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Thursday, October 11, 2018 

Lessons not learned in Hollywood: Time Warner hires James Gunn to direct Suicide Squad sequel

Wow, Warner Brothers seems determined to shoot themselves multiple times in the foot, after the majority of their DC-based film franchise sputtered. No sooner did Disney fire the vile James Gunn for his history of making rape jokes, now Warner Brothers is reportedly hiring the gross filmmaker to develop a sequel to their first Suicide Squad movie:
James Gunn has been hired by Warner Bros and DC to write with an eye to direct the next installment of the Suicide Squad franchise. It’s the first job he’s taken since he parted ways with Disney, which let him go from the lucrative Guardians of the Galaxy franchise in July in the wake of old controversial tweets that had been compiled by alt-right journalists and sent to Disney.

[...] Gunn’s departure was a shocking one, but numerous studio execs told Deadline that they were eager to try to find a project with Gunn, who’d written and was expected to direct the third Guardians after his first film’s $773 million global gross was surpassed by the first sequel, which grossed $863 million worldwide. It has been easy for studios to run from filmmakers caught up in this #MeToo moment, but Gunn was the decided exception. Many felt that his attempt to be provocative at a time he was coming out of the Troma film factory were only words, even if his missives were indefensible.
First, what's telling about this article is that it doesn't make clear the tweets involved rape jokes. Second, it sounds like they're turning this all into a right-wing agenda affair, and implying the Disney Corp. shouldn't have responded to what could end up becoming Time Warner's disaster. Third, it's most likely the "many" are Hollywood hypocrites who couldn't have cared less about Harvey Weinstein's antics if he hadn't been exposed as the sexually abusive gangster he really was. This all spells a public relations disaster in the making. Even Bryan Singer, who was accused of sexual assault, could prove damaging to any future films he makes, such as a possible new take on Red Sonja. The hard truth is that sometimes, words aren't just words at all. Sometimes, they can really be sick, repugnant and altogether damaging, as this case of a vile Image contributor should make clear.

To make matters worse, David Bautista announced his delight at the choice, and might even get a role in the planned sequel to Suicide Squad. Ugh. But really irritating is what's said at the end of this AP Wire syndicate article:
Gunn gives Warner Bros. and DC Comics one of the most fan boy-approved voices in comic book films at a time when Warner Bros. is remaking much of its superhero operations. Gunn’s witty, irreverent sensibility turned Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” from little-known minor characters into one Disney’s most acclaimed and bankable franchises. The first “Guardians” grossed $773 million and the sequel grossed $863 million.
I bet your pardon? I may think of myself as a fanboy, but I do NOT approve of creepy men who make repulsive jokes about sexual assault and child molestation. To do that would give a bad name to the whole idea of "fanboy-ism". It's bad enough there's a segment of society pushing the perception of fanboys as messy lemmings living in their mother's basement. It'd be much worse if we gave the impression fanboys have lenient views on serious issues.

And a man who makes horrific jokes about sexual abuse and attends parties sensationalizing the same isn't somebody I'd consider witty, let alone sensible. If Warner Brothers goes ahead with Gunn as a screenwriter/director, they'll be inviting a lot of embarrassing scrutiny that could torpedo a possible franchise. Any lessons that could've been learned from this controversy have gone out the window very quickly, alas.

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I may think of myself as a fanboy, but I do NOT approve of creepy men who make repulsive jokes about sexual assault and child molestation. To do that would give a bad name to the whole idea of "fanboy-ism."

The problem here, Avi, is that many of these same "fanboys" have spent two decades marinating in the rape-and-child-molester jokes of animated TV shows like Family Guy (and everything else by Seth MacFarlane).

I agree; we should all be horrified by this kind of "humor." But after 20 years of it, no wonder many people think it's no big deal.

There are many things in this world to be "horrified" by, but humour is not one of them taste is not a crime.

Before we all start clutching our pearls and running for our fainting couch, lets remember that jokes, no matter how tasteless, are just that, jokes. Poor taste is not a crime, and in a free society a person should not be punished for showing poor taste and/or judgement.

Gunn makes good (INMO) successful movies, and Disney firing him was a dick move. Lets not forget these fucking hypocrites were responsible for "Song of the South" as well as numerous racist WWII era cartoons.

