Director James Gunn, who was hired by Disney to write and direct Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," has incited outrage with an online article about superhero sex.
Gunn has been labeled sexist and homophobic due to slurs and graphic descriptions included in his blog post, "The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The article, which has since been removed, was originally posted to jamesgunn.com on Feb. 17, 2011, and ranks the top 50 results gathered from Facebook and Twitter responses.
In the controversial post, Gunn refers to Gambit as a "Cajun fruit" and says the thought of this character in a threesome "makes me sick to my stomach." He writes about Tony Stark potentially being able to "turn" the "lesbian" superhero Batwoman. Of Batgirl Stephanie Brown, the director writes, "Being a teen mom and all, you know she’s easy. Go for it."
The Mary Sue, a blog that provides "a prominent place for the voices of geek women," took major offense to Gunn's superheroes post, blasting it for "slut-shaming" and homophobia, THR notes. "This discovery of Gunn’s apparently joyful and public feelings about women and sexuality are, to say the least, deeply disappointing," The Mary Sue's Susana Polo writes.
Rachel Edidin, editor at Dark Horse Comics, also responded to Gunn's article in a Tumblr post, saying that excusing Gunn's piece as satire points to another, larger issue.
"If Gunn’s list is satire, it’s bad satire, because it skews incredibly close to material that’s not only already out there, but that comes from official media and in some cases industry professionals," Edidin writes. "There’s a significant slice of the comics community that is that misogynist and homophobic, and says so loudly and frequently. It’s telling, I think, that so many people took what Gunn wrote at face value: this is material we’ve seen before, again and again, presented seriously."
Drew McWeeny over at HitFix says he doesn't think Gunn's superhero sex article is controversial because the director has always been known for dirty jokes and deranged sense of humor. Plus, he says, the timing is suspect. "Is it just because he's directing a big-budget superhero film that people are suddenly upset?" he asks.
"Avengers" director Joss Whedon thinks Gunn's "twisted take" on comics makes him such a great director. "He is so off the wall, and so crazy, but so smart, such a craftsman and he builds from his heart," Whedon told MTV about Gunn directing "Guardians of the Galaxy," set for a 2014 release.