won't fire her or even take any real action against her simply on account of her race, I was doubtful he'd even do anything to Gunn at all, let alone fire him). Then again, I'm also surprised that he's even considering firing Kathleen Kennedy at all for the failure that was Solo, again, mostly because of how he handled Jemele Hall's hijynx at ESPN, which definitely would have lost ESPN quite a bit of money.

Well, either way, it's definitely a good thing that creep is not working at Disney anymore, or working at a job for that matter. Not like Gunn even created Guardians of the Galaxy as a franchise, anyways, so I think they'll come up with somebody to take Gunn's place regarding the films. Of course, after David Hayter got replaced by the time of X-Men 3 with Bryan Singer, that did put a hamper in things especially after the latter turned the franchise into gay propaganda (and Singer is arguably worse than Gunn).

Don't worry about the political implications of the destruction of the Trump hotel in Infinty Gauntlet. Back when it was first published, Trump was a Democrat.

It gets even worse. https://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/08/11/photos-surface-of-guardians-director-james-gunn-at-pedophilia-themed-party/

Will the "Guardians" cast continue to defend him?

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