The nerd culture was shocked last week when it was announced that James Gunn, director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, had been relieved of his duties as writer and director on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The firing was the result of old tweets about pedophilia and rape surfacing online from back in 2012, even though those were followed by multiple apologetic tweets about the issue.
Since the news broke, millions of fans have come out in support of the director, as well as multiple celebrities and other writers/directors like Selma Blair and Scott Derrickson (director of Doctor Strange) who made sure Gunn’s character wasn’t damaged, but both deleted their Twitter accounts in support of Gunn. Now his cast, the entire cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, have come out and released a statement together supporting their director. They touch on multiple aspects of this issue, including calling for the reinstatement as writer/director on the film:
Here’s the full statement from above:
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 hehe 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 digitial 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. Than you taking the time to read our words.
The Guardians of the Galaxy.
This is tough. With my experience in the field and following this franchise from the beginning, it’s very clear that those tweets are not who James Gunn is. He made a mistake and he paid the price for it then, and it’s extremely clear that he made a change for the better. The entire Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is based around his personal story, redemption.
I am in full support of James Gunn. Yes, what he tweeted then was completely wrong, but he already paid the price for it. I understand where Disney is coming from, as it is an issue, but how can you not see the man who stands in front of us now? I hope that Disney is able to see who he truly is and hear everyone who is crying out for his return to the franchise that wouldn’t be what it is without him.