‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson explains why he deleted 20,000 tweets

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Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn’s explosive social media demise served as a cautionary tale for many in Hollywood, and Rian Johnson is making sure he isn’t the next to fall.

Johnson, who directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, deleted everything off his Twitter from before Jan. 25, effectively fending off whatever potential attack the alt-right trolls who took down Gunn had in store—at least for now. 

Led by conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Mike Cernovich, the “alt-right,” a far right-wing movement affiliated with white supremacist views, are now using old social media posts to take down left-leaning celebrities. Cernovich targeted comedian Michael Ian Black last week, calling him “another Hollywood pedophile.”

The Mary Sue tweeted on Wednesday that Johnson purged his account of 20,000 tweets, adding, “you probably know what that means by now.”

Johnson responded to the post, claiming there was “no official directive” behind the move and that he didn’t think he had “ever tweeted anything that bad.”

He wrote: “But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a ‘why not?’ move.”

Many users supported Johnson’s decision and pushed against the notion that it was an “admission of guilt,” while others mourned the loss of his tweets. 

Though Johnson’s internet past may be protected for the time being, there’s no telling how the trolls will react.

H/T AV Club

Kristina Nguyen

Kristina Nguyen

Kristina Nguyen is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot. She is studying journalism and American studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously contributed to Orange magazine and Silk Club's QUIET! zine.