The Guardians of the Galaxy are banding together once more, this time to declare that they "fully support" their fired writer-director, James Gunn -- and want him reinstated.
In an open letter shared on social media, the entire principal cast of the series -- including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, and Sean Gunn -- shared their shock and dismay over Gunn's abrupt dismissal from "Guardians Vol. 3." Disney fired Gunn earlier this month after many old, offensive tweets were dug up by the director's political opponents, prompting the studio to distance itself from what it called his "offensive attitudes and statements ... [which] are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values."
But according to the "Guardians" cast -- who had only spoken briefly and individually on the subject before today -- the Gunn that they know doesn't resemble the man who made inappropriate jokes on social media years ago, nor the one that his detractors are surrounding with "outlandish conspiracy theories" now. Their statement said in part:
"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."
While the letter was quick to condemn the "court of public opinion" that encourages "character assassinations and ... weaponiz[es] mob mentality," it didn't entirely let Gunn off the hook for his past remarks, either. The statement went on to say that this scandal should "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."
Well said, Guardians. Now we wait and see if Disney has a change of heart about its decision.
Read the entire statement below:
An Open Letter from the Cast of "Guardians of the Galaxy"
To our fans and friends,
We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing 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.
The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's parentage is revealed. Read More