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Guardians of the Galaxy Cast Releases Letter Supporting James Gunn

Where do you stand on James Gunn's firing?

attends the European launch event of Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." at the Eventim Apollo on April 24, 2017 in London, England.

In the week or so following James Gunn’s controversial tweets coming to light and Disney opting to remove him from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, there has been an outpouring of support from both fans and celebrities for the director. Today, an open letter signed by the entire cast of the Guardians franchise was released, detailing their support for Gunn and asking for his reinstatement.

The letter reads as follows:

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 Guardians of the Galaxy

While the letter supports Gunn, the cast members also say that they hope this is a lesson for us all about thinking before putting words out into the digital space. Gunn deleted his tweets, but they still found a way back. Ergo, it’s important to think before you tweet, or do anything that would put the words out there, permanently, online. Personally, I’m glad the cast decided to include that message, as it’s one of the most important takeaways from this entire situation, as well as the message that harmful words, even if they seem funny to you at the time, have real consequences.

At this point, Disney is stuck between a rock and a hard place. To rehire Gunn would draw a lot more of the attention and ire Disney was trying to avoid, but to not listen to the fans, and the cast themselves, would also show a lack of consideration for where this really came from. There is also no denying that these tweets were dug up by a right-wing conspiracy to discredit a vocally political man. Gunn’s jokes were deeply harmful, but he has apologized for them already on multiple occasions. We’re faced with a test here: Should this be the punishment for what he’s tweeted about and the harm it has caused survivors, or should the outcome be based on the fact that this was part of a disingenuous smear campaign?

It all comes down to how you view Gunn and his apologies. The Guardians cast has come forward to vouch for him while still calling out his grosser behavior. They speak of the themes of redemption in the Guardians films as being more relevant than ever. Maybe Gunn will receive the redemption the cast thinks he deserves. Maybe he’ll resume making smaller, indie sci-fi and genre hits. It’s hard to say where things will go from here.

Do you think Gunn should be reinstated? Let us know in the comments.

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.