July 30, 2018
Stars like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper released a joint statement calling for the director’s reinstatement after Disney fired him over offensive past tweets
Guardians of the Galaxy cast signs open letter in support of James Gunn
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, along with other cast mates from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, have signed an open letter asking that James Gunn be reinstated as director of the upcoming third installment.
Earlier this month, Gunn was fired from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, for which he directed the first two films, after old tweets surfaced in which he joked about subjects such as rape and pedophilia. In one tweet he wrote, “I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.” In another: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
Although Gunn had never formally been confirmed as the director of the third film, set to come out in 2020, Disney reacted swiftly to the discovery of Gunn’s tweets, which had been written between 2008 and 2011. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement.
Guardians of the Galaxy cast signs open letter in support of James Gunn
On Monday, the stars of the franchise came to Gunn’s defense, posting an open letter on Instagram signed by Pratt, Saldana, Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff. “We fully support James Gunn,” wrote the group. “We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.”
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion,” they added. “Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
Gunn’s sacking almost two weeks ago, a result of rightwing conspiracist Mike Cernovich circulating the tweets, drew criticism across the entertainment industry, with Galaxy star Bautista calling the director “one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met.” The actor Selma Blair deleted her Twitter account in solidarity with Gunn, while The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson deleted thousands of his old tweets. Gunn, whose first two installments at the helm of the franchise grossed $773m and $863m worldwide, respectively, called his old tweets “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative”.
As of Monday, nearly 350,000 people had signed a petition calling for Disney and Marvel to rehire the director.
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