(CBSLA) — The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ cast is demanding Disney rehire director James Gunn, ten days after he was fired over renewed attention to old tweets containing jokes about pedophilia and rape.
All of the lead actors involved in the extremely popular superhero franchise signed an open letter posted in unison this morning, including Chris Pratt (“Star-Lord”), Zoe Saldana (“Gamora”), Dave Bautista (“Drax”), Bradley Cooper (“Rocket”), Vin Diesel (“Groot”), Karen Gillan (“Nebula”), Pom Klementieff (“Mantis”), Michael Rooker (“Yondu”) and the director’s brother Sean Gunn (“Kraglin”).
Gunn is a staunch critic of President Trump, and his supporters dredged up the old tweets that led to Gunn’s firing. The letter criticizes the “growing political divide in this country” and alludes to “outlandish conspiracy theories” surrounding the old tweets, for which Gunn has repeatedly apologized, calling them tasteless jokes.
Disney has yet to comment on the open letter. Read it in its entirety below:
“To our fans and friends:
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. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.
Being in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies has been a great honor in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support and gratitude for James. 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 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. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.
Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over – not by a long shot.
There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. Given the growing politcial divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.
It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realize the enormous responsibility we have to ourselves and to each other regarding the use of our written words when we etch them in digital stone; that we as a society may learn from this experience and in the future will think twice before we decide what we want to express; and in so learning perhaps can harness this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other. Thank you for taking the time to read our words.
The Guardians of the Galaxy,
[signed] Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker”