‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Director Opens Up About Wild Year: Disney ‘Had The Right To Fire Me’
James Gunn finally opened up about the wild year he had after being fired as the director of the final film of “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise only to be rehired in March.
“I don’t blame anyone. I feel and have felt bad for a while about some of the ways I spoke publicly — some of the jokes I made, some of the targets of my humor — just the unintentional consequences of not being more compassionate in what I’m putting out there,” the 52-year-old director shared Wednesday with Deadline.
Gunn was initially cut from the Disney film in July after old tweets resurfaced that appeared homophobic, racist and pro-pedophilia. (RELATED: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Cast Defend James Gunn After He Was Fired Over Vile Tweets)
“I know that people have been hurt by things that I’ve said, and that’s still my responsibility, that I wasn’t as compassionate as I should be in what I say,” he added. “I feel bad for that and take full responsibility.” (RELATED: Selma Blair Pleads With Disney To Rehire James Gunn: ‘This Man Is One Of The Good Ones’)
Gunn continued, “Disney totally had the right to fire me. This wasn’t a free speech issue. I said something they didn’t like and they completely had the right to fire me. There was never any argument of that.”
“That first day … I’m going to say it was the most intense of my entire life. There have been other difficult days in my life, from the time I got sober when I was younger, to the death of friends who committed suicide,” the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director explained. “But this was incredibly intense. It happened, and suddenly it seemed like everything was gone. I just knew, in a moment that happened incredibly quickly, I had been fired. It felt as if my career was over.”
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Later, he opened up about how that first day was both a combination of the “worst” of his life and the “greatest day” thanks to the outpouring of support from friends and co-stars like Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista. The cast members even penned a joint statement voicing their “support for Gunn” and sharing that they would love to see him reinstated.
“So a part of that day was the worst of my life, and a part of it was the greatest day of my life,” Gunn shared. “I certainly haven’t been perfect in my spiritual journeys since that time, but I have been better. [Those] first couple weeks, I completely stayed off social media. I just completely disconnected from all of that. It was hard as hell and I was really living minute-to-minute, but it was also rewarding, in being able to see life from a different perspective.”
At one point, he also talked about how he got through it and that he knew the solution was not to be “lashing out” about what had happened.
“But in the same way I needed to not be lashing out at whoever fired me, or whoever spread links online, or cut up pictures to look like this or that, I also had to let go of some of that rage towards myself as well,” the director said. “Otherwise I just wasn’t going to be able to make it through.”