Welcome to Hollywood, Inc., and perhaps goodbye to Disney family values.
Let’s examine a tale of two twitters.
It was the best of times for Roseanne Barr last year until she plunged into very hot water for this tweet:
Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj
After Barr admitted that “vj” referred to Valarie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, a series of her apologies followed, including one comment that she thought Jarrett was White. On the television series Finding Your Roots, DNA testing indicated that Jarrett is 49% European, 46% African, and 5% Native American descent.
Putting aside arguments about percentages of White, Black, and American Indian DNA, Barr knew she had crossed the line of good taste and had offended not just Jarrett (who is renowned as a tough political operative), but tens of millions of other Americans by calling them children of “apes.”
Barr lost her tv show and deserved her punishment for that offensive tweet, and the pro-trump actress will probably never be rehired or hired by Hollywood again.
On the other hand…
It was the worst of times last year for James Gunn, a Toma veteran writer, who was fired for tweets like this:
The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!”
I like it when little boys touch me in my silly place.
Roseanne Barr criticizing Senior Presidential Advisor Jarrett led to Barr’s downfall, but here’s what Gunn said about Donald Trump last year:
…Trump wakes up every morning hoping more kids are murdered by immigrants so it will help him in the polls
After the firing, Horn said he met with Gunn many times to discuss the offensive tweets.
Horn said he was persuaded by Gunn’s attitude and public apology, and reinstated him to direct the third installment of the Marvel superhero franchise film Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. The resulting cheer by the film’s crew and investors could be heard as far away as Wall Street.
This was the apology Gunn delivered last July:
My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then.
All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.