In the weeks since Disney fired James Gunn after offensive, years-old comments he made about pedophilia and rape were unearthed by right-wing detractors, the Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director has received an outpouring of support from peers and audiences alike, with the main cast of the films penning an open letter calling for his reinstatement as writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Now, several days removed from the letter being posted online, another Guardians star has come to Gunn's defense: Ego actor Kurt Russell.
Speaking with Variety, Russell described Gunn's firing as sad, and expressed his desire for Gunn to be forgiven for his actions. "It's sad. But it's a part of our fabric now and I get it," Russell said. "But I do think we're getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people."
"You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something which led him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy," Russell continued. "He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven."
Russell's comments echo those of Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld who questioned "what happened to forgiveness" in his response to Gunn's dismissal. Hellboy alum Selma Blair also expanded on her stance following her departure from Twitter in defense of Gunn stating that "nuance matters more than people think."
While Gunn has received support from many of his peers, audiences are also going to bat for the writer/director, with a Change.org petition requesting that Disney reinstate him for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 garnering over 366,000 signatures. Disney, for their part, has remained quiet since severing all ties with Gunn.