Disney booted Gunn, the writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, from the third film in July after conservative personalities and Twitter users dug up Gunn’s old tweets making fun of pedophilia and rape.
“It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now, and I get it,” Russell, who appeared as Ego in the second film, commented to Variety. “But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people.”
The 67-year-old actor’s support comes after Guardians of the Galaxy cast members — including Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Dave Bautista — wrote an open letter defending Gunn.Russell continued, “You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever, you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something, which led him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy.”RELATED: Star Wars Director Deletes 20,000 Tweets After James Gunn Firing: ‘Seems Like a Why Not? Move’The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor concluded, “He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”
RELATED VIDEO: James Gunn Dropped from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Films Over Unearthed Tweets
Pratt, who noted on Instagram that he would “love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3,” had previously responded to the controversy by quoting the Bible: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
“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,” Walt Disney Company chairman Alan Horn said in a statement on July 20.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said in a statement after the firing. “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.”
He continued: “Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. 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. Love to all.”