Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana have signed an open letter supporting fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn
What was intended to be nothing more than easy-going, family-friendly fun turned into a nest of poisonous political infighting recently as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy was fired in disgrace.
Disney fired James Gunn, 51, and barred him from directing the upcoming third movie after a series of old tweets from 2008-2011 were dug up, in which the director joked about paedophilia and rape.
The jokes, reportedly found by alt-right Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, included…
“I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like, ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
In a statement, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said at the time: “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.”
And in response, Gunn, who wrote and directed both of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films and is a prominent critic of Donald Trump, issued a lengthy apology, saying: “I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore.”
1. 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.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
2. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
3. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
4. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
5. Anyway, that’s the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
This Twitter storm comes as other Hollywood figures including Roseanne Barr, Dan Harmon and Sarah Silverman have found themselves on the firing line, from both political sides, over their social media activity.
But now the entire cast of the Guardian films has released a joint statement backing Gunn and attacking the “growing political divide” and “mob mentality”.
In a statement posted on the social media accounts of many of the cast members, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillian, Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff also expressed their “love, support and gratitude for James”.
Some 350,000 people have signed a Change.org petition for Disney to rehire Gunn and a recent article in Variety suggests that Disney, which has so far failed to name a replacement, might even reinstate the director.
“With Walt Disney chairman Bob Iger out on vacation currently, insiders believed a decision would not be made until he returned to work,” Variety says.
(Images: Getty / Disney)