Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista continues to speak out after the controversial firing of director James Gunn.
The star, who plays Drax in the series, fired back to a tweet Sunday by stating his strong opinion to keep Gunn on the third installment in the franchise. Bautista said that Walt Disney Studio’s decision to let the director go was
“not what I signed up for” and that “GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG.”
He also went on to say that it is “nauseating” to work for a studio “who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.”
Walt Disney Studios announced July 20 that it had split ways from the director following the resurfacing of Gunn’s years-old insensitive tweets which joked about pedophilia and rape. The director was set to start filming sequel starring Chris Pratt in the fall and had been working on the script. He wrote and directed the first two movies, which have made more than $1.6 billion worldwide.
Following the news, Gunn addressed the controversy, explaining that he has since grown as a person and in his work since posting the original tweets. The director said that it used to be part of his act to tweet things that would outrage people.
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” he said in the first of five tweets. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
Since the firing, the Guardians cast has not been afraid to speak up on behalf of Gunn.
Zoë Saldana tweeted, “It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.”
Pratt, Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Bautista, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff and Michael Rooker additionally came together to sign a statement in support of the Guardians writer and director, which Pratt posted on Instagram in July.
This was the first time the cast fully addressed Gunn’s firing as a united front.