The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy is responding to the news that James Gunn, the writer and director of the first two films, was fired from the upcoming third installment due to old tweets in which he made light of pedophilia.
Last week, Disney booted Gunn from the franchise he built after conservative Twitter users found posts in which the writer/director made insensitive jokes.
As IndieWire reported, the franchise’s cast has started speaking out about the controversy.
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.”
Dave Bautista wrote, “I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
Selma Blair, who doesn’t’ star in the films but is close with Gunn, promoted a petition for Disney to hire him again. She commented, “Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones.”
Sean Gunn, Gunn’s brother who also worked on the franchise, tweeted about Gunn’s personal evolution: “Since devoting his entire life to the Guardians movies and MCU six years ago, I’ve seen him channel that voice into his work on those movies and seen him transform from the guy who made up things to shock people.”
For his part, Gunn issued a five-part statement. He began: “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. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
Gunn was set to start filming the third installment 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.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was set to release in 2020.