The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy is standing by James Gunn. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff and Michael Rooker released an open letter in support of reinstating the director after he was fired over resurfaced controversial tweets.
“We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these 10 days to respond in order to think, pray, listen and discuss,” the nine costars wrote in the letter, which they all shared on their social media accounts on Monday, July 30. “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.”
The actors wrote that they “cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support and gratitude” for the 51-year-old filmmaker. They noted that they cannot “defend his jokes of many years ago,” but believe his apology came “from the heart, a heart we all know, trust and love.”
“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,” they wrote. “There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial.”
The castmates concluded their letter with a message about the importance of being careful with social media posts: “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 the capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other.”
Walt Disney Studios announced on July 20 that Gunn had been fired as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after several conservative personalities resurfaced Gunn’s 2008 and 2009 tweets regarding pedophilia and rape. “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,” Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement to Us.
Gunn later apologized for his controversial posts. “Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then,” he said in a statement. “All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies.”
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