James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy
My goodness, I am ready to be done with all this. Here’s the thing: James Gunn, tapped to direct Marvel/Disney’s (Marsney’s) upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie did this poll about the superheroes that folks would most like to engage in the intercourse with, and then he followed up all these votes with some pretty awful misogynistic and homophobic junk.
This was a year or so ago, I think, and someone just noticed it recently, so people started talking about it, and James Gunn immediately took it down but look! It’s here on Google cache. The internet — like an elephant, or a quiet iorich — never forgets.
So, there a couple possibilities. One is that this is exactly what it looks like. It’d be disappointing, but not something that even remotely resembles implausible.
It’s possible, too, that this is just meant to be jokes. Like it’s a PARODY of misogynist and homophobic crap, in which case it’s awful. It’s awful for a variety of reasons, among them that you can’t satirize something with JUST mimicry, there has to be an implicit criticism of it somewhere, too. And you can’t parody something with JUST mimicry, there has to be some jokes, instead of just a fellow being hell of nasty.
I want to credit that, but here’s the thing. If that WAS the case, why didn’t he just say something? Watch, I will write a pretty decent response to this whole thing THIS VERY SECOND:
Dang, you guys, this was bad form on my part. I wrote this as a joke, with the intent to satirize deluded, homophobic, misogynist comic book fans — but looking back at it, I realize that I did a pretty poor job. It’s not as funny as I thought it was, and definitely not as trenchant. It was a mistake to write, and a mistake to post, and I want to take it down.
But more importantly, what gay people and women in our culture need more than tongue-in-cheek-snarkiness is for people in positions of (relative) power to stand up and call this kind of stuff out, and take an uncompromising attitude in support of equality and feminism — so, even if this satire had turned out to be pretty funny, it would have been far from the best use of my time.
A better use would be to reaffirm that the attitude I was trying to parody here has no place in my upcoming work, and to redouble my efforts to assure that the Marvel movie universe is as inclusive, accepting, and tolerant as it possibly can be.
I’ve left the post where it is for now, because while I think it was a mistake, I don’t think I’m doing you or myself any favors by pretending it didn’t happen, but I do want to let everyone know that I do think it was a mistake, and I’m deeply sorry for the pain that I’ve caused by posting it.
Now, of course — James Gunn works for Disney these days. He’s probably under contract, which means he’s probably not ALLOWED to say anything that hasn’t been vetted by a team of lawyers and publicity agents, and to guys like that, “honestly admitting a mis-step and using it as an opportunity to declare yourself an advocate of tolerance” probably seems like a risky maneuver with unnecessarily high potential cost consequences (PCCs, if you’re savvy).
I mean, I did literally write this in about thirty seconds, so it shouldn’t take THAT long for the Disney team to have come up with something — but they do probably have to bounce it between legal and the CEO and all those things, and maybe they’re still crossing their fingers that no one will see it.
I don’t know; what I do know is that I’m done with all this. As much as I think a movie starring a raccoon with a laser gun and who is friends with a sentient tree is maybe going to be pretty rad, I don’t see it measurably enriching my life. And that means I don’t see my life being measurably diminished by my not seeing it, and at the end of the day I am just not interested.
I am not interested any more, at all, in supporting the work of people that can’t figure this shit out.
Whatever, you guys. Whatever.
[UPDATE: James Gunn has responded on his facebook, with an apology that was still not quite as good as mine, but at least unequivocal. I got to admit, I'm actually still not super-interested in this shit, but in large part that's because I also just found out that he wrote the Scooby-Doo movies.]