The shockwaves continue to reverberate in Hollywood after “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn’s firing from the mega-hit Marvel movie franchise due to controversial tweets from years earlier that were recently unearthed.
Gunn’s tweets, which joked about such taboo topics as rape and pedophilia, led to his dismissal by Disney. “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,” reads a statement from Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, confirming Gunn’s firing.
While the cast of “Guardians” has been silent about Gunn, one star of the films is coming out in the director’s defense.
On Friday, Dave Bautista (who plays Drax in the movies) took to Twitter to lend his support to Gunn, tweeting that he “will have more to say” at a later time, describing Gunn as “one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met.”
Added Bautista: “He’s made mistakes. We all have. I’m NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
After Disney announced its decision, Gunn issued an apology for his tweets, insisting the words he wrote at the time “don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
He added: “Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies.”
While opinion on Disney’s decision is sharply divided, others have come to Gunn’s defense via social media, including BBC Radio film critic Marshall Julius, Old 97s singer Rhett Miller and actor David Dastmalchian, who plays Kurt in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” films and previously worked with Gunn on his 2016 horror film “The Belko Experiment”.
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i’ve been saying this FOR YEARS! @jamesgunn is one of the most amazing people i’ve ever known – both professionally & personally. there are so many people in our lives that we would never have known without the incredible magnet of talent & goodness that is james (& his awesome partner in life, @jenniferlholland). thanks for making us a part of your family, buddy.
Also speaking up is actress Selma Blair, who issued a pair of tweets urging Disney to reinstate Gunn, even linking to a Change.org petition asking Gunn to be rehired.
Meanwhile, Gunn’s brother, “Gilmore Girls” actor Sean Gunn”, likewise took to Twitter to offer a 10-part defense, explaining how he witnessed firsthand how his brother’s involvement with the “Guardians” movies transformed him from “the guy who made up things to shock people” to a “more open-hearted” person.
“Working on those movies made by brother a better person,” he concludes.