Chris Pratt has called for James Gunn to be reinstated as director of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3.
Gunn was sacked by Marvel Studios’ parent company Disney after it emerged he had made controversial jokes about rape and paedophilia over Twitter between 2008 and 2011.
A Disney spokesperson has since described the comments as being ‘indefensible’ and ‘inconsistent with our studio’s values’.
However, various members of the Guardians Of The Galaxy cast are sticking by the writer and director, and have expressed their hopes of working with him again.
According to the BBC, tweets made by Gunn included ‘I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.’
Another tweet read:
The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like, ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’
Taking to Instagram, Chris shared a statement of support for Gunn, signed by himself, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan and Bradley Cooper.
Alongside the statement, Chris wrote the following caption:
Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man.
I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3. If you please, read the following statement- signed by our entire cast.
The statement opened by discussing the actors’ shared shock over the sudden firing:
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 honour 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.
If you please, read the statement written and signed by The Guardians of the Galaxy cast in support of James Gunn’s reinstatement as director of GOTG Volume 3. pic.twitter.com/TjNA9RF6M8
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 30, 2018
Y'all defending James Gunn, like… You know that the same thing would've happened at literally ANY other company right? If someone's boss catches them saying disgusting things online, it's absolutely their right to fire that employee. James isn't being "targeted" so stfu
— amber (@lokiodinbitch) August 1, 2018
Hey James. I feel like in time they will reinstate you. Fingers crossed. I don’t feel like every past comment from years ago should be grounds for dismissal. Everyone is on notice now. You deserve a fresh start and a clean slate. And i bias bc you make great films??♂️
— Mike Colter (@realmikecolter) August 1, 2018
The statement continued to discuss the theme of redemption, drawing from the plot of the popular film franchise:
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.
The statement then concluded by criticising the ‘court of public opinion’:
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 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 weaponising mob mentality.
It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realise 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 the capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other.
Thank you for taking the time to read our words.
I have the same opinion on Cedric Alexander's 6 year old tweets as I did James Gunn's 10 year old tweets.
Human being's grow and change.
They were immature, offensive jokes told many many years ago.
Let that shit go.
— Thunder Moon (@ThunderKobra) July 31, 2018
disney made the right decision in firing james gunn. he tweeted thousands of harmful jokes about the abuse of children, disney’s target audience. it may have been years ago, but at the age of 40, he should’ve known better. #NoPedophiliainMCU
— incorrect stevebucky (@incorrectstucky) July 31, 2018
The tweets resurfaced after alt-right blogger and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich brought them to the public’s attention in a campaign against critics of President Trump, The Guardian reports.
Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon and The Daily Show presenter Trevor Noah have also been targeted for jokes they have previously made.
Gunn has addressed his dismissal in a public statement of his own, and has apologised for the tweets.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence or if you’re worried about somebody else, you can contact Victim Support or call 08 08 16 89 111.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.