Gunn was removed from the upcoming Marvel movie after right-wing activists dug up some controversial – and “indefensible” – tweets that the director wrote several years ago.
James Gunn – who directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films – was recently fired from the franchise after several controversial tweets by the filmmaker were resurfaced by right-wing activists.
Almost 10 years old, the tweets include crude jokes about paedophilia and rape.
“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,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
Gunn later released a statement of his own, which read: “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. I have regretted them for many years since – not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
The director continued: “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. Love to all.”
Now, Zoe Saldana – who plays Gamora in the Guardians franchise – has responded to the news of Gunn’s firing on Twitter.
“It’s been a challenging weekend, I’m not gonna lie,” she wrote. “I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term.”
The actress added: “I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.”
It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 22, 2018
Chris Pratt, who stars alongside Saldana in the films as Peter ‘Starlord’ Quill, has not directly referenced the controversy. However, he has tweeted out a bible verse from the book of James that deals with the issue.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger,” he posted.
“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
“If people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving?” asked Blair in a tweet.
“This man is one of the good ones.”
In the tweet, Blair linked to a Change.org petition that has over 148,000 signatures asking Disney to reinstate Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is slated for a 2020 release.
Blair has previously credited Gunn as one of the men who persuaded her to step forward last year and speak out against sexual abuse in Hollywood and about Toback’s harassment of her in 1998.
“I thank you for your talent, your decency and your evolution as a man,” she said at the time.
“You propped me up when I was in a scary place, and guided me towards the decent and right thing to do. You have shown strength of character more than most anyone I know. You understood.”