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James Gunn Reveals Strong Emotions About 15 Minutes Of Shame

James Gunn, the director of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Suicide Squad," is a prolific Twitter user whose online presence has gotten him into trouble in the past. Recently, he endorsed the HBO Max documentary "15 Minutes of Shame," which is about public shaming on social media and its cultural implications. Per the doc's IMDb profile, it's executive produced and narrated by Monica Lewinsky, someone who knows a thing or two about being publicly shamed. The film was released on October 7.

According to an HBO Max press release, the streamer describes the film as "a timely, eye-opening roller-coaster ride through the world of public shaming" that "examines social behavior by embedding with individuals from across the U.S. who have been publicly shamed or cyber-harassed – while exploring the bullies, the bystanders, the media, psychologists, politicians, and experts in between." 

The subjects of the documentary range from an Amazon vendor who was kicked off the site after he stockpiled mass quantities of hand sanitizer and attempted to resell them at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to a woman who lost her job as a hospital administrator for suggesting that Trump supporters shouldn't get ventilators if they got COVID-19. "15 Minutes of Shame" hopes to remind people that those who are subjected to mass online pile-ons — even if they really did something wrong — are people too, and shaming them so severely is unhealthy for everyone, societally.

James Gunn had his own 15 minutes of shame

James Gunn watched the HBO Max documentary "15 Minutes of Shame" and tweeted about it, calling it "wonderful [and] heartbreaking" and "definitely worth a watch." He also tagged Monica Lewinsky and the film's director, Max Joseph, who is best known as the former co-host and cinematographer of the MTV reality show "Catfish" (via IMDb). Lewinsky acknowledged Gunn's comments, tweeting in reply, "Thank you, James."

The documentary may have hit on a personal level for Gunn, who had a public shaming incident of his own in 2018. In the wake of Roseanne Barr's firing from her show due to offensive tweets, right-wing media retaliated by targeting public figures who were openly critical of former president Donald Trump by looking for offensive things they had posted. Between 2008 and 2012, Gunn posted tasteless jokes about pedophilia that he later said he regretted and apologized for (via The Wrap). He was fired by Disney as the director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" before being reinstated several months later after the situation calmed down, and it seemed Disney finally understood that critics of Gunn were acting in bad faith.

"15 Minutes of Shame" is available to stream on HBO Max.