Cedar Park, Texas - At the risk of sounding like an apologist; society has really got to start examining the amount of stock it places in social media. Whether it pertains to politics, health, or even criminal behavior--social media has made a huge, mostly positive impact.
This past weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired over posts he made on Twitter nearly years earlier. The subject matter dealt with pedophilia and rape, all being very disturbing and crude. However, the backlash of said tweets coming to the public eye has been mixed. Obviously, Disney was going to fire him. But many, celebrities included, have shown satisfaction, comfort, outrage, and anger over Gunn's firing.
"...yes those comments were over 9 years old. Yes they were terrible awful comments. Not excusing his behavior. Disney knew about these comments (surely) yet waited to fire him until they made their $."
"So I guess you dudes caping for #JamesGunn ALSO have a plethora of rape/transphobic/pedophilia obsessive tweets you are also hoping you never get judged for, huh?"
"Even if #JamesGunn hadn't apologized for his jokes, there shouldn't have been any reason to fire him. I don't find that kind of shock value humour funny either, but in the end, it's just 'humour' & no reality. Family Guy has a whole character entirely based on this kind of humour."
With these quotes, one can identify three very different forms of criticisms of the situation. Yes, Gunn was wrong for the posts he made. Yes, it's incredible suspicious that Disney is only now taking disciplinary action against him for it. However, the argument against 'retroactive justice' especially justice via social media is growing. A familiar saying has resurfaced out of the age of social media justice, "In the court of public opinion, one is guilty until proven innocent". While social media is seeing many of the guilty answering for their various sins--many casualties are people like you and me. People who, maybe a decade or so ago--were problematic, toxic individuals who utilized social media (in it's early years) to spread hatred and discriminatory speech across the web. Many to a very small degree. Is it still reprehensible? Absolutely. Do I believe situations like this should start going to trial? Absolutely.
Cases like James Gunn's deserve their day in a court of law: Because Gunn was unfairly fired? Dunno.
Because Disney's delayed action toward Gunn shouldn't be explained away as ignorance? Yes.
Because there needs to be a precedent set for the way businesses move based on evidence provided wholly through social media. Why? Because in the age of memes, photographic gags, and original posts being edited for shock value--the whole truth should still be the goal.
As of this posts, thousands have started a petition to Disney to re-hire director James Gunn. Among those who have signed the petition is actress Selma Blair.