AUSTIN - Film director Rian Johnson (Last Jedi, Looper, Brick) recently deleted 20,000 tweets off of his Twitter profile's history. Fans and critics alike wondered if this was the result of some official mandate from Disney. Anticipating the questions, Mr. Johnson had this to say:
No official directive at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that bad," he wrote. "But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a 'why not?' move.
About a week or so ago, James Gunn was fired over some strangely inappropriate tweets he had posted 9 years ago. Much of the criticism of Gunn's situation dealt with how Gunn deserved to be fired, blackballed, and Disney also held accountable because of the retroactive tweets.
Some fans sardonically asked 'sexual predators' and those who support offenders to delete their tweets before they too fall prey to social media justice.
Johnson, although not accused of anything, seems to be covering all his bases, just in case he did express problematic views in the past.
A smart move, even if critics will express skepticism. In the entertainment business, you really are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Johnson's foresight into what could happen, is all the reason why even more of our favorite celebrities should follow suit. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them have already done the same.
How do you feel about retroactive justice for things posted on social media? Should someone be punished or scrutinized for something they've posted years earlier? Do you subscribe to the idea that people change as they grow, even until old age? Or are people of the same character once they've hit a certain age?
Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.