James Gunn addresses his firing in wake of unearthed controversial tweets: ‘I again offer my deepest apologies’

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Jul 20, 2018, 5:51 PM EDT (Updated)

James Gunn, whose name has become as synonymous with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as its big screen stars, addressed the series of newly-publicized tweets that allegedly led to his firing in a statement provided to the media Friday afternoon, apologizing for his past remarks and saying they don’t reflect “the person I am today.”

Gunn characterized the tweets that led to his firing as “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative.” The tweets, which referenced pedophilia and rape, reportedly were posted (and later deleted) between 2008 and 2012. Gunn became attached to the Guardians franchise as director beginning in 2014.

Via Deadline and other sources, Gunn’s full statement is as follows:

My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.

Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.

Disney fired Gunn, who already was well into development on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, Friday morning after conservative website The Daily Caller drew fresh attention to the tweets in an article posted to its website earlier this week. Gunn had been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump on social media, and had used his Twitter account to respond to the recent accusations before Disney fired him on Friday.