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James Gunn Addresses Guardians of the Galaxy‘s “Green Whore” Joke

No one talks to my friends like that.

gamora

During a live Q&A session held yesterday on James Gunn’s Facebook page, the director addressed a controversial Guardians of the Galaxy scene in which the lone female member of the A-hole gang is casually referred to as a “whore.”

In response to fan concerns, Gunn explained

I know some of you don’t like Drax calling Gamora a whore. But he heard people saying that to her in the Kyln. So don’t blame him, blame me… Because that’s what they called her in the Kyln and that’s what he thinks she is.

Listen, I absolutely understand where Gunn is coming from. The “green whore” reference wasn’t about Drax or the director editorializing, it was just honoring the given circumstances of the story. But regardless of whether or not the joke was justified logically within the world of the film, the “whore” line (along with another Kyln “joke” in which Rocket steals a prosthetic leg) alienated a lot of viewers very quickly, and not because as audience members we were too dense to understand that the comment was intended as a reflection of Drax’s literalness.

Just because the Destroyer is incapable of nuance doesn’t mean Gunn is, and it’s important as a director to consider your influence. Despite Guardians being the first-ever Marvel film to have a 40% female audience, young women still didn’t see themselves represented in Guardians merchandise the same way male fans did. Guardians was also released pre-Phase 3, when the idea of a female-led Marvel movie seemed increasingly unlikely. Considering that climate, “green whore” was just another reminder to female fans of women’s otherness and utter disposability, whether as punchlines or motivation for male protagonists. Gunn is right, the joke made sense in the context of the Guardians universe. But not in ours. Not yet.

I definitely recommend checking out the rest of the interview to see Gunn explain the emotional bond between his little band of losers, discuss Star-Lord’s potential fathers, and, of course, share tons of Groot gossip. To quote Gunn, “all those branches were hella hard to animate.”

(via Comic Book Resources)

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