Writer-director James Gunn's firing over years-old offensive tweets has prompted Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker to quit Twitter. Gunn was let go by Disney on Friday after a number of his tweets, all posted before he went to work on the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, resurfaced and touched off a firestorm.
Gunn later apologized for the tweets, characterizing them as failed attempts at humor, and insisting he's grown as a person in the intervening years. Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista defended Gunn, and later more cast members also spoke out in favor of the embattled director, including Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt. As of Sunday afternoon, a fan petition calling for Disney to re-hire Gunn had garnered over 65,000 signatures.
In another demonstration of solidarity with the ousted Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker said on Monday that he is quitting Twitter (via CBR). Rooker briefly posted tweets explaining his decision before deleting his account, leading to the tweets also disappearing. The actor's now-deleted statement read in part:
This account will be inactive after today. We're very tired & upset over the ongoing BULLS--T… neither I nor my rep will use Twitter again. Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it. Thank you to all who gave kind words & support. See you on Instagram.
Rooker first worked with Gunn on the director's 2006 horror movie Slither, then reunited with him for the 2010 action comedy Super, the film that more than any other led to Gunn being hired by Disney to adapt Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy into a film. Gunn brought Rooker aboard Guardians as the Ravagers leader Yondu, the man responsible for kidnapping Chris Pratt's Peter Quill. Rooker returned as Yondu for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and played an even bigger part, becoming a focal point of the plot.
Though Gunn has received plenty of condemnation for his old tweets, many of which referenced rape and pedophilia, he has also received an outpouring of support not just from Guardians of the Galaxy cast members but the movie industry at large. With Gunn at the head of Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, the films grossed $1.6 billion worldwide. Shortly before his firing, Gunn had completed work on a draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which reportedly would be set after the apocalyptic events of this year's Avengers: Infinity War. Disney has thus far given no word on who might take over writing and directing chores on the third Guardians film now that Gunn has been fired.
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- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date:
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019