Dave Bautista, Others Defend James Gunn: ‘I Am NOT OK With What’s Happening’

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor backed the series’ director after Disney fired him for offensive tweets he sent years ago

Last Updated: July 21, 2018 @ 9:08 PM

“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.”

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.”