Over the weekend, people outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy fandom became uncomfortably familiar with the name James Gunn (a name I personally have confused with Jame Gumb, which is an entirely different type of uncomfortable all together). James Gunn was fired by Walt Disney Studios from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after a conservative website went through his Twitter and dug up some decade-old jokes about rape and pedophilia.
Sometimes when a higher up is fired for some unsavory behavior, their former co-workers might pull an “I don’t know them.” But it’s usually circumstantial. And under these circumstances, several Guardians of the Galaxy stars have loudly come to his defense.
Dave Bautista was the first to defend James, saying he’s a good person. He recently had more to say, and blamed the situation on the alt-right.
What will you do when the #cybernazis attack you? Who will stand by you? Who will cowardly distance themselves from you? Who will punish you for horrible JOKES in the past instead of defending you for INSPIRING millions? MILLIONS!!! #Redemption #injustice @JamesGunn
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 22, 2018
Then Zoe Saldana spoke up:
It’s been a challenging weekend I’m not gonna lie. I’m pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 22, 2018
Chris Pratt followed, and we all know he’s a big fan of Jesus, so his support featured a Bible quote. No, it’s not “And Paul said: thinkest first before thy tweet a pedo joke,” because I’m pretty sure that isn’t from the Bible.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 22, 2018
James’ brother Sean Gunn (AKA the man in the motion capture suit who plays Rocket Raccoon) tweeted a long thread, explaining that his brother said some stupid things in the past, but that that’s not who he is now.
Outside of the GOTG universe, James found some support in Selma Blair. Not long after James was fired, a Change.org petition was created asking him to be re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It currently has almost 200,000 signatures. Selma Blair tweeted a link to the petition, and called James one of the “good ones.”
Marvel: RE-HIRE JAMES GUNN – Sign the Petition! https://t.co/JeVbFZkQLL via @Change. Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones.
— Selma Blair (@SelmaBlair) July 22, 2018
Oddly enough, Vin Diesel hasn’t said anything, and that’s not a joke about Groot only being able to say “I am groot.” James Gunn was reportedly in the middle of writing Guadians Vol. 3 when he got fired. I know Vin likes on-set alpha male drama, so my guess is the first words about James weren’t to defend him, but to call up Marvel and volunteer to take over writing duties. “Listen, I’ve got some ideas for the ship. Mainly, that it’s a flying 1973 Camaro with an illegal NOS kit. Also, Groot wears muscle shirts now.”