Lets stick to punishing people for crimes, not jokes or opinions.

Hey, what's the difference between a truck load of bowling balls and a truck load of dead babies?

A: You can't unload bowling balls with a pitchfork.

Now slap on the cuffs, and it's off to the gulag with me.

The tone is really set from the top down, not just by Family Guy. We have a president who has been boasting about his sexual exploits and anatomy for decades and who was accused of rape by his first wife in a book that she wrote, and makes crude comments about groping women that he says we're just idle boasting locker room talk. We have had a Supreme Court nomination fight that papered over serious allegations of rape. So why shouldn't people start thinking it's no big deal?

Has Gunn actually raped anyone?

I realize there's really no point in trying to engage with someone who think child molestation is hilarious, and who ignores the harmful effects of two decades of making jokes about it in an animated cartoon watched by millions of children. (That's right, kids -- being molested is FUNNY! What's wrong? Can't you take a joke?)

Interesting how you clutch your own pearls over "Song of the South." (Have you ever even seen the movie? Or are you just going by what the SJW crowd -- who also haven't seen it -- say about it? And by the way, "Song of the South" was also a "good, successful movie" in its day, since that's your criterion. That being the case, those creators shouldn't be "punished" by your harsh rhetoric about their "taste," either.

You're apparently unable to make a distinction between racist comments made 80 years ago, in the context of a war against a hated enemy who murdered thousands of people, and comments about raping children made recently by a pampered Hollywood type just trying to get attention by looking edgy and cool.

I guess something's only a crime if it offends YOUR values, right? Why do I get the feeling that if Gunn's "taste" had been making jokes about blacks, gays, or socialists, you'd be the first one calling for his head?

I will note that the "pearl-clutching/fainting couch" comments are ironic bordering on ridiculous coming from a drama queen who shrieks, "Slap on the cuffs! Off to the gulag with me!"

"Has Gunn actually raped anyone?"

I don't know. Has Kavanaugh? Where's the proof? Oh, that's right. The accusation's been made, so obviously he's guilty. Well, if an unproven accusation and a high school yearbook are enough to convict Kavanaugh, then surely a ton of tweets about the joys of child molestation are enough to convict Gunn?

As for your concern about "from the top down"...were you just as concerned about Keith Ellison? Al Franken? Bill Clinton? Ted Kennedy? Lyndon Johnson? JFK?

At least Avi and I have the courage to sign our own names to our comments, not cower behind "Anonymous" or lame aliases like "Jack Bourbon."

It's painfully evident that posting opinions/comments online under your real name can be something you come to regret later. It's not courageous, it's borderline stupid.

I don't personally have a problem with "Song of the South" or anything else like it. I just used it as an example of hypocrisy. People in glass houses and all that,and while I'm sure you are a paragon of virtue, I'd bet that sometime in the past you've said something tasteless or offensive.

Whether it was 80 years ago or 10 years ago the bottom line is offending someone's sensibilities is not, nor should be a crime, and no one should be punished for it.

Drawing a parallel between Kavanaugh and Gunn is just moronic. James Gunn has not been accused of child molestation by anyone,and to equate making a joke about something with actually doing it is foolish. I'm sure you must realize this.

Unlike those on the far left, or on the far right, I have no interest in trying to impose my values on other people. Wanna make racist, or homophobic jokes? Knock yourself out. Comedy is meant to be shocking, and only offends me when it's not funny.

The interesting thing about Al Franken is that the President has nothing but contempt for him, for having folded like a wet towel after being accused of assault. Trump does not think there is anything wrong with what Franken did (at this point, after so many worse accusations against other people I don't even remember what it was) but he thinks the guy was weak for expressing regret over it.

Kavanagh was not proven guilty; but the seriousness of the accusation from a credible victim, combined with the apparent lies and inconsistencies in his statements about his past behavior that he came out with in the course of his defence, and the indications that he knew who the accusers were before their names became public, and the strong indications that he was a belligerent drunk at the time, raise enough concern that a more detailed investigation should have been done. It is like hiring someone as a security guard when he has a string of criminal charges and is known to the police, just because he was never convicted on any of them; you want to make absolutely sure of him before you hire him.

There is a double standard in the post. Bryan Singer has never been convicted of anything either, and James Gunn has at least acknowledged and apologized for what he had written.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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