The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy – including Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Zoe Saldana – together penned an open letter asking for the reinstatement of director James Gunn, who was fired from the Marvel franchise after dozens of inappropriate tweets resurfaced.
“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,” the cast wrote.
“In that time we have 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 who so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories around him.”
The cast added of the director, “We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than right now.”
On July 20th, producers fired Gunn from the series’ third installment after years-old tweets where the director made jokes about pedophilia, transgender people and more were dug up by conservative personalities; Gunn has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump.
“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 Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement.
Gunn said in a statement after his firing, “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time. Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today.”
In the 10 days that followed, some of the Guardians cast members, especially Dave Bautista, have staunchly defended the director, and on Monday, the rest of the film’s main cast bounded together for a hand-signed statement asking for the director’s reinstatement.
“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,” the cast continued.
“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.”
Pratt wrote in a separate Instagram post that carried the cast’s statement, “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.”