Guardians Of The Galaxy Director James Gunn Says ‘Cancel Culture’ Is Just Free Speech
James Gunn has weighed in on the ‘cancel culture’ debate, saying that people are allowed to dislike something without it necessarily meaning they want to ‘cancel’ it.
The Guardians of the Galaxy director and producer has himself fallen foul of being ‘cancelled’ after of tweets containing inappropriate jokes emerged a number of years ago, despite him having previously apologised for them.
‘Stop calling everything cancel culture because you’re too dim to have a nuanced opinion. People can be offended by something, or think something sucks, and that’s not cancel culture – it’s free speech,’ he tweeted.
Gunn, who was fired from Disney’s third Guardians of the Galaxy film after the jokes re-emerged, went on to say that referring to any knee-jerk reaction as so-called cancel culture completely ‘destroys’ the point.
‘I don’t think there are many people on here, on the left or the right, who think Harvey Weinstein shouldn’t have been cancelled for what he did,’ the actor continued.
‘Likewise, these are all nuanced conversations. I think most Latin people love Speedy Gonzalez, which is pretty good argument that he shouldn’t be cancelled, but Pepe le Pew, to me at least, is offensive because of the way he treats the cat.’
Gunn went on to say that he often thinks it’s unfair when he sees celebrities being dragged on Twitter for the smallest of things, but also sees them being attacked for ‘sh*t that’s nearly unforgiveable,’ which makes him not want to watch their movies.
‘Most people know that. Most people have different thoughts and feelings about different situations. But Twitter is a place where the extremes on every conceivable side rise to the top, because those ideas are splashier,’ he wrote.
The 54-year-old finished off his rant by writing:
And for all of you out there (I see you) saying, ‘What about people who try to cancel you?! Do they have the right to do that?!’ OF COURSE THEY DO. And I will fight for their right to do so. I may not agree with their opinions but I believe deeply in their right to free speech.
The concept of cancel culture is one that has grown immensely over the last few years, encouraging the notion that public figures cannot return to public life after any kind of scandal because they have been ‘cancelled.’ There are many instances in which successful social media cancel campaigns have resulted in people being removed from high-profile positions.
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