More than a week after Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn in light of the unearthing of crude, offensive jokes made by the director years ago, several of the series' biggest stars have made a public show of support. If you're keen on the future of the MCU or even just pop culture in general, you're likely to see the following letter floating about on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites:
#IStandWithJamesGunn #RehireJamesGunn #WeAreGroot pic.twitter.com/w3uh61hd78July 30, 2018
And in case you're having trouble with the font size, here's a full transcription:
"To our fans and friends:
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 honor 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. 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.
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 weaponizing mob mentality.
It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realize 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 this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other. Thank you for taking the time to read our words."
The letter is co-signed by Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket), Vin Diesel (voice of Groot), James' brother Sean Gunn (Rocket mo-cap / Kraglin), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), and Michael Rooker (Yondu).
While the letter never directly calls for Gunn to be reinstated as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (though there's a Change.org petition for that), it's nonetheless a definite push back - albeit a respectful one - against Disney's decision to remove Gunn from the upcoming film.
Wondering why was James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Read our report for statements from both Gunn and Disney.