When should we give second chances?
I have been thinking a lot about now disgraced Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, and second chances. I, again, ruminated on his situation after seeing Robin Wright from House of Cards say that even her disgraced co-star deserves a second chance; one tweeted some off-color statements almost a decade ago, the other sexually assaulted vulnerable actors. And I have to say that I have hit a wall.
I definitely feel that you cannot compare the person of today to the person of yesterday, because I am a firm believer that people change, especially in a decade, which is the case for Gunn, who was ultimately fired from his director’s chair for decade-old tweets. I know you cannot hold an older version of someone for comparison to who they are today because I know from personal experience, people change. I have grown exponentially as a person and even more so in the realm of social justice even in just a few years, let alone in a decade. But it took me recognizing my own biases and possible microaggressions toward people and being allowed to fumble to correct my path. I have grown out of prejudices that I learned as a child, and I am studying to be a proponent of people who are marginalized.
I remember in elementary school, asking a black friend if I could touch her hair because I was innocently curious as children are, and when she declined my request, I reached out to touch it anyway. Looking back I see the multiple levels-of-wrong that I committed then, and I wouldn't even think to ask to do this now, because I have learned and read about black culture and satisfied any curiosity I had as a child. Nowadays we are quick to call out someone for their missteps, which I get, people at this point should know not to wear a culture as a costume, but by my own logic, I should side with Wright; perhaps Kevin Spacey is a different man than he was when those occurrences happened, but I don’t think he should get a second chance, because these are two different levels of inappropriateness. Making a tasteless joke is entirely different than assaulting someone. And I am having a hard time seeing Wright's perspective. Taking advantage of someone by using your position is wrong at any moment of time. But then again, so is making jokes about pedophilia and rape.
Hence the wall I have hit. If we are not the same people we were two, five, ten years ago, when can we try and let someone prove themselves trustworthy again?