This year, Marvel released The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon--a man who has been honored by the National Organization for Women as one of their Men on the Frontlines. Any reader of comics or viewer of superhero movies knows that the portrayal of women is often over-sexualized with their roles minimized, but many writers and directors have been taking steps to portray women as people, rather than objects.
However, Marvel’s upcoming film, Guardians of the Galaxy, is slated to be written and directed by James Gunn--a man whose relationship to female characters is troubling at best. In 2011, James Gunn wrote commentary on “The 50 Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With”. While there is no problem with discussing, fantasizing, or even enjoying the sexualization of comic book characters, the manner in which James Gunn discussed female characters speaks to a deeply disturbing mindset that has no place in powerful hands.
While the article has been removed from Gunn’s personal website, it is still viewable on Google Cache and the words from this man are still available to be seen.
[On Emma Frost] For those men who love rude bitches, the White Queen is number one.
[On Black Widow] Natasha Romanova is the highest debut on the list, and, considering she’s fucked half the men in the Marvel Universe, it’s much deserved. (Please note that this is factually incorrect)
[on Elektra] Maybe she’s like carrying one of those little mini-fans, only a mini-fan who will give you a really terrific, Ninja-trained blow job.
[On Dazzler] Disco Dazzler, Rave Dazzler, and Punk Rock Dazzler, they all have one thing in common – a friggin’ GREAT vagina.
[On 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
[On Tigra] For thirty-plus years Tigra has been consistently poorly-written, which means you’d probably have an easy time talking your way into her pants.
[On Spider-Woman] I finish on her face to help block out the painful memories. There. That’s better. I love you, Jessica.
Only his comments on Marvel Women have been included here, but he speaks on other characters (male and female) with a tone that is derogatory, homophobic, and downright misogynist.
As the director and writer of a major film, sure to be seen by millions, the man is a creator of culture. At a time when Marvel has shown interest in developing female characters and building a female audience as seen with the launch of Captain Marvel and Fearless Defenders, an association with James Gunn will only serve to set the company back in its progress.
The signers of this petition urge Marvel to cut ties with Gunn and find a new director who has respect for women.