On Friday, we wrote about the firing of director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, following the unearthing of decade-old tweets in which the writer-director made light of issues such as pedophilia and rape. It was clear then that this was going to be a developing story for quite a while, and that proved very accurate. All weekend long, famous figures in Hollywood weighed in (or dodged) the issue in various forms of public statements, and when the dust cleared, it seems like support for Gunn is actually very strong, especially among those he’s worked with in the past. The most clear indication of that support? A petition started by fellow director Joe Carnahan (The Grey) that has as of Monday morning amassed more than 170,000 signatures, requesting that Gunn be re-hired for the third Guardians film in Marvel’s MCU. As Carnahan writes:
I’m smart enough to know this most likely won’t change anything but hopefully, this could get Disney to realize the mistake they made and not do it again in the future.
I agree on the point that if people say a bunch of stupid shit while working for a studio, the studio has full right to fire him over the possible controversy. This situation is very different though as he made these jokes years before he was working for Disney and also the fact that they were jokes. I agree with most, including Gunn himself that the jokes were shitty and un-funny but they were still jokes, it wasn’t an opinion or a statement, it was just a bad attempt at being funny.
The other thing is if you do this to Gunn you have to do it for all the other directors who have said some crappy joke sometime in their life, which is all of them, cause I doubt there’s one human on this planet who hasn’t made a shitty joke once or twice in there life. If Marvel would come to their senses and re-hire Gunn that would be great but if all we can do is have proof by your signatures that Disney made a mistake i would still count that as a win.
We happen to agree with some of these points, such as the fact that Gunn’s “jokes” from years ago were in no way amusing, and it’s really no surprise that a company like Disney would fire him for them. However, it’s likely also true that no other director would do as good a job on Guardians 3 as Gunn, the man who has shepherded the series into becoming one of Marvel’s biggest and most critically acclaimed franchises. For his part, Gunn has already apologized for the statements he made on Twitter in the late 2000’s, so it’s not as if there’s much more he can do.
Check out some of the other responses to Gunn’s firing below, from the likes of Dave Bautista, who of course plays Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians series.