Social media is a wacky place nowadays. Insomuch that Rian Johnson deleted 20,000 tweets from his account a couple of days ago. His efforts were somewhat under the radar, and no one really took note of it until after he had done it.

Johnson famously directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which garnered critical praise and quite a bit of audience ire for his directorial approach.

Rian Johnson

With what happened to James Gunn recently and some other personalities, there has been speculation about what kind of content might be buried in Johnson’s past tweets.

However, the director took to twitter to explain the deletion:

Johnson has already endured several death threats from Star Wars fans, and is quite familiar with the vicious mannerisms of an online mob. His approach to the Twitterverse and extremist communities seems to be a sensible one, given the actions of a small contingency online in the past few days.

Mike Cernovich

The Shot Heard Around Hollywood

This comes on the heels of Disney firing James Gunn for Tweets that Gunn called “offensive jokes”, and involved pedophilia and crude sexual references. At least one of the Tweets connected Gunn to Huston Huddleston, who plead guilty to possessing child pornography and will have to register as a sex offender. The popular Hollywood gossip site Crazy Days and Nights also claimed a Hollywood director who had recently been fired was “in possession of child porn.” In fact, they claim this director was under active investigation by the FBI as recently as two months ago.

James Gunn and Huston Huddleston

BURBANK, CA – JUNE 26: Director James Gunn and Huston Huddleston attend the After Party for the 40th Annual Saturn Awards held at on June 26, 2014 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Gunn was employed at Troma Entertainment during the time period when many of his Tweets were made. The film production and distribution company is known for its shocking films which feature overt sexuality and nudity along with graphic violence. Gunn sat down with Vice last year to discuss his first film Tromeo and Juliet where he talked about how much he had changed over the past 20 years.

“I was such an angry human being, and anger covers up a lot of other emotions that are there. That was stuff that was a great phase to go through, and I’m not ashamed of it in any way—which is why I’m doing this interview now.

At the same time, I don’t come from the same place today.”

At the time of this writing, there is an online campaign under the hashtag #RehireJamesGunn trending on Twitter. There has also been a petition for Disney to rehire Gunn, which has received over 330,000 signatures. The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy and other Disney alum have spoken up in differing levels of support with some completely backing the director while others advocating a wait and see approach. The more outspoken in their defense of James Gunn are Jim Starlin and Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, his brother Sean Gunn, and Bobcat Goldthwait. The more measured replies came from Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and more recently Glenn Close.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

What’s Next?

Do you believe Rian Johnson is making the right moves for his social media account? Is this how we need to approach any public speech now, given the current environment of the online world? Sound off in the comments or let’s talk on social media, we would love to hear what you think!