I wrote earlier in the day that, given James Gunn’s blog post in which he objectifies a ton of superheroines in rather crude terms, and makes homophobic remarks about the idea of people being sexually attracted to male superheroes, he owed the public an explanation of the post itself, and of how it differs from his vision for the team he’ll be presenting in Guardians of the Galaxy and female superheroines in general. He’s done half of that in gracious Facebook post tonight, in which he writes:
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all.
People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I’m an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said. We’re all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I’m learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all – James
I’m particularly glad to see him acknowledge that, if the post was an attempt at satire, something a lot of his defenders claimed, that it was ineffective, and that calling it a satire didn’t deflect legitimate criticisms of the work. And I think this incident is an important reminder: if you’re actually an “an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised,” and you have a serious platform, then that’s something you have to keep in mind whenever you’re speaking publicly. That should be a spur for your humor and your satire to be smarter. If you’re called out for violating your own principles, your first reaction should be to listen, and to hold yourself to a high standard. It would be terrific for Gunn to use this incident to lay out those principles for his supporters, many of whom are using his apology as proof that people who were upset about the initial post are overreacting and should shut up.
And I’d still appreciate him laying out his vision for Guardians and how he’ll handle any female superheroes who are part of the movie, and delineate the differences between the attitudes in that post and his creative plans. If this is an opportunity to push Marvel to rectify some of its serious lack of diversity in the past, it’s a productive moment. I’m glad Gunn’s responded with some insight and class. I hope his script for and direction of Guardians of the Galaxy reflects that same statement of his values.