James Gunn’s brother responds to rape joke scandal and says working on ‘Guardians’ movies made director ‘a better person’

The 'Guardians' director was fired by Marvel after offensive jokes he posted on Twitter in the past resurfaced

James Gunn’s brother – the actor Sean Gunn – has responded to the director’s rape joke scandal.

Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians Of The Galaxy movies and was signed on for the third, was fired from the Marvel franchise last week (July 20) after a series of offensive tweets he had written resurfaced.

The old tweets contained jokes about rape and paedophilia. Gunn responded on his Twitter account, writing: “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humour.

“It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.”

Now, his brother Sean, who plays Kraglin in the Guardians series, has responded to the scandal. “I hope it goes without saying that I love and support my brother James,” he wrote in a Twitter thread. “And I’m quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers.”

He continued to discuss the effect working on the Guardians films had had on the director, saying he had watched Gunn channel his voice “into his work on those movies and seen him transform from the guy who made up things to shock people.”

“I saw that he was more open-hearted than the guy who needed to get a rise out of people by making nasty or offensive jokes (or whatever you choose to call them–I don’t think his bluer material was ever his funniest and neither does Mom),” he said. “In many respects, this change in my brother was reflected in the change that the Guardians go through. I’ve heard my brother say many times that when Quill rallies the team with “this is our chance to give a shit”–to care–that it’s the pep talk he himself needed to hear.”

Sean finished by saying he hoped fans would “continue to watch and appreciate the Guardians movies, not despite the fact that the filmmaker used to be kind of a jackass, but because of it. They are, after all, movies about discovering your best self.” He added: “Working on those movies made my brother a better person, and they made me one too. I’m proud of that.”

Gunn had been working on the script for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and production on the film was expected to begin in Atlanta later this year. The movie is currently scheduled for release in 2020.