James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, was fired from the upcoming instalment to the series on July 20 after some very controversial tweets from ten years ago were brought to light by an alt-right media personality.
The ‘jokes’ were tweeted out by James Gunn from 2008 to 2012, they were offensive and made fun in a very crass way of subjects like child abuse and paedophilia. Gunn issued an apology for his offensive jokes on Twitter, saying “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 humour. 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.”
Gunn’s cast on the Guardians films at first barely addressed the issue at all. Actor Michael Rooker, who plays the alien pirate Ravager, Yondu Udonta in the first two films, deleted his account on Twitter as a show of solidarity, stating: “This account will be inactive after today. We’re very tired & upset over the ongoing BULLSHIT… neither I nor my rep will use Twitter again. Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it.”
However, today, the cast of the movie issued a joint open letter to Disney, posted to various Twitter and Instagram accounts, expressing their support and asking for Gunn’s reinstatement to the project.
The letter is signed by all the lead actors of the franchise, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Pom Klementieff, in addition to Bautista and Rooker. There has also been a petition started by the fans of the films to reinstate James Gunn as the director of what he has said is the final part of the Guardian’s story.