“Man, I hope he gets his job back.”
“They always protect their own.”
As July comes to an end, many comedians and entertainers on Twitter remain under scrutiny for indecent jokes posted in the late 2000s. Tweets unearthed by far-right activists under the banner of the #MeToo campaign and other progressive lobbies have forced Hollywood to reckon with what many Yahoo commenters call its “liberal double standard.”
Such comments have been common since the cast of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series circulated an appeal to rehire director James Gunn, who was fired by Disney over a number of inappropriate Twitter jokes he made between 2009 and 2012. Despite Gunn’s admission of wrongdoing in a statement, the cast — including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel — pressed for his reinstatement with an Instagram post on Monday.
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion,” said the statement, titled “An Open Letter from the Cast of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’” posted by Karen Gillan. It continued: “…We hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
A post shared by Karen Gillan (@karengillanofficial) on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:41am PDT
Although thousands of more than 350,000 fans have signed a petition demanding Gunn’s return to the Marvel franchise, many Yahoo commenters have taken issue with Hollywood’s attitude toward its own.
“Trump’s 2005 ‘grab em’ comments were said privately and everybody went nuts over it,” one reader said in the comments section of the original Yahoo Movies article. “Gunn’s comments were made publicly on social media, but let’s forgive him … the double standard is breathtaking.”
"James Gunn did it then, Roseanne did it now." "James Gunn's co-workers support him, Roseanne's don't." None of this makes a difference w/what each perpetrated. If one should be fired, both should. If one shouldn't be fired, neither should. Use common sense. Don't pick sides.
— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) July 31, 2018
Many commenters brought up Hollywood’s broad support for actress Roseanne Barr’s removal from Roseanne by ABC after she posted a racist tweet: “Where were these guys when Roseanne Barr was fired?” one reader said. Another referenced Gunn’s own attitude toward Roseanne: “His supporters should not be surprised that he is being held to his own standards.”
— Caboose (@tampabound09) July 30, 2018
Some readers felt that the cast was misguided in its support: “The cast must not have read the things that James Gunn wrote,” one commenter said, referring to the director’s jokes about pedophilia. “That man absolutely crossed the line, you cannot even say those things without having something severely wrong with you.”
Some felt the cast’s approach was misguided — suggesting that “They could all quit in solidarity” — while others questioned the cast’s motivations, saying, “They know their wallets depend on [Gunn].”
“Disney is a brand that caters primarily to children,” another reader said. “Gunn’s comments may have been ‘jokes’ but as a father myself, I found them to be downright weird. I say Disney made the right choice this time.”
The media company’s zero-tolerance reaction to Gunn’s jokes differs markedly from Adult Swim’s reaction to the resurfacing of a 2009 video by Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon. In the video, Harmon simulates raping a baby doll.
Adult Swim has not reprimanded Harmon for the clip, and last week it issued a statement forgiving the showrunner.
Not all Yahoo commenters think the Guardians of the Galaxy cast is in the wrong.
“Nice to see a cast standing behind their director,” one commenter said.
The Guardians cast put out the most unproblematic statement regarding James Gunn and are getting slammed for it. Welcome to the Internet.
— David Weiser (@weiser_david) July 30, 2018
A key difference I’m noticing between James Gunn and Roseanne: Nobody came to defend Roseanne’s character. Nobody said she’s different in person than online. Nobody said she’d learned or grown. None of her cast mates thought she was worth it. But the GOTG family stands by James.
— Zach Hurst (@TheRLKing) July 31, 2018
Overall, commenters seemed to agree that “trials by the media need to stop for everyone,” as one reader said, echoing Gillan’s Instagram statement, while some also cautioned that what’s online is there forever: “Remember that when on social media! It could cost anyone their jobs!”
What do you think? Are you with #wearegroot?
Let us know in the comments.
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