The Walt Disney Company has fired filmmaker James Gunn, director of the Marvel franchise Guardians of the Galaxy films, due to revelations that he—gasp—said some very offensive things on Twitter many years ago.
It's no accident these tweets were suddenly discovered; right-wing bloggers including Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec (with an assist from Breitbart and The Daily Caller) went digging after Gunn made negative remarks about conservative writer Ben Shapiro on Twitter. Ironically, Gunn was actually offering a very qualified defense of liberal actor and director Mark Duplass for saying Ben Shapiro was someone the left should engage.
Gunn's tweets reference violence and sexual assault against children. They are gross. But he says they were intended as jokes, and there's really no reason to suspect otherwise. While many have implied that the tweets include a link to child pornography, this is false—the link in question is harmless.
Gunn said he was a very different person when he wrote those tweets, and had previously apologized.
"I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo," he said in a statement. "In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies."
This really ought to have been enough. But we live in an era where both the left and the right are eager to collect the scalps of people who offend them. Conservatives who participated in the lynch mob against Gunn are hypocrites, since they have often scolded the left for doing this exact same thing.
On Twitter, I see the right-wing personalities insisting that they are merely forcing the left to abide by its own standards: if Roseanne had to lose her job, then Gunn should, too. This is exactly the kind of escalation I warned about when I criticized the knee-jerk cancellation of Roseanne. What a dull and unforgiving world the P.C. outrage mobs are creating for us.