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Disney has removed James Gunn as director of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ after a number of offensive social media posts resurfaced online, reports the BBC.
The American filmmaker apologised after old tweets in which he appeared to joke about paedophilia and rape were unearthed and widely shared.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn announced his sacking on Friday, saying in a statement that the offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed were indefensible.
“They are inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
Gunn wrote and directed both of the first two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films, which starred Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, and made millions at the worldwide box office.
Gunn has also worked on the hugely-successful ‘Avengers’ franchise.
The filmmaker addressed the controversy surrounding his old posts in a series of tweets posted on Thursday.
“I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” he said. “I am very, very different than I was a few years ago,” he said.
“I have apologised for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies,” he added.
The now-deleted posts first came to light when conservative news website the Daily Caller unearthed them.
A number of conservative pundits then shared the tweets and urged Disney to drop Mr Gunn.
The director has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. Earlier this month, he accused the US leader of “treason” over comments he made at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It is not clear who will replace him on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, which was reportedly set to be filmed next year.