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Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Times-Record's comics columnist has crossed a line

The team behind the Guardians of the Galaxy films has already been blowing it terribly in the past few weeks with their disturbing, biased apologia for James Gunn, whom Disney fired for his horrific shiploads of rape and pedophilia jokes. Now, they're joined by a media apologist, Andrew Smith, who writes the syndicated Captain Comics columns for Tribune Media, and the following published at the Fort Smith Times-Record is one of the most loathsome in its minimization of the seriousness of Gunn's repellent jokes:
Dunned Gunn Not Done: The controversy over James Gunn keeps rolling along. But the worst is probably over for the beleaguered director.

Some background: Gunn had directed the first two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies and was scheduled to direct the third. But he was fired by Disney when some right-wing activists dredged up some decade-old tweets consisting of jokes in extreme poor taste. Disney, worried about its family-friendly image, booted him July 20.

Gunn was a popular guy, though, and his dismissal riled a lot of people up. All the major stars of the “Guardians” movies — including Chris “Star-Lord” Pratt and Zoe “Gamora” Saldana — signed a letter addressed to Disney in support of Gunn. Dave Bautista (who plays Drax) says he won’t appear in GotG3 if Gunn’s script isn’t used, and Michael Rooker (Yondu) quit Twitter in protest. Non-“Guardians” stars like Selma Blair and Patton Oswalt have risen to Gunn’s defense. A petition to reinstate Gunn at Change.org is pushing 400,000 signatures.
In a population of nearly 350 million people in the USA, 400,000 signatures is just a drop in the bucket. All that aside, notice how Mr. Smith is insinuating this was all an injustice because it was allegedly right-wingers who hauled up Gunn's house of horrors. Now that is some way to belittle the fact Gunn's record contains a lot more chilling behavior, like his attendance of a pedophilia-themed party in Hollywood. What a disgrace, and it nullifies Mr. Smith's alleged criticism of the Superboy tale from DC Super-Stars #12 even more. And why would it be just a family-friendly image that's driving these decisions? Even an adult-themed movie producer would be facing a PR crisis after such awful drivel by Gunn made headlines, which is far worse than what Roseanne Barr said in just one measly tweet.
And those years-old tweets don’t appear too much of an impediment for Gunn at studios not named Disney. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director “has been approached by several top producers and executives at major studios dangling big film projects.”

Plus, Gunn still isn’t technically fired yet. He is still negotiating his exit from Disney, which could hit the studio pretty hard in the pocketbook. So, while unlikely, Disney could still decide to take the path of least resistance and un-fire that Gunn. Either way, it’s probable that Gunn’s script will be used for “Guardians” 3, if for no other reason than to keep Bautista aboard.
Sorry, but that's not so, if the following exclusive from Variety says anything:
After a strong push to get James Gunn back as director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” following his firing from the project, Disney and Marvel are standing by their decision to not reinstate him as helmer for the next installment. The decision came following a meeting between Gunn and studio chairman Alan Horn. [...]

Insiders say Marvel president Kevin Feige was out of town and unable to attend. Sources added that while it was rumored that Feige was pushing to bring Gunn back, Feige stands by the studio’s decision to not bring back the “Guardians” director for the third installment.
See, even Feige, pretentious as he is, understands that at this point, Gunn is only a liability, and no amount of good work he does artistically can change the fact he's got a vile personality. As John Nolte at Breitbart says, the media has failed in their attempted cover-ups and whitewashings, including the loathsome piece in the Times-Record. On which note, let's look at more from that awful article:
So shed no tears for Gunn, whose success on the “Guardians” franchise — the first two movies made roughly $1.6 billion — is gold-plated job security. “Don’t worry, folks,” said William Hughes of the AV Club, “James Gunn is going to be just fine.”

My opinion: Talking isn’t doing, and no one has ever claimed Gunn acted inappropriately. Having an immature sense of humor as a young adult shouldn’t be a firing offense. I’m 100 percent behind #MeToo, but this is an overreaction. Hire the guy back, Disney.
This is just sick. Putting aside for a moment that even some MeToo advocates may not be 100 percent behind their beliefs, as Selma Blair's strongly hinted, there's times when verbal monstrosities can really cross the line. If bald-faced verbal racism against POC is bad, then condescending, repellent views of women and children's dignity have to be considered the same. Smith has really brought himself down to a new level of degradation. But for anybody aware he fawned over Identity Crisis in the mid-2000s, that's why this isn't such a shock. It's just like these propagandists; they whine and parrot petty complaints about breasts and costumes, but take a lenient view of physical-to-sexual assault, which could explain why, if grisly content of that sort in manga is considered a problem, they never actually seem to complain about crude sexual gropings/assaults in manga/anime, if at all. That's precisely the double-standard that renders the social justice advocates' whinings pure hypocrisy.

And it's not the only weak comment he's made. Here's more about the attacks on actress Ruby Rose for winning the Batwoman role on TV, which curiously omits some key matters:
Sadly, Rose was bullied so much on Twitter after the announcement that she has quit using the service. The power anonymous social media gives to mouth-breathers is appalling.

My opinion: LGBTQ is under-represented in heroic TV roles, and this will help to right the ship. Also, Batwoman is a terrific character, so everyone wins. But the Twitter thing is infuriating.
Curious he wouldn't mention how leftist SJWs bizarrely hijacked the casting choice to attack her under the pretense she's not of Jewish ethnicity, and that's what makes this so infuriating, especially to somebody like me. People who exploit petty issues in the name of a community they doubtless despise are only belittling the seriousness of the subjects involved. Smith's description of the incident is so superficial, you'd think he really meant homophobes and right-wingers went after Rose. Let's not forget that earlier, Smith had the gall to imply right-wingers were wrong to expose James Gunn's house of horrors on the same platform.

And on that note, the behavior of the GotG cast and crew was so reprehensible in their defense of Gunn, they may have tainted the whole film franchise by now, and dampened everybody's enthusiasm for a third installment. This could be the point where the Marvel movie machine really begins to stumble, no thanks to apologists like Mr. Smith either. His defense of Gunn is one of the lowliest acts of his worthless career, and disgusts me as a human being.

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