People Change, Accept That



Former Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has been criticized for comments he made in the past.

When it comes to the Internet, nothing is ever truly dead, and old posts that resurface years later may kill the careers of those who said them.

Majority of jobs are given to those who have a strong grasp on basic skills required for each occupation. For instance, lifeguards need to know how to swim, librarians need to be literate, and janitors need to be aware that mixing bleach and vinegar kills. In the same basic sense, comedians need to master the art of making people laugh.

However, comedy is a complex and extremely difficult task. The acceptable humor that makes audiences laugh changes and shifts over time, with many comedians altering their style to coincide with what society deems suitable. Across years of repeatedly writing sets and skits, comedians find their footing time and time again, their humor changing just as the seasons do.

With that being said, the persecution of comedians over older tweets and techniques is an affront to jokers everywhere. This is a reflection of society’s lack of mercy toward those they have deemed unworthy after quick and unfair judgment.

The problem of older tweets resurfacing began with acclaimed Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, whose controversial and outright disgusting jokes involving pedophilia, necrophilia, and other affronts against morality were unearthed.

Though the jokes were heinous and barely passable as even dark humor, they were only a product of the time. In that period of Gunn’s career, he was a fledgling director, using crass humor in his films instead of the wholesome banter he has received mountains of praise for. Due to these past transgressions, Gunn was fired indefinitely from directing the Guardians movies, much to the outcry of cast, crew, and fans.

Kevin Hart has also been put on trial for his older sets and tweets involving homophobic slurs. Hart was chosen to host the 91st Oscars, but has since been removed for his dismissal of the situation. He has doubled-down on his old jokes, saying he has “moved on and [is] in a completely different place in [his] life.”

I can confidently attest that I hear slurs and curse words every day in high school, but it is simply adolescent speech from immature people. Hopefully, the majority of these people will learn and grow to further their horizons and morality. The same can be said, and seen, for comedians, though people will not let that be.

Additionally, social media emblazons the mistakes and regrettable jokes made by creators and immortalizes them. It has reached extremes, to the point where vocal outcry creates a storm of criticism that businesses and companies feel the need to adhere to out of fear of being attacked.

Disney abandoned Gunn during the controversy, stalling the third Guardians movie and upsetting fans. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, claimed that Gunn’s past jokes were not in line with Disney’s ideals, even though they had asked Gunn to apologize for the tweets in 2012 before hiring him to Marvel.

Luckily, things are beginning to change. Gunn has since been hired by Warner Bros. for the upcoming sequel to Oscar award-winning Suicide Squad. Hart has received backlash for his refusal to apologize initially, but did so after the LGBTQ+ community asked for one.

Comedians are still at risk for their old tweets, and those without notoriety can be fired from their jobs without judge and jury. Gunn and Hart should be used as a lesson: let bygones be bygones and understand that people change.