Earlier this month, Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn was fired from the franchise after nearly decade-old problematic tweets were resurfaced by conservative pundits. According to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, Gunn's tweets were "indefensible and inconsistent with [Walt Disney Studios'] values," leading to the severing of the studio's business relationship with the director. Now, in their open letter, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy has made it clear that they want Gunn rehired.
The letter, which was shared on star Chris Pratt's Instagram and signed by Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker and Pom Klementieff, reveals how the cast felt upon learning that the man who wrote and directed Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 and vol 2. was booted from the third film in the franchise.
The letter opens with:
"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 have 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."
Following his firing, Gunn expressed his regret over the inappropriate tweets, which made light of topics like rape and pedophilia. Gunn apologized for the tweets for the first time in 2012, six years before he would be fired for them. Representation for Gunn did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.
The cast notes that the story of Guardians of the Galaxy is about redemption, which, to them, Gunn deserves.
"In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe that the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now."
The cast also notes in the letter that Gunn will not be the "last good person" put "on trial" in the court of public opinion, and adds:
"Given the growing political 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," the letter reads.
Other people who have come to Gunn's defense include actress Selma Blair who, over the weekend, quit Twitter in solidarity with the director.
A petition on Change.org also calls for the franchise to rehire Gunn. Currently, the petition has over 300,000 signatures.