The Guardians of the Galaxy are rallying, not to fight Thanos, but to get Disney to reverse its decision to fire James Gunn. On Monday, 10 days after alt-right campaigners got Disney to fire the Guardians of the Galaxy director due to some truly offensive jokes he had made years before on Twitter, the cast of the Guardians movies posted a signed letter asking Disney to rehire Gunn.
The letter, which the cast simultaneously posted to their social media accounts shortly after 1:40 p.m. Eastern, was signed by stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and Michael Rooker.
“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,” the letter begins. “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 the director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.”
Disney quickly axed Gunn on July 20 after some of the same folks who propagated the Pizzagate conspiracy theory unearthed old tweets that made ugly, joking references to rape and pedophilia. (“I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am,” read one now-deleted tweet, for example). While awful, Gunn’s old Jokes — which shouldn’t have been news to Disney — were quickly spun into something much worse by mobs on social media, all in the service of getting the prominent Donald Trump critic fired and evening the score in retaliation for Roseanne Barr’s firing.
“There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial,” the Guardians’ letter reads, urging readers to “stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
More than 330,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking Disney to rehire Gunn, though fan petitions are notoriously meaningless. A coordinated revolt from all the stars of one of Disney’s blockbuster franchises might have a better chance at getting the House of Mouse to change it’s mind, though it’s far from a sure thing.
Whatever ends up happening, it’s pretty clear that Gunn’s firing is going to be the narrative surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, assuming it’s still happening. Chances are the controversy about old tweets would’ve died down by the time the movie is slotted to debut in 2020, but because Disney capitulated to the mob, every interviewer is going to have to ask the cast about Gunn’s firing, keeping the story alive and the culture war raging.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if the Twitter mobs accuse American Sniper star Bradley Cooper of enabling pedophilia because he signed this letter.