Gunn, who directed the first two "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies and was set to direct the third, deleted his Twitter account after the tweets were published.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn stated, "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
Before he removed his Twitter account, Gunn released a statement on Twitter reading, "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 humor."
Gunn was scheduled to appear at Comic-Con; those plans have not been confirmed.
The Hollywood Reporter noted, "Gunn has been writing the script for Guardians 3, and the movie was expected to begin shooting in Atlanta in the fall for an expected 2020 release date, though Marvel Studios had never officially announced the date. The Guardians movies have been a massive success for Disney and Marvel. The first movie made more than $773 million worldwide while the second made $863 million."
Fox News added:
One of the now-deleted tweets said, "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place." Another message read: "The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like 'whew this feels great, not being raped!'" Other now-deleted tweets from 2008-2011 included jokes about the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, AIDS and the holocaust.