Ever since James Gunn’s abrupt firing from the third Guardians of the Galaxy film last week various cast members from the Marvel franchise have spoken out in support of him, but today, the entire cast released a joint statement in favor of the director and their hopes that Disney will reinstate him. After a series of offensive tweets written by Gunn nearly ten years ago were uncovered, Disney quickly removed him from the third Guardians chapter despite the fact that he had acknowledged and apologized for said tweets years ago prior to his Disney tenure.
The joint statement was signed by Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Karen Gillan and while it does say that they do not support the jokes he made in the past, they do believe in redemption, a theme often explored in the Guardians franchise.
[row]“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. 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,” the letter opens.[/row]
After his firing, Gunn released a statement apologizing once more for the jokes and detailed the headspace he was in when he first tweeted them. Echoing his sentiments, the cast acknowledges that the man Gunn is today is nothing like the person the tweets reflect and they look forward to having the opportunity to work together again.
[row]”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.”[/row]
The statement also touched on the current political divide and their hope that Americans can come together to ease up on character assassinations without due process.
[row]”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. [/row]
The cast closed the letter by sharing their expectation that what’s happened with Gunn will teach those online that the thoughts and comments we share are etched in digital stone and can always be unearthed and that by thinking twice, hopefully, we can learn to help and heal rather than hurt.
[row]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 digital 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. Thank you for taking the time to read our words.”[/row]
All of the actors shared the post on their socials media accounts with their own captions. You can read the full statement shared on Chris Pratt’s Instagram below.
It’s unclear whether or not Disney will reinstate Gunn, but the amount of outpouring of support in favor of Gunn from both fans and Hollywood has certainly been very unique during the heated climate. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was intended to release sometime in 2020, but since the film currently does not have a director that timeline may be pushed back.
What are your thoughts on the Guardians statement? Do you think Gunn should be reinstated?
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.