Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, and several more Guardians of the Galaxy stars have spoken out following the firing of director James Gunn.
Gunn, 51, directed the first two installments of the Marvel franchise and was working on the third’s script when he was abruptly let go by Disney on Friday. The decision was prompted by the uncovering of satirical, intentionally provocative tweets of his from 2008 and 2009 on topics ranging from pedophilia and rape. In a statement, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn described “offensive attitudes and statements” that were “indefensible and inconsistent” with the studio’s values.
Gunn apologized for the tweets, calling them “wildly insensitive,” and several of the films’ cast members have since broken their silence.
“It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie,” Saldana tweeted on Sunday. “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.”
Several hours later, Pratt followed up with a quote from the Bible: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Co-star Karen Gilliam weighed in, tweeting: “Love to every single member of my GOTG family.”
Fellow cast member Dave Bautista defended Gunn, tweeting: “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.”
Meanwhile, actress Selma Blair on Twitter promoted a Change.org petition to re-hire Gunn to Marvel, which has garnered more than 190,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon. “Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving?” Blair wrote. “This man is one of the good ones.”
In a statement following his firing, Gunn said: “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.”