On Friday, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired from the third chapter of the film franchise after a series of offensive tweets from nearly a decade ago resurfaced. However, some fans aren't taking Gunn's departure lying down.
Since Gunn's firing, a fan petition was launched on Change.org, and it under 24 hours, over 1oo,000 signatures have already been racked up.
"I'm smart enough to know this most likely won't change anything but hopefully, this could get Disney to realize the mistake they made and not do it again in the future," the petition reads. "...If Marvel would come to their senses and re-hire Gunn that would be great but if all we can do is have proof by your signatures that Disney made a mistake i would still count that as a win."
Gunn’s comments were uncovered by alt-right extremists, who took aim Thursday at the outspoken liberal filmmaker. Their cause was quickly picked up by alt-right provocateur and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who viewed them as confirmation of the belief that there is a “pedo network operating in Hollywood.”
Gunn apologized for the comments in a series of tweets posted Thursday night, writing, “ Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. It’s not to say I’m better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.”
Gunn had recently completed his first draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was slated to begin filming in January in Atlanta for a 2020 release. However, Marvel Studios had yet to officially announce a release date, and it’s unclear at this time how Gunn’s firing will affect plans for the sequel.