Late last week, Disney announced that they had fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for older offensive tweets that included indecent comments about pedophilia and rape. Since then, the controversy has ensnared his co-workers, much of Hollywood, and Marvel fans. Several actors who work closely with Gunn are speaking out on the matter.
Gunn’s Twitter jokes were clearly in poor taste. Recognizing that Disney is a company that encompasses a large fan base of children and families, having an employee publicly make light of pedophilia and rape is offensive and intolerable for their brand. Thus, he has been removed as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Disney has ceased all work with him. While it was revealed that the tweets were around 10 years old, Disney felt that the comments were 100% unacceptable irregardless of time and context.
In addition to the tweets being from Gunn’s past, the director publicly apologized for offensive comments both previously and again when Disney unearthed them. He stated that he has grown as a person, and the man who made those distasteful remarks is no longer the man he is today.
1. 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 humor.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
Learning of the situation, cast members from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise have commented on the subject. As noted by Screen Rant, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the Disney/Marvel franchise, quickly set out on twitter to support his friend and director with whom he has worked for several years. He emphasized that Gunn is a good and kind man who cares deeply for people and that he simply made mistakes, like all humans do.
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
Additionally, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt, who portray GotG‘s Gamora and fun-loving Peter Quill respectively, addressed the situation by making vague yet supportive comments on Twitter. Screen Rant confirms that Saldana did not name names or take an official stance on the matter, but she made a point to extend her deep love for “all” of her GotG family. Pratt, on the other hand, offered his support of Gunn with a subtle Bible quote so as not to offend anyone…namely his employer.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 22, 2018
With the debate still roaring, it is vital to see both points of view before taking a side in this saga. One thing is for sure, the controversy sparks debate on whether or not a person should be defined and punished for mistakes in their past. With Gunn’s comments being 10 years old, many believe that Disney should re-consider their stance on firing an employee for statements made before his employment began. There’s currently a petition on Change.org with over 300,000 signatures (and growing) requesting that Gunn’s employment with Disney be reinstated. Click on over and make your voice heard if you’d like to see Gunn back at the helm of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.