'The Hollywood director behind the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy films has been fired by Disney after it emerged he joked about paedophilia and rape on Twitter.
James Gunn apologised for the tweets, posted between 2008 and 2011, saying he had "developed as a person".
In one of the now deleted tweets he wrote: "The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!'"
In another, he wrote: "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place."
He also joked about subjects including the Holocaust, Aids, and the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
1. 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.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said: "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."
Gunn, 51, will not be directing the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.
He wrote and directed the first two installments, which made more than $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) at the box office.'
Read more: Disney fires Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after old paedophilia jokes found on Twitter