Guardians of the Galaxy cast members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker have released a joint statement in support of writer-director James Gunn after he was fired from the third film earlier this month.
Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, was let go by Disney when offensive tweets of his surfaced from several years ago. Since then, there has been a vocal group of people calling for Disney, the company that owns Marvel and fired Gunn, to rehire him. In that time, though, only a few of the actors actually involved in the Guardians movies came out with public support. Now, however, all of them have signed the following letter.
For those who can’t read the image, io9 has transcribed it 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 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 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
In tweets of the same letter, Klementieff said, “Though I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3.” Saldana added that the cast is in “support of James Gunn’s reinstatement as director of GOTG Volume 3.”
It’s a strong statement with a lot of positivity to be gleaned from it. The question now becomes how Disney will react—and what happens if Gunn isn’t rehired on the film, which was expected to film early next year, and was likely to have a 2020 release.