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Hollywood Reporter - "In firing James Gunn, Disney hurts all of Hollywood"


Andrew Reid

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New topic, as this is quite a separate take and subject, to the original thread (which crashed and burned in so much shock / horror)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/firing-james-gunn-disney-hurts-all-hollywood-1129691

Says the respected journal:

"A creative industry requires artists like the 'Guardians' director who push boundaries, make (offensive) mistakes and evolve, writes Hollywood Reporter columnist Marc Bernardin...“To demand that every artist who works for you to have never had a past...is asking for people who will make boring art.”

Hopefully we can have a sensible debate this time...But please do read that article first. It's GOOD.

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That's the thing... A joke is not a statement. It's not even real. It's not an actionable intent. It's an act. Said it time again. Learn to tell the difference between fiction and reality.

90% of this forum probably want Kidz, Squig, Axel, JCS and Damphouse reinstated, doesn’t mean it will happen. 

New topic, as this is quite a separate take and subject, to the original thread (which crashed and burned in so much shock / horror) https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/firing-james-gun

Well, it's a shame, sure. But James Gunn isn't going to stop making movies.

Over the last few years, mid budget movies have hit a slump. They're either 100 millions dollar blockbusters or indies. Maybe this, and other examples like it, will be the start of a resurgence in mid range movies.

If the best directors in the game can't make the huge summer movies, they'll get funding elsewhere for other projects where they really can be artists, without having to please board members.

Every cloud huh?

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I fully expect Netflix to be the beneficiary of all of this. They're still taking risks... If the current culture and climate carries on though, they will be under a lot of pressure and controversy in 1-2 years, with numerous firings of creative directors and talent.

PS modern music is boring as well. Completely lost it's edge, for the same reason film has. The silencing of voices such as Gunn's.

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Netflix have some sort of policy where crew aren't allowed look at each other for more than 4 or 5 seconds, they also kneejerk fired Kevin Spacey without him being officially charged of any crime. I reckon they are actually one of the worst offenders for this kind of reactionary shite.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

modern music is boring as well. Completely lost it's edge, for the same reason film has.

Modern pop music. There's still plenty of people experimenting. And even then, there are those like Childish Gambino or St. Vincent, who're pretty wild, while still attracting the popular audiences. My work is mostly around the music industry and there are a lot of interesting types coming up, but they'll never be as big as Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus etc... ABBA have a new song coming though.

But yes, in general I agree. In fact I'm watching Live at Pompeii right now.

50 minutes ago, mb6079 said:

they also kneejerk fired Kevin Spacey

I was also going to say that, but it's turned out to be the right decision with more people speaking up about him. On the flip side though, they do have a lot of those mid-budget films popping up. In fact, I remember something about 'Annihilation' not getting a studio release because it was too weird or something. Netflix jumped in to distribute it, and it's well within the top 10 best movies on the service - if not, dare I say, of the year as a whole.

 

Off topicish EDIT:

Another reason most modern music sucks is because the music industry is making the distribution formats worse, and targeting the wrong groups. mp3s and streaming is the norm now, and that quality simply can't compete with Vinyl or CD quality. Movies have gone from VHS to Bluray and beyond. There's no question watching a movie at home is getting better, while listening to music is getting worse (unless you pay more or seek out older, outdated formats).

Similarly, services like Netflix, HBO and even Marvel with their new R-rated movies and Disney with their darker live action reimagining target adults who have disposable income, and make the content for them. Music studios target young teens, who don't have so much money, and buy one song at a time on iTunes or pay a cheap monthly subscription, which leaves little to pay the artists who make the music in the first place. 

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So with Kevin Spacey's firing, the allegations are not proven and may never be, but nevertheless people believed them.

They were pretty serious allegations, more serious than be accused over jokes, that's for sure.

So it's not really an Apples to Oranges comparison.

One is a man losing his career over unproven allegations.

The other is a man losing his career over a bad joke act on Twitter.

