Last week, a number of years-old comments made by James Gunn, in which the writer/director made off-color jokes about topics including rape and pedophilia, surfaced online. Though Gunn apologized for his comments, it was announced the next day that Disney had severed all business ties with him, including his current job writing and directing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
While Gunn subsequently released a statement in which he took full responsibility for his comments, and that he accepted and understood Disney’s actions, one of his GotG stars has a different stance. Dave Bautista, who portrays Drax in the popular Marvel franchise, released a brief statement on Twitter last night in support of his friend and director. What’s more, he blatantly condemns the decision to fire him.
“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this,” Bautista tweeted. “@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”
Gunns comments had been pulled from the filmmaker’s now-deactivated website, were shared on Twitter by supporters of President Trump, and broadcast to a wider audience by alt-right provocateur and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who used them to bolster his claims of a “pedo network operating in Hollywood.” (“It’s still 3 am in California,” he wrote. “Disney is for an interesting day, as is San Diego Comicon, where James Gunn is scheduled to speak this afternoon.”)
Later in the afternoon, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn release a statement this afternoon, saying, “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”
Gunn had recently completed a draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which had been expected to begin filming in January in Atlanta, in time for a 2020 release.
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