After Disney fired writer/director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 due to a string of controversial tweets he had written a few years ago, some celebrities have stepped forward in his defense. While some agree with Disney's decision to part ways with Gunn, others have vocalized their objections.
After some controversial tweets that Gunn had written between 2009 and 2012 recently surfaced, Disney ultimately stepped forward and fired the writer/director from working on the upcoming third volume in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. The tweets referred to rape and pedophilia, and though Gunn recently described them as being "stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative" in an official statement, Disney has stood by their decision. However, even though Gunn himself appears to have accepted his removal from the series, he has garnered some staunch advocates who believe that he is being mistreated. In fact, one of his supporters is Dave Bautista (who play Drax the Destroyer in the MCU). The actor, along with some other celebrities, have shown their support for Gunn via social media.
Bautista was one of the first of Gunn's sympathizers, explaining in a tweet that he is "NOT ok with what's happening" to the writer/director, adding that Gunn is "one of the most loving, caring, good natured people" he has ever met, despite the fact that "he's made mistakes." Bautista is not alone in this sentiment. Hellboy's Selma Blair also stepped forward to defend him, tweeting a link to a petition urging Disney to re-hire Gunn. She captioned the link with a comment that read: "Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones."
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
Marvel: RE-HIRE JAMES GUNN - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/JeVbFZkQLL via @Change. Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones.— Selma Blair (@SelmaBlair) July 22, 2018
Other celebrities who are defending Gunn include BloodRayne director Uwe Boll, Rick and Morty's Justin Roiland, The Girl in the Spider's Web director Fede Alvarez, The Toxic Avenger director Lloyd Kaufman, Smallville star Michael Rosenbaum, and Gunn's own brother Sean Gunn, who starred in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Sean Gunn released an extensive thread of tweets detailing his "love and support" for his brother, likening the positive character arcs that the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy experience to his brother.
James Gunn shouldn’t appologize. Especially for some old tweets. WE ALL DID TWEETS OR SAID THINGS THEY WERE UNDER THE BELT AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER - THERE IS NO INNOCENT NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU PRETEND - BUT WHO GIVES A SHIT, RIGHT? @DisneyStudios @JamesGunn @MarvelStudios— Uwe Boll (@UweBollRaw) July 22, 2018
Just so I don’t have to keep typing this over and over: I’m not defending his old jokes. Only read one anyway. It’s that he was fired over OLD tweets intended as (bad) jokes... it’s a crazy concept and I’m just saying: no more R rated jar jar binks movie. Im walking. Peace.— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) July 20, 2018
Can’t believe what Disney is doing to @JamesGunn This nonsense culture of zero tolerance has to stop.— Fede Alvarez (@fedalvar) July 21, 2018
@dansmonsters Please sing it to the World!! JAMES GUNN IS THE KINDEST, MOST GENEROUS, DECENT,LOYAL & TALENTED PERSON I KNOW ! HE DESERVES ALL OF OUR SUPPORT DURING THIS HORRIBLE AND DIFFICULT TIME! I hope @JamesGunn will continue to make brilliant entertaining movies! @Troma_Team pic.twitter.com/UZmfJDpg8P— Lloyd Kaufman (@lloydkaufman) July 22, 2018
Well said friend.— Michael Rosenbaum (@michaelrosenbum) July 22, 2018
1. I hope it goes without saying that I love and support my brother James. And I'm quite proud of how kind, generous, and compassionate he is with the people in his life, whether they are friends, family, colleagues, fans, or strangers.— Sean Gunn (@seangunn) July 21, 2018
Going deeper into the reasons behind Gunn's firing, actor/comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted about the hypocrisy surrounding Mike Cernovich, the man who unearthed and released Gunn's tweets. Oswalt retweeted one of Cernovich's posts from 2012 that refers to rape, while other Twitter users have called out Cernovich for tweets and videos that include racial and homophobic slurs.
This is one of the LESS disgusting tweets from Mike Cernovich, the dude who, after running a Gamergate-style smear campaign, just got James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Okay have a good weekend. https://t.co/7DYlin1zgO— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 20, 2018
UPDATE: Many other members of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast has defended Gunn, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and more.
This divisive situation is already stirring up moral equivalencies between Gunn's tweets and the critics who may or may not have been involved in similar controversies; and as a result, this dispute doesn't show any signs of slowing down (the stronger the defense, the more determined the offense, and vice versa). So, whether Gunn's tweets end up disappearing into Hollywood's scandalous ether or inspiring more individuals to unearth damning comments made by celebrities in the past, social media is no doubt yielding to a new standard in social policing - for better or for worse.
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