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The entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast is asking for James Gunn to be reinstated as Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 director after he was fired by Disney earlier this month due to controversial Twitter jokes he shared nearly a decade ago.
"To our fans and friends: We fully support James Gunn," the open letter reads in part, which is signed by Pratt, Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista and more. "We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these 10 days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we've been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him."
"Being in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been a great honor in each of our lives," the letter continues. "We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. He character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now. Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over – not by a long shot."
Pratt shared the message on Instagram on Monday, writing, "Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3. If you please, read the following statement- signed by our entire cast."
Bautista, who previously tweeted his support for Gunn, tweeted on Monday, "#IStandWithJamesGunn #RehireJamesGunn #WeAreGroot."
Gunn spoke out about his firing shortly after Disney made the decision. Gunn's controversial tweets were resurfaced by conservative pundits and the website Daily Caller, and included crude jokes about pedophilia and rape.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," he said in a statement to ET. "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."
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today," he added. "Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
For more on the controversy, watch the video below.
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Chris Pratt Tweets Cryptic Message Amid James Gunn Fallout as Zoe Saldana Weighs In
Sean Gunn Weighs In on Brother James Gunn's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' Firing