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James Gunn, the director hired by Disney’s Marvel Studios to direct Guardians of the Galaxy, is under fire for a controversial blog post from 2011 that some saw as sexist and homophobic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn, who was hired to direct the film in September, published a post on his blog titled “The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With: 2nd Annual Poll Results.” The results came from Twitter and Facebook polls and each superhero is matched with graphic captions written by Gunn. In the post, which he deleted from his site, he also thanks The Office’s Rainn Wilson for getting the word out.
Although this was posted back in February 2011, since Gunn took the Guardians job, the post has been criticized as vulgar, sexist and homophobic. TheMarySue.com bashed it and a Change.org petition hoped that Disney would fire him.
One caption that drew particular anger was for the lesbian superhero Batwoman. In it, he wrote that he hoped a male superhero could "turn" her straight.
On Thursday, Gunn issued a statement through GLAAD apologizing for the article.
“A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don't think it's funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings,” he wrote. “However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I'm sorry and regret making them at all. People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I'm an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said.”
He concluded, “We're all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I'm learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all.”
Guardians is due out on Aug. 1, 2014.
Gunn’s other work includes Slither and Super.