It has been 10 days since Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 based on 10-year-old tweets where he made jokes involving pedophilia and rape. And now the Guardians themselves have spoken — throwing their support behind the embattled director, and stating they look forward to working with him again.
Chris Pratt took it a step farther and directly called for Gun’s reinstatement as director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 stating: “Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.”
The letter echoes the support Gunn has received from fans. A Change.org petition has gathered more that 340,000 signatures in just ten days and is still going strong.
The tweets , which Gunn had deleted and apologized for years ago, were dredged up more recently by a coalition of alt-right critics and white supremacists who were upset that Gunn used his social-media platform to criticize President Trump. They then mounted a campaign to pressure get Gunn fired using a network of conservative websites. Disney caved in a matter of days.
The letter is signed by stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Pom Klemetieff, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, and Sean Gunn — essentially everyone who has ever been Guardian in the movies. It was released on the stars individual social media accounts.
The full text of the letter:
We fully support James Gunn. 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.
Being in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies has been a great honor in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.
Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over — not by a long shot.
There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. 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.
It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realize the enormous responsibility we have to ourselves and to each other regarding the use of our written words when we etch them in digital stone; that we as a society may learn from this experience and in the future will think twice before we decide what we want to express; and in so learning perhaps can harness this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other. Thank you for taking the time to read our words.