The cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy has released a lengthy statement offering support for fired franchise director James Gunn. Gunn was removed by Disney as writer and director of the third Guardians film after Twitter jokes about rape and pedophilia from several years ago resurfaced thanks to a targeted online campaign led by alt-right social media personality Mike Cernovich. In addition to vouching for the filmmaker’s character and touching on the Guardians films’ theme of redemption, the statement plainly calls for “James Gunn’s reinstatement as director of GOTG Volume 3.”
The statement, posted to Zoe Saldana‘s Twitter, is also signed by Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gilan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, and Pom Klementieff.
“The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set,” the statement says, “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.”
You can read the full statement below:
We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing 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 hehe 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 digitial 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. Than you taking the time to read our words.
The Guardians of the Galaxy.