James Gunn Disputes Story of Comedian’s Firing from Superman: Legacy over Political Statement

Has another actor lost a role because of his political opinions? That’s in dispute. Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian-American “comedian and TV presenter” (as well as a cardiac surgeon), spoke to Salon recently and claimed he was fired from Superman: Legacy because he criticized Israel over the current conflict in Gaza while appearing on Piers Morgan’s show. Here’s the Piers Morgan clip:

And here’s what he had to say to Salon reporter Dean Obeidallah:

“I was a little bit bitter about losing the role, and I was kind of very sad. Why, in the United States of America, you can talk about Joe Biden, you can talk about Donald Trump, but you cannot criticize a foreign government? Which is kind of, like, very sad, you know? And then, because of that, I was cast in the new movie Superman, and then they told me, ‘We changed the script,’ after this Piers Morgan interview. And I want to assume good faith.”

You can see the whole interview here if you want to hear them bitch about Trump and why America sucks for twenty minutes.

But Superman: Legacy director James Gunn and a source are telling a different story. The source spoke to IGN and said that Youssef was never actually hired to be in Superman: Legacy but that Gunn has spoken to him about playing a role in the film, which was later cut. This happened in September, according to the source, while Youssef’s interview with Piers Morgan occurred in October. Gunn shared a link to the IGN piece on X and said, “This is accurate.”

I tend to believe Gunn. While it’s true that a lot of people seem to have thought they were hired for DC movies under Gunn and Peter Safran only to find out later they hadn’t been – which calls the legitimacy of Gunn’s clarifications into question – he didn’t cut Superman and Wonder Woman from the films. If Youssef were fired over his opinion of Israel, they wouldn’t have excised the part; they’d simply have hired someone else. And that’s before the timeline of his interview in relation to losing the part is considered. It seems like an excuse for Youssef to play the victim over the pushback he got for what he said on Piers Morgan’s show.

I have to say, while I don’t want people to be fired for their political opinions (and I don’t think Youssef was), I’m in seventh heaven watching the left suddenly screeching about cancel culture. I remember when it was happening to conservatives, and they said it was just “consequence culture” and people had no right to expect protection from losing their jobs over their beliefs. Well, look at them now! As soon as Melissa Barrera was fired from Scream 7, they changed their tune and started championing the freedom of speech they gleefully denied Gina Carano and a host of others. And, as always, they’re demanding the people they hate stick to their principles and back them up as the monster they created turns on them – or, in this guy’s case, crying wolf for sympathy. Give me a week or two to find a violin small enough to play for them.

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