Several pieces of surprising news came out last week during San Diego Comic-Con, but arguably the most surprising of the bunch didn't even come from the convention. After some jokes director James Gunn made about rape and pedophilia on Twitter nearly a decade ago resurfaced, Disney announced last Friday that it had removed him from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the next installment in a film series that he shepherded for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This decision has drawn polarizing reactions, and among the Gunn supporters is comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, who has now requested that Disney remove his voice from an upcoming attraction for its parks, where he reprises his Hercules character Pain. As Goldthwait stated:
I love @jamesgunn. He's a loyal friend, super talented, passionate and kind. I wanted to say something, here it is: Dear @disney, I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I'm suggesting that you remove my voice from an attraction that's coming to your park. It's called WORLD OF COLOR - VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES. You see here's the deal, years ago I made a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes. Many that I'm embarrassed about now, and I'd hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I'm openly critical of the president and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters. I think James Woods may have recorded a voice for this new attraction, too. Why not check out some of his whacky past tweets?! They're a hoot! For the record I do stand with survivors of sexual abuse and I was wondering if you guys are still making money off of your movie POWDER? Asking for a friend. Thanks, Bobcat
After Hercules' release in 1997, Bobcat Goldthwait voiced Pain (Hades' minion who is typically alongside Matt Frewer's Panic) again for several cartoons, direct-to-video movies and video games, and now we've learned that he reprised Pain for a villains-themed World of Color show coming up at Disney California Adventure. However, because Disney chose to fire James Gunn for his inappropriate jokes from years back, Goldthwait said on Instagram he believes it's best for the company to remove his voice from World of Color because he's also told inappropriate jokes over the years, and he assumes that goes against their employment policy. Goldthwait even mentioned his Hercules costar James Woods, who's been no stranger to controversy, as well as brought up the 1985 film Powder, which was distributed under Disney's Buena Vista Pictures banner and was directed by Victor Salva, who had been convicted of molesting a child actor while working on his previous movie, Clownhouse. It remains to be seen if Disney will actually remove Goldthwait's voice from the upcoming attraction or keep it in.
As mentioned earlier, Bobcat Goldthwait is just one of many people who believe Disney made a mistake firing James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Actors Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Sean Gunn (James' brother) have either directly or indirectly addressed the matter, and there is a petition circulating for Disney to rehire Gunn. And Gunn isn't the only creative talent who's facing blowback for previous instances of taboo humor. Yesterday, Rick and Morty showrunner Dan Harmon deleted his Twitter account after a video he made in 2009 was brought back to light that served as a Dexter spoof featuring rape and pedophilia jokes.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about the fallout of the James Gunn firing, but for now, you can plan your trips to the movie theater later this year accordingly by looking through our 2018 release schedule.