NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has issued a warning to fellow liberals against intolerant excesses in their politically correct purge of Hollywood.
The former basketball great wrote an article for the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday headlined, “Hollywood’s New ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Offensive Speech Makes Zero Sense.”
He warned that zero tolerance of politically incorrect statements was a “Draconian” approach that created “an atmosphere of fear of sharing ideas and opinions.”
Abdul-Jabbar came to the defense of James Gunn, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director fired by Disney last week after The Daily Caller News Foundation and others discovered a series of tweets he reportedly made six to 10 years ago on such subjects as rape and pedophilia.
“If we start going back through Disney movies in the past, how much blatant sexism, racism, and homophobia will we find?” wrote Abdul-Jabbar.
The NBA-great-turned-liberal-political-pundit concluded, “Companies quick to fire seem more interested in promoting a memorial to their virtue than attacking the systemic problems that would address putting more people of color, women, and LGBTQ people behind the cameras and in executive positions.”
On Sunday, actress Selma Blair urged people to sign a Change.org petition demanding Disney re-hire Gunn. The petition had more than 265,000 signatures as of Tuesday.
Gunn apologized for the tweets on Thursday, explaining, “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo.” He added, “Ive developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
Media outlets reported that the tweets that got Gunn fired included:
- “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
- “I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am.”
- “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like whew this feels great, not being raped!'”
- “Laughter is the best medicine. That’s why I laugh at people with AIDS.”
- “I want to go big game hunting but know it’s morally questionable. So I’m going to split the difference and go big game raping.”