Actor Bobcat Goldthwait leaked the name and concept for a Halloween-themed version of Disney's World of Color show in an Instagram post protesting the company's firing of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn.
Disney sacked the director over sarcastic tweets he made years ago, mocking pedophilia in Hollywood but looking a lot like an endorsement of it if you don't know the context of what apparently was intended as a joke. The long-overlooked posts came to light after Gunn posted another of his many anti-Donald Trump tweets, and a Trump supporter went looking through Gunn's social media history, looking for social ammunition.
He found it. Fox News blared the posts, and Disney moved swiftly to kill the story by dismissing Gunn.
Except the move did not kill the story, as it has inspired a backlash among actors who support Gunn. Goldthwait suggested that if Disney is sacking people who have said outrageous things in the past, he'd better go, too. In his post, the Hercules voice actor revealed that he reprised that role for the upcoming and unannounced Halloween-themed version of World of Color, to be named World of Color - Villainous. (Or, at least, that was the production title used when Goldthwait recorded his part.)
I love @jamesgunn. He’s a loyal friend, super talented, passionate and kind. I wanted to say something, here it is: Dear @disney, I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I’m suggesting that you remove my voice from an attraction that’s coming to your park. It’s called WORLD OF COLOR - VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES. You see here’s the deal, years ago I made a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes. Many that I’m embarrassed about now, and I’d hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I’m openly critical of the president and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters. I think James Woods may have recorded a voice for this new attraction, too. Why not check out some of his whacky past tweets?! They’re a hoot! For the record I do stand with survivors of sexual abuse and I was wondering if you guys are still making money off of your movie POWDER? Asking for a friend. Thanks, Bobcat
Disney has created four titled versions of its World of Color water screen projection show at Disney California Adventure: the original, the Disneyland 60th anniversary-themed Celebrate, and the Christmas holiday-themed Winter Dreams and Season of Light. There also is a Lunar New Year-themed preshow called Hurry Home.
World of Color has been down this summer as Disney repairs a fountain platform that reportedly was damaged during refurbishments connected to the Pixar Pier construction. It is expected to return by late summer or early fall — just in time for a Halloween version.
Here's Season of Light:
And here is Gunn at the opening ceremony for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!Tweet
This whole thing is ridiculous. Disney did not care about the political views of Gunn, or the person who targeted him. Disney fired Gunn to show his jokes crossed the line. With that being said, those tweets were right where Marvel and Disney could see them, so his tweets were ignored, or unnoticed. Everyone has said things they regret, and your job should not be at risk because of something you said years ago. Disney and Gunn should have made a joint statement, and let things get back to normal.
It's a sign of the times.
We're not allowed to have 'history' anymore. We are not allowed to have been young or fallible or simply anything other than utterly perfect. Our Christ-like procession through life must be totally unblemished so we can stand as paragons of perfection and virtue. And most of all we must be able to Instagram and Tweet our perfection.
I think I preferred the old days
I think this was a tricky one for Disney. Whatever their decision, they'd have left themselves open to a lot of criticism. However, on this occasion, I think they made the wrong choice. I don't believe that Disney were unaware of these tweets before now. I think they had a knee jerk reaction, once they were brought to the fore. Now I'm not condoning what Gunn wrote. They were pretty terrible 'jokes' and it would be a different story if he was still defending them, today. But he isn't. He took responsibility and admitted that he was wrong. As somebody else said, a joint statement from Disney and Gunn, should have been issued.
On the topic of Bobcat Goldthwaite, I say good for him! He also makes a very interesting point about the movie, Powder.
Since they've fired James Gunn, will they fire Sarah Silverman too? Her humor has always been highly satirical (remember the blackface episode of Sarah Silverman program?). This stuff is getting out of control. This was years ago and he has already apologised.
James Gunn defended Disney's firing of Roseanne for ONE tweet. He is in weak position to get his job back since he never defended his fellow Disney cast member. He should have known his stance will get him in hot water due to the backlash against him especially since his tweets are MUCH WORSE. It's laughable that the argument to defend him is all about context. Tweets are not contextual by nature. His thousands of tweets are joke about sexually abusing children. How is that alright in any context?
Sorry, Bob Cat can go away as a defender of James Gunn.
In such an ugly and divisive time, Disney was in a very tough position. They just fired a pro-someone Rosanne for tweeting mean spirited and hateful jokes, and getting headlines about it. Now they have an anti-someone Gunn who made a bunch of tasteless and mean spirited jokes, and got a bunch of headlines about it. Disney has to appeal to everybody, and I'm sure their failure to act would have received backlash. However, in this case, I disagree with their decision. Not due to any political viewpoint. I just feel the comments were so long ago made, and were obviously supposed to be shocking and absurd. Oh well. I hope one day ol'merica can start on a journey towards the center again, and find a way to work together for a combined and respectful purpose, other than targeting and punishing entertainers for making stupid comments.
This is what James Gunn wrote to justify firing Roseanne.
On May 29, Gunn wrote, “I wish some of these so-called defenders of liberty would start to understand what freedom of speech is AND isn’t. Roseanne is allowed to say whatever she wants. It doesn’t mean @ABCNetwork needs to continue funding her TV show if her words are considered abhorrent.”
