Should Disney rehire James Gunn? Guardians of the Galaxy stars defend director

Guardians of the Galaxy stars have defended director James Gunn, and called for Disney to re-hire him, after he was fired over a series of offensive historical tweets.

Conservative activists discovered Gunn’s comments on the Twitter, which make light of rape and pedophilia.

“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 Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, in a statement.

Gunn had already begun writing the script for the third movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, which was due to begin filming in Autumn, according to BuzzFeed News. He directed the first two films in the franchise, and had been set to direct the third movie. 

Now, stars from the films have defended Gunn and called for Disney to re-hire him.

Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the film series, posted on Twitter: “I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met.

“He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”

Baustista wrote in a later tweet: “What happened here is so much bigger then G3, @JamesGunn ,myself,@Disney etc. This was a #cybernazi attack that succeeded. Unless we start to unite together against this crap, whether people are offended are not! …it’s going to get much worse. And it can happen to anyone.”

Sean Gunn, who is James Gunn’s brother and plays Kraglin in the movies, posted: “I hope it goes without saying that I love and support my brother James. And I’m quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers.”

He then posted a further nine tweets defending his brother.

Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora, posted: “It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.”

Chris Pratt, meanwhile, quoted a bible verse, writing on Twitter: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

The screenshotted tweets made by Gunn were circulated by alt-right activists, including Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec.

The posts were apparently written between 2009 and 2011, and included comments such as “I’m doing a big Hollywood adaptation of The Giving Tree with a happy ending – the tree grows back and gives the kid a blowjob,” and “I like it when little boys touch me in my silly place.”

Last week Gunn posted a series of tweets where he apologised for his “outrageous and taboo” jokes.

“As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger,” he wrote.

“My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies,” Gunn added.

“For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all,” the statement said.

Gunn was on his way to become the only filmmaker within Marvel to direct three films in the same series for the studio.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News in 2017, Gunn said that beyond his duties for Vol. 3, he would be working with Marvel Studios to expand the company’s movies into the “cosmic” realm of Marvel Comics. “I think that they just trust me in terms of my vision of the more space opera aspects of Marvel,” Gunn said.