“Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Dave Bautista came out strongly in defense of James Gunn Friday after Disney fired him from his role as director of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
“I will have more to say but for right now I will say this,” Bautista, who plays Drax in both “Guardians” movies and in “Avengers: Infinity War,” wrote on Twitter. “James Gunn is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. I’m NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
Disney dismissed Gunn Friday for jokes he had made years ago on Twitter about subjects such as rape and pedophilia. Gunn apologized for the tweets of nearly a decade ago, but that didn’t stop Twitter users from dredging up the questionable and controversial jokes the director had made and bringing them to Disney’s attention.
The anti-Gunn push was started by right-wing Twitter figure Mike Cernovich, who came to prominence helping drive Twitter campaigns such as #PizzaGate, the conspiracy theory that posited Democrats were running a child sex slavery ring out of a pizza parlor, and GamerGate, which mostly harassed women in the video games and media industries.
Comedian Patton Oswalt has been vocal about Cernovich in the past on Twitter, and shared some of the reprehensible tweets and blog posts in Cernovich’s past.
This is one of the LESS disgusting tweets from Mike Cernovich, the dude who, after running a Gamergate-style smear campaign, just got James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Okay have a good weekend. https://t.co/7DYlin1zgO
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) July 20, 2018
Many others came to Gunn’s defense.
On Instagram, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” actor David Dastmalchian also shared his support for Gunn, with a post of the two together. “I’ve been saying this FOR YEARS! James Gunn is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known — both professionally & personally,” Dastmalchian wrote.
i’ve been saying this FOR YEARS! @jamesgunn is one of the most amazing people i’ve ever known – both professionally & personally. there are so many people in our lives that we would never have known without the incredible magnet of talent & goodness that is james (& his awesome partner in life, @jenniferlholland). thanks for making us a part of your family, buddy.
Justin Roiland, the creator of “Rick and Morty,” wrote “This is insane to me,” and jokes that he was cancelling a fictional R-rated Jar-Jar Binks movie he’s been developing.
Just so I don’t have to keep typing this over and over: I’m not defending his old jokes. Only read one anyway. It’s that he was fired over OLD tweets intended as (bad) jokes… it’s a crazy concept and I’m just saying: no more R rated jar jar binks movie. Im walking. Peace.
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) July 20, 2018
“Arrow” Director Lexi Alexander took an opinion that many had shared on Twitter — she didn’t support Gunn or say that he shouldn’t have been fired for his past statements, but did say that the arbitrary nature of some people being fired over their past conduct while others face little or no consequences doesn’t help anyone.
An arbitrary process with random consequences for people who are racist, misogynistic, or anyway inappropriate doesn’t help us. It gives the false impression that people don’t get away with this stuff in Hollywood, when many still do. It cannot be about popularity.
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) July 20, 2018
Gunn’s brother, actor Sean Gunn, hasn’t tweeted about the situation except to share a profile written by Buzzfeed journalist Adam B. Vary, in which Gunn talked about and took responsibility for his past actions long before his firing.
The thing about this controversy that I can't quite get over: If Disney & Marvel didn't already know about Gunn's dark output in the years before Guardians, they REALLY weren't paying attention. Gunn himself would talk about it openly. From my 2017 profile:https://t.co/A82N1IgKYX pic.twitter.com/jAQkrtgNTE
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) July 20, 2018
For his part, Gunn said in a statement Friday that he accepted Disney’s decision and took responsibility for his past remarks.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said in a statement. “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.”