“Guardians of the Galaxy” star Dave Bautista has repeatedly criticized Disney’s decision to fire James Gunn, and on Sunday he went further, tweeting that it’s “pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.”
Bautista’s latest comment came in response to a fan question about working on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” without Gunn’s involvement. The Drax the Destroyer actor says he’ll continue to fulfill his contractual obligations, but doing so without Gunn at the helm is “not what I signed up for.”
“I will do what Im legally obligated to do but ‘Guardians’ without James Gunn is not what I signed up for,” Bautista wrote. “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ without James Gunn just isn’t ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ It’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists cybernazis. That’s just how I feel.”
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
Bautista has previously referred to the people behind the campaign to get Gunn fired as “cybernazis” in tweets, and wrote that the same sort of campaign against Gunn “can happen to anyone.”
Disney fired Gunn in July after far-right media personality Mark Cernovich and his followers unearthed tweets, written by Gunn nearly a decade earlier, in which the director made jokes about pedophilia and rape, as well as an old blog post he wrote after the DC character Batwoman was revealed to be gay. The tweets and comments previously came to light in 2012, just after Gunn was hired to direct the first “Guardians” film, and Gunn issued an apology for them at the time.
However, this time Disney said in a statement from Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn that the jokes were “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.”
Nine days after he was fired, the cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” including Bautista, issued an open letter in favor of Gunn and asking for the director’s reinstatement to the franchise.
“In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever,” the letter reads. “We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Sean Gunn, James Gunn’s brother, said the “Guardians” movies made his brother “a better person” for his involvement in them.
In his tweets, Bautista was referring to Mike Cernovich and his followers, who dug through Gunn’s Twitter history to find his old tweets and bring them to Disney’s attention. Bautista and others believe Gunn was targeted by the alt-right for his public criticisms of Donald Trump, and that Disney caved to pressure from extremists who aren’t actually offended by Gunn’s words, but just wanted to see him fired.
Cernovich first rose to prominence as a figure in the “GamerGate” online campaign that was most prominently aimed at women video game developers and journalists. He became a national figure for his involvementpopularizing the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that members of the Democratic party ran a child sex ring out of the basement of a Washington D.C. pizza parlor.