Guardians Of The Galaxy Cast Post Open Letter, "Fully Supports" James Gunn
"We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support and gratitude for James."
Just over a week after Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn following a series of offensive tweets, his cast have posted an open letter to social media in his defence.
The cast has now asked the studio to re-hire Gunn to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"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."
"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 statement reads.
"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."
The letter is signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, Dave Bautista and Gunn's brother Sean.
Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel series, was quick to step up and defend the director's tweets, calling the campaign to take the director down a
Bautista is partly referencing the campaign, driven by alt-right figure Mike Cernovich, who circulated Gunn's tweets in what many have seen as a "revenge" for Gunn's vocal criticism of US President Donald Trump.
The open letter also references "the growing political divide in [the United States]", claiming Gunn will likely not be the last person "put on trial".
"We hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponising mob mentality," the cast wrote.
Sean Gunn also tweeted about his brother's character in the wake of his firing, and actress Selma Blair -- who removed herself from Twitter this weekend after her support was met with criticism.
A petition was also set up in support of the director, asking Disney to re-hire him. With a goal of 500,000 signatures, the petition currently has over 340,000.