Using Gunn's own standards, he deserves his firing.
Well the best thing to come out of all this is that I won't have to endure Bobcat Goldthwait's voice.
From a business stand point, I completely understand Disney (a company that markets itself as a family brand) needing to distance itself from someone who made these types of jokes. Back in the 90's Disney suffered a number of boycotts on their brand because of the films Miramax and Touchstone were making (powder, kids etc). Whether they still make money off of those films, I'm not sure, but there's a reason Disney eventually dumped Miramax. And this definitely isn't the political environment for them to be connected to anything controversial. That being said, I think it's a bit absurd for anyone's carreer to hang in the balance for something they said years ago... but these weren't just statements, these were self published tweets, the author of which didn't think to go back and delete or disown until someone else had gone back and found them. It's a sticky situation. Yes, of course Sarah Silverman, Paton Oswalt, and any number of other comedians have made offensive jokes and still have jobs. I'm not sure if context matters, but I'm certainly not tweeting or publishing anything anyone could be offended by in this day and age.
Also, a villains themed show could be interesting.
"I'm certainly not tweeting or publishing anything anyone could be offended by in this day and age."
No doubt, but who knows what might be considered offensive 20+ years from now. Calling Disney Springs a theme park might get you 10 hours of community service and sensitivity training in 2040. Even simple words that were part of the standard lexicon that many people used without a second glance are verboten today, and heaven forfend a celebrity get caught with some published statement uttering one of those now offensive words or phrases (I'm guessing that George Carlin is somewhere laughing his butt off at this type of stuff).
That's the thing I find most upsetting about these debates. We are putting statements made years (or sometimes decades) ago under the crucible of today's standards and projecting them on a person as if they could not have possibly changed their views and or morals between then and now. The Milwaukee Brewers' All-Star Pitcher Josh Hader got pulled down a similar road last week, though perhaps more appropriately since his twitter comments were infused with anger, hate, and racism. Nonetheless, the theme is the same, someone made a comment in a published forum long ago that was discovered, and now must pay some sort of price for it because it conflicts with today's moral standards.
What happened to water under the bridge or letting bygones be bygones? People make mistakes and may have had different, misguided views years ago, yet because they're famous, they had to have carried today's moral standards back to the second they emerged from the womb. The same people calling for their pound of flesh from ancient, off-color celebrity tweeters are the same ones that want leniency for breakers of written laws and those convicted of violent or dangerous crimes. Why is that?
All personal feelings about social media aside: usually when a company hires someone for a role in a project they make them sign a contract that has a line saying they will not talk about the project before it is announced to the public. I'm like 99% Disney makes their talent sign these kind of agreements when they sign on to be on the project. If I were Iger I would sue this idiot for leaking info he signed not to talk about and teach him a lesson. Disney probably doesn't want to bring any more attention to it then it already has so they won't, but the guy is acting like a complete smart a**, i'd do it just to teach people not F with the company.
“What happened to water under the bridge or letting bygones be bygones?”
Use the James Gunn standard. The thing is Hollywood always made sexual harassment something that other people did. THEY ALL KNEW. But they hid their own cases. This sort of stopped with #MeToo. Now, they’re ready to save James Gunn despite the James Gunn standard. Hollywood should stop persecuting people for having different opinions and recognize the casting couch is not standard business practices. BTW: Pedophilia is an actual problem in Hollywood. Joking about it isn’t better.
I'm not addressing Gunn's actions. Disney has every right to dismiss someone based on what they've said or done, past or present. Believing they have that right doesn't mean I agree or disagree with their decision. Image is the business so you have to protect it.
People who think of "Hollywood" as this small close-knit community protecting their own and that issues of the sexual harassment and pedophilia are more of a problem in the film and TV industry than they anywhere else are buying into a potentially dangerous delusion. And there is no single entity called Hollywood that's persecuting people for their opinions. Powerful individuals and not the industry as a whole are to blame for silencing those who dare to speak out against them. But these problems are not new and not exclusive to any one profession. Rather than seeing it as increasing moral degradation of our society I see the exposure and willingness to speak out and stand up to these power people as a good sign that we are slowly evolving socially.
"People who think ... issues of the sexual harassment and pedophilia are MORE of a problem in the film and TV industry" and "And there is no single entity called Hollywood that's persecuting people for their opinions"
What a denial.
"But these problems are not new and not exclusive to any one profession"
First, acknowledge they have a problem, then you can solve it.
Second, saying everyone does it is not a defense.
They haven't even begun to fix the problem, let alone acknowledge it.
I looked at some of the tweets that were deemed offensive and I found a few of them to be genuinely funny, a few to be funny in a perverse way and some to be not funny and over the line.
However, I grew up watching comedians like Jethro and Jim Davidson, so I understand that is the risk when you make jokes of that nature.
The age of the tweets is what concerns me, they have been in the public eye for years and someone somewhere must have looked at them previously and decided they didn't present a problem. Now, because someone might take offence of accuse Disney of not taking rape/paedophilia seriously, they are worthy of sacking him.
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According to the Disneyland website, World of Color is expected back until "late 2018." If the show won't be back in time for Halloween, they could silently sweep this under the rug.