The primary cast of Guardians of the Galaxy came out in support of director James Gunn, but failed to address his connection to Huston Huddleston, a man convicted of possessing child pornography.
While reportedly working on the Guardians 3 script, Gunn was fired by the Walt Disney Company last week after a series of old and disgusting tweets surfaced where the Guardians 1 & 2 director repeatedly mocked child rape, and “joked” about 9/11, Mexicans, the Holocaust, AIDS, and the “ass raping” a female friend.
These old tweets are, however, the least of Gunn’s problems. The Marvel director (Marvel is owned by Disney) has yet to address the most troubling aspect of his past behavior.
The Wayback Machine informs us that in September of 2010, on his own personal blog (which he took down in an apparent panic as his tweets became public), James Gunn shared a YouTube video he chose to title “100 Pubescent Girls Touch Themselves.”
James Gunn added the following comment: “Huston Huddleston posted this video on my Facebook page with the note ‘I thought you’d appreciate this,’ My response: ‘Appreciate it?!! I just came all over my own face!!’”
According to some online sleuths, the video in question is of a chorus of what looks to be high school-aged girls singing Divinyls’ ode to masturbation, ”I Touch Myself.”
And the Huston Huddleston in question, the man who sent Gunn the video, is almost certainly the same Huston Huddleston who, after being charged with soliciting a minor for the purposes of child pornography earlier this year, was convicted of possessing child pornography.
Gunn has not yet said that his Huston Huddleston is a different Huston Huddleston, nor has he addressed or explained the extent of his relationship-connection.
The two were photographed together just four years ago, in June of 2014.
The statement from the Guardians cast addresses only Gunn’s “jokes of many years ago,” but fails to mention Gunn publishing a video of young women singing about masturbation, titling that video “100 Pubescent Girls Touch Themselves,” and “joking” about it bringing him to orgasm — a video sent to him by a man who is now a convicted sex offender.
Within its own narrow and deceptive context, the statement from the Guardians cast is 100 percent correct. These online witch hunts are awful. Tasteless jokes, bad jokes, moments of weakness, moments of anger, awful moments that do not define a whole person, should not result in the total destruction of that person — their career and reputation.
But the Huston Huddleston issue cannot be dismissed, nor is it guilt by association. That does not mean Gunn is guilty of anything. But this connection is not something that can or should be glossed over.
Something else the Guardians cast wrote is also deceptive for what it fails to address.
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial,” the statement reads. “Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
Fair enough, but where is the acknowledgment Gunn himself was a leader “weaponizing mob mentality” to engage in “character assassinations?”
Gunn himself, called for Roseanne Barr to be fired (over one terrible tweet when he is guilty of publishing countless tweets that make light of the worst crime imaginable). Gunn himself whipped up the online mob to boycott Laura Ingraham’s career out of existence after the Fox News anchor did nothing more than call a 17-year-old a “whiner.”
It is beyond outrageous for Chris Pratt and company to condemn behavior Gunn is guilty of as a means to get James Gunn off the hook.
No one can fault the Guardians cast for speaking out in support of a colleague and friend. What is wrong, though, because it is misleading, is asking the rest of us to join them in absolving Gunn when they are covering up the very worst of his behavior.
Lies of omission are still lies, and this statement is a lie.