Last week, Disney fired Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn over a series of tasteless jokes he posted on his Twitter years ago. People were understandably upset. It was well-known that the spread of these tweets and the ensuing campaign to get Gunn fired were orchestrated by conservative trolls, including Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich, and Disney’s willingness to cave sets a bad precedent to say the least. Over the weekend, fans and friends of Gunn made it clear that they were not going to let his dismissal occur without protest.
Michael Rooker, who played Yondu in the Guardians series and formed a close relationship with Gunn over the course of the production, has deleted his Twitter account in solidarity, presumably because the social media platform helps facilitate the kind of fake outrage campaigns that got Gunn fired. “This account will be inactive after today. We’re very tired & upset over the ongoing bullshit,” Rooker wrote in his final post. “Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it. Thank you to all who gave kind words and support. See you on Instagram.”
The remaining Guardians cast members shared their own varying messages of support, with Dave Bautista being the most outspoken about the dangers of what he calls a “cybernazi attack.”
Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan avoided getting into the specifics of the situation but made it clear that they love and supports “all members” of the Guardians family. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt shared a Bible passage just vague enough that we’re not even totally sure it’s about this whole James Gunn thing.
Gunn’s brother, Sean, who plays Yondu’s first mate Kraglin in Guardians, shared a lengthy post on Instagram and Twitter, which detailed his firsthand experience witnessing his brother evolve from a “guy who made things up to shock people” to a genuinely kind and passionate human being.
The only people more vocal in their support than the cast have been the fans. A Change.org petition to rehire James Gunn has garnered more than 200,000 signatures. While the creator of the petition admits to knowing it “most likely won’t change anything,” it, at the very least, shows Disney that they’ve mistakenly kowtowed to a vocal minority while ignoring their much larger, and financially committed fan base.
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