James Gunn is one of many voices to speak up about Dilbert creator Scott Adams' latest incredibly bizarre statement.
2022 just keeps getting stranger. While the words “the director of Guardians of the Galaxy calls out the creator of Dilbert for asserting that the only solution to young men being a danger to others is for their parents to kill them or watch them and/or others die” would have seemed like bizarre word salad a decade ago, here we all are. Specifically, filmmaker James Gunn was one of many people to respond to a particularly inflammatory Tweet from cartoonist and author Scott Adam in which he expounded on his particular belief that death was the only possible way to deal with young males between the ages of 14 and 19 dealing with mental or addiction issues. Here is James Gunn responding to Scott Adams’ Tweet:
James Gunn’s response to the Dilbert creator and Trump partisan’s Tweet is relatively restrained, considering the severity of the “solutions” that Scott Adams is apparently able to envision. As Adams puts it, the only options that “society” gives parents are to actively murder troubled young males or watch them kill themselves or others. In a subsequent Tweet, Scott Adams stated that if he “were to invent a solution to the dangerous young man problem,” it would be to isolate all troubled young men and separate them from society. In the Tweet, he describes it as “not necessarily jail” (although it exactly fits the description of incarceration) and that removed from society and drugs, hope is perhaps possible.
It is notable that Scott Adams steers his argument towards drugs, later equating the recent Highland Parks mass shooting that killed seven people with the spike of deaths in the United States via fentanyl overdose. Tragically, Scott Adams’ stepson Justin died of a fentanyl overdose in 2018; it is not uncommon for people who experience a traumatic event to then use that as the barometer for all subsequent events, which may be the case here. In any case, James Gunn himself also noted that he was addicted to (unspecified) drugs as a young man and that despite Adams’ claim, family help and recovery had helped him.
Since the overwhelming backlash to his Tweets, Scott Adams has acted in character by doubling down. Further Tweets have described people responding negatively to his initial Tweet as the “Bad Reading Comprehension folks.” It is possible that Adams’ original statement was attempting to say that murdering one’s own son or watching his death and/or deaths of others were the only options presented by society (rather than his own belief) or that society believed those were the only ones. That idea is slightly undercut by his assertion that anyone who has experienced knowing or being a troubled young man has the same opinion as himself, despite being directly contradicted by James Gunn and his own lived experience.
Scott Adams went on to equate ham sandwiches with addiction recovery and therapy in a very odd analogy, and to say that if he had said something that offended a reader, it was their fault for having read it wrong.