The SDCC weekend started off bittersweet after news came out that Disney had fired James Gunn from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. An online petition has now gone up to get Gunn back on the helm of the project, and over 100,000 people have signed on for it.
Last Friday, Disney revealed in a statement that Gunn was fired over some really old tweets he put up that were meant to joke about sensitive issues like AIDS and pedophilia. Disney’s statement reads:
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
It’s worth noting that Gunn had apologized for these tweets and had taken them down before he even started working for Disney, but a certain Mike Cernovich was said to have brought them up again—resulting in Disney terminating their business with Gunn.
This is a part of Gunn’s release statement after Disney gave him the boot:
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative… I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”
Some people are convinced that this was a smear campaign on Gunn’s reputation, seeing that he is one of the more vocal critics of the current political climate.
A lot of people have come to Gunn’s defense on the matter, including Guardians actor Dave Bautista as well as comedians Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black. Rufus Hound also posted up this plea for Disney which I think perfectly voices why Gunn should never have been fired in the first place:
“Disney, your stories are so often about redemption… To fire James Gunn for jokes made as a younger man, jokes for which he has already apologized, goes against the moral code you taught us all when we were kids. No sense in cutting loose a good man. I urge you – rehire him.”
With Marvel gearing up for Phase 4 of the MCU, Gunn was supposed to be the one to set the tone for the rest of the upcoming movies. With him gone, we don’t know how much of Marvel’s original plan has fallen apart. Gunn has delivered two fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy films, and I think it would be a damn shame if he doesn’t get to finish the trilogy that he started.
If you want to show your support for Gunn, you can sign the petition to re-hire him here.