Hollywood’s New Normal: No Tolerance in the Wake of #MeToo

In a strange turn of events, the cast of Marvel’s incredibly successful franchise Guardians of the Galaxy have penned an open letter in support of shamed director James Gunn. 

Courtesy of National Review

A series of controversial tweets were dug up from Gunn’s Twitter graveyard by outspoken conservative Mike Cernovich. The Milo Yiannopoulos supporter made public the outrageous string of highly inappropriate jokes written by Gunn from over a decade ago, confirming that the sentiments expressed by Gunn symbolised “everything wrong with Hollywood”.

By now, anyone living/working in the public-eye (Hollywood) should well know  that there is absolutely no recovering (like…whatsoever) from fateful mistakes made in the past. We’ve seen many dedicated trolls and Twitter crusaders make or break careers from their incessant scrolling through the accounts of high-profile celebrities. For filmmaker James Gunn, this modern-day take on vigilante justice resulted in the prolific director being fired from directing the third instalment of GOTG by the Walt Disney Company. However, the most surprising move came from the ensemble cast of the films, of both actors and actresses alike, with Chris Pratt posting the now viral letter on his Instagram account:

I am among the 21 million people that follow Chris Pratt’s Instragram account. Waking up to see the published post imploring for his re-hiring was a shocking realisation that yes, actions do have consequences, but in the court of social media, who has the final say? Gunn has apologised for the remarks, but his attempts to put the past behind him were immediately dismissed by the Disney Company.

The open letter, signed by a total of 10 cast members – Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan and Bradley Cooper just to name a few – are in complete support of Dunn being reinstated to direct the third installment of the popular Marvel franchise. The letter states that although they were in no way defending by the appalling comments made around rape and pedophilia by Gunn, they are united in testifying to his professionalism and outstanding character, which they believe is being “assassinated”. Ten days have passed after Gunn being fired, and the letter, now brewing a social media storm, has resulted in a petition created by fans to re-instate the director. It has now reached up to 344,000 signatures.

Which all begs the question: should people constantly be held accountable for their actions, even from years past? In the wake of the #MeToo movement, and the supposed ‘zero-tolerance’ policy Hollywood has now adopted, have we lost sight of the cut-off point between distasteful but unharmful and actually inexcusable? In the digital age, every photo, meaningless tweet and funny shared meme is preserved forever, and as seen here, to potential career-ending consequences. While it is clear that the subject matter of Gunn’s jokes were inappropriate, what does this say to people about trying to evolve as a person? That you will forever be blamed for mistakes from years ago?

‘Disney’ and ‘pedophilia’ are not two words the entertainment conglomerate ever want in the same headline, and it is obvious why they pulled the plug on Gunn. Whether they respond to public outcry remains to be seen.

Do you agree with the cast, or should Gunn remained fired? Tell us in the comments below.