Maybe Gunn joked about what Spacey was actually doing to young boys and they were in it together - that's one for the right wing conspiracy theorists to investigate. Ever the reliable witnesses. And the joke cops. Don't forget the joke cops! If there is outrage enough, who needs proof?!

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8 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

I fully expect Netflix to be the beneficiary of all of this. They're still taking risks...

I hope so, but will they??

Just look at all the pressures they're under right now due to the completely innocuous "coming of rage" high school movie "Insatiable".
 


If this had been made in 2000, would any one have even batted an eyelid over it? Doubt it.

 

7 hours ago, mb6079 said:

Netflix have some sort of policy where crew aren't allowed look at each other for more than 4 or 5 seconds, they also kneejerk fired Kevin Spacey without him being officially charged of any crime. I reckon they are actually one of the worst offenders for this kind of reactionary shite.

 

It is darn difficult to boom without being able to look at the actors for more than a few seconds!

Maybe this will lead to more equal opportunities employment for those who have been discriminated against in the past, no longer will blind people be blocked from following their dream of becoming a boom op!
 

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One thing I do feel quite strongly about this 'mess' is that Disney holds a lot of responsibility for it. (And it is a 'mess' because noone comes out looking good in this episode.)

Let's take a look at their statement....

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," said Disney chairman Alan Horn in a statement obtained by USA TODAY. 

The key word here is 'discovered'. It makes it sound as though these statements were hidden in a black box underneath his mattress and 'discovered' in some police raid. In reality his 'tweets' were in 'plain sight' and 'public record'.

So Disney doesnt have a leg to stand on.....

Either...

1. Really Disney doesnt care much about what views/jokes/insults etc their employees have historically posted on their twitter feed (in which case they are hypocritical for claiming they are 'indefensible and inconsistent' with their values...)

2. Or, and this is much worse in my opinion, they claim the moral high ground but are so incompetent  that they havent bothered checking (due diligence) his social media accounts before appointing him to spend US$100m+ of shareholder funds directing their movies.

 

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Any company can fire anyone if they want. You think people have a job for life everyplace now no matter what they do or did? A company that big even if you take it to court will drag it out until you are dead from old age, or go broke hiring lawyers.. This is 2018, the year of crazy stuff. This isn't 15 years ago where you might retire from a company. If they don't like you now you are gone, they have no choice anymore. Public opinion is king now, nothing else makes a crap, other than the bottom line money wise, and James Gunn was going to cost them a big money loss down the road. Adios ...

Disney don't need him, or any one person. I have worked for over 55 years. I have seen tons of people die, retire, quit, and no company I worked at ever went out of business because someone left. They have a new Jackass in your seat the next day when you leave. They don't care about James Gunn, he was just a number in the system.

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9 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I hope so, but will they??

Just look at all the pressures they're under right now due to the completely innocuous "coming of rage" high school movie "Insatiable".
 


If this had been made in 2000, would any one have even batted an eyelid over it? Doubt it.
 

Yeah I saw the outrage over this, it made the headlines.

Another rush to judgement over a fucking worth of fiction.

The fury should be directed at real life, not television!!

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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yeah I saw the outrage over this, it made the headlines.

Another rush to judgement over a fucking worth of fiction.

 The fury should be directed at real life, not television!!

Or even..... don't get all tied up in fury in the first place?
Now there is a radical idea!

People get too upset too quickly over things often, be it online, "real life", in game, or whatever. Life is too short, worry more about yourself, than worrying about others. 

Get your own life sorted before bothering about interfering with other people's lives! One of the reasons why my interest, or at least my involvement, in politics waned is because I just got very busy with living my own life instead. 

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The real villian is Mike Cernovich.

Charged for (real-life) rape in 2003... The year of his marriage.

Nice guy.

Divorced 2011, and he claims the marriage was ruined by "feminist indoctrination".

Regular collaborator with Alex Jones.

Claims "white genocide is real" in relation to South Africa.

Thinks the chemical attack in Syria was a hoax funded by the US.

Advocates IQ-testing for all immigrants.

