The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have issued a statement following James Gunn’s firing from Vol. 3 over old tweets. You can see the statement below which was signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillian, Dave Bautista, and Pom Klementieff followed by the original article from July 20, 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James Gunn is no longer directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following the uncovering of some controversial tweets.
The tweets, which dated between 2009 to 2012, made jokes towards pedophelia and rape. Here is an apology he made over Twitter. It is important to note that these old tweets were brought to attention back in 2014 before the release of the first Guardians movie. Gunn apologized back then and proved to put his past behavior behind him. It is strange that it is now coming back to haunt him after all these years.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement:
“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.”
GotG Vol. 3 was originally aiming for a 2020 release, but with no director those plans may change. Marvel and Feige have an uphill battle in terms of finding a replacement to match Gunn who single handily was responsible for the first two films’ success.
Note: Props to Kemosabe for bringing this to our attention.