Even as the casting search gears up for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a push has begun online to convince the studio to fire director James Gunn over objections to a nearly two-year-old blog post that many view as misogynistic and homophobic. (Note: This post contains graphic language.)
The Feb. 17, 2011 post containing the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll, complete with Gunn’s commentary, was deleted at some point from the filmmaker’s website but the cached version resurfaced earlier this week on Tumblr before receiving further exposure Wednesday on The Mary Sue. Why Gunn’s post was only recently unearthed is a bit of a mystery (he was confirmed to direct Guardians of the Galaxy more than two months ago).
Gunn’s superhero sex poll includes male and female characters — 50 in all — ranging from Wonder Woman and Superman to Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. While The Mary Sue notes “there’s nothing wrong about running a poll for the most sex-able superhero on your site,” the complaints arise over some of the filmmaker’s accompanying commentary.
Some of Gunn’s remarks are merely juvenile — for instance, Catwoman “has been making my penis feel funny since I was four years old and saw Julie Newmar playing her on TV” — others are a bit more offensive. On the entry for the X-Man Gambit, he writes, “My girlfriend voted for this Cajun fruit. I think she’s looking to have a devil’s three way with the two of us. The idea of my balls slapping against Gambit’s makes me sick to my stomach, but I can’t deny the fellow’s pure HEAT …”
For Batgirl/Cassandra Cain, Gunn suggests, “Being a teen mom and all, you know she’s easy. Go for it.” For Kitty Pryde: “@KittyPryde actually wrote me on Twitter after posting the nominees for heroes you most want to have sex with. I wrote her back, but neglected to mention that I wanted to anally do her.”
And for his Batwoman entry: “This lesbian character was voted for almost exclusively by men. I don’t know exactly what that means. But I’m hoping for a Marvel-DC crossover so that Tony Stark can “turn” her. She could also have sex with Nightwing and probably still be technically considered a lesbian.”
On her own blog, Dark Horse editor Rachel Edidin calls the comments “fucked up and misogynist and homophobic,” explaining, “If Gunn’s list is satire, it’s bad satire, because it skews incredibly close to material that’s not only already out there, but that comes from official media and in some cases industry professionals. There’s a significant slice of the comics community that is that misogynist and homophobic, and says so loudly and frequently. It’s telling, I think, that so many people took what Gunn wrote at face value: this is material we’ve seen before, again and again, presented seriously.”
A petition at Change.org urging Marvel Studios “to cut ties with Gunn and find a new director who has respect for women” has gathered more than 4,400 signatures.