Has full support of Disney

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The real villian is Mike Cernovich.

Charged for (real-life) rape in 2003... The year of his marriage.

Nice guy.

Divorced 2011, and he claims the marriage was ruined by "feminist indoctrination".

Regular collaborator with Alex Jones.

Claims "white genocide is real" in relation to South Africa.

Thinks the chemical attack in Syria was a hoax funded by the US.

Advocates IQ-testing for all immigrants.

Has full support of Disney

Disney is a corporation. If they think it'll help their shareholders to fire someone with negative PR, they're compelled to fire someone with negative PR. Guardians of the Galaxy is a kids' movie and they don't want edgy content associated with that brand. How could they not fire Gunn?

YouTube is a corporation. If they think it'll help their shareholders to "shadowban" neonazis, they're compelled to "shadowban" neonazis. YouTube is an advertising company and they don't want advertisers associated with neonazis. How could they not demonetize holocaust denial videos?

(I'm not drawing any equivalency between the two, just examining two distinct and understandable phenomena that are eliciting similar outrage from opposite ends of the political spectrum.)

The govt protects free speech in the US, but Disney and YouTube/Google have no duty whatsoever to protect what their vendors say or do. They're private corporations. It's Disney and Google's free speech being protected when they're allowed to jettison whomever they want at a moment's notice. This is the system working well.

Imo (and this is purely subjective because a lot of people are very happy with the direction the country's taking) what's broken is the culture. It's the culture that gets politicians elected and it's the culture that dictates what's considered a fireable offense in a corporate environment. It's the culture that leads to most YouTube personalities being trolls and sociopaths in the first place (which is maybe why Alex Jones doesn't even seem that bad as online content goes), and why more and more politicians and political surrogates are taking similar tactics. It's the culture that leads to CNN broadcasting 24/7 negative Trump coverage. That's what gets ratings. Ratings make money. (Trump at least understands this.) It's the culture that leads Colbert's ratings to go way up when he starts viciously attacking the right. It's the culture that feeds Alex Jones millions when he starts demonizing the left.

The political and corporate machines are functioning. (I have some strong complaints here but unrelated to that article and specifically relating to policy.) Culture isn't. The solution isn't complaining about the "other side" from one side of the aisle; they're doing the same thing about you from their own echo chamber. It's the same mechanics at play that lead to stupid arguments about gear, ironically. Sony echo chamber. Canon echo chamber... with very few movies being made by those whose primary medium is online outrage...

The solution isn't complaining about what's wrong; it's doing what's right. If enough people want to actually boycott Marvel that Disney is forced to re-hire James Gunn, maybe they'll re-hire James Gunn. But until that number of people is larger than the number of people who are grossed out by his comments, they will have made the right choice as a private corporation in firing him and the govt will have maintained the right choice in protecting Disney's right to fire him.

Fwiw, I do think we're at a cultural nadir. Most blockbusters are terrible. This wasn't true 15 years ago. But it's up to the market to determine what gets made and what doesn't. Who gets fired and who doesn't. Disney fired Gunn because they were afraid to offend people (on the right). That alienates some filmmakers and some progressives. PC culture exists to prevent offending people (on the left). That alienates some conservatives. It's a fear of being offended that's driving this cultural divide. Free speech is not under attack on either side; our threshold for offense is just pathetically weak. That's the scary part: we actually do have the power to fix things and we aren't. 

I personally disagree with Disney's actions. I don't blame Disney... it's making them money.

I personally disagree even more strongly with Cernovich. I do blame him for his rhetoric, while also understanding it's making him a ton of money, too. But everything he's said and done (except for any criminal charges against him, I haven't researched those) are within his right to say and to do. And demonizing him for his politics is just going to have the same kind divisive and polarizing result criticizing Gunn's tweets will... it will feed him. Same as the Russia investigation is increasing loyalty among Trump supporters because it makes him look like a victim of the "deep state" or whatever. The other side isn't the problem. The divide between us is.

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