The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper, have come together to release an open letter supporting filmmaker James Gunn.
The director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel Vol. 2 was suddenly fired by Disney after a number of inappropriate jokes he had tweeted – some dating as far back as a decade – were brought to light by certain right-wing people unhappy with his outspoken political commentary. Reactions were divided; some believed Disney had been too abrupt and harsh with their decision, while others condemned Gunn and believed Disney made the right choice.
Actor Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the MCU, was among the first celebrities to speak out in support of Gunn. “He’s made mistakes. We all have,” Bautista tweeted. “Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
Well, now the Guardians have collectively shown their support for Gunn, releasing an open letter addressed to fans and friends. “Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man,” Pratt posted on Instagram with the statement. “I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.”
The open letter, signed by Pratt, Saldana, Cooper, Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gilan, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, and Pom Klementieff, states that the cast is “not here to defend his jokes of many years ago” but rather to share their “experience having spent many years together on set.”
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial,” reads the letter.
“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 remains to be seen if Disney decides to backtrack on their decision. In this writer’s opinion, it’s unlikely. Disney jumped on firing Gunn quite quickly, feeding some rumours that there may have been more going on here than just Gunn’s past tweets. Disney would likely not want to lose face at this point and would want to stick to their move, and while its nice that the cast have come together to support their friend, they would be contractually obligated to return for GotG3 regardless of Gunn’s involvement or lack thereof. Still, you never know: the backlash against Disney’s decision is quite loud. Stay tuned.
You check out the complete statement below:
To our fans and friends:
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 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 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.