These days, your tweets and comments can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. Such was the lesson learned by director James Gunn, who found himself fired by Disney after successfully helming two chapters of the acclaimed Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise. The incident, which shocked nearly all of the film’s major stars, was brought on after a far right-wing (dubbed “alt” by certain publications) journalist unearthed a few of Gunn’s old tweets, taken from an era where extreme gallows humor was not met with such an intense spotlight. Were his jokes in poor taste? That is for you to decide. Yet the idea that decade-old tweets can be used as grounds for present-day termination sets an alarming precedent indeed.
Though some attempted to rationalize Disney’s decision, many labelled the move as “knee-jerk,” soured all the more after the aforementioned right-wing journalist caught an uncontested dub. The internet came alive with voices crying out in support of Gunn, including the Guardians themselves, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel. Alongside cast-mates Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillian and Pom Klementieff, the actors penned a powerful open letter, citing one of the film’s major themes – redemption – as a rallying point.
Chris Pratt shared the letter on his Instagram page, and while he prefaced that he did not support Gunn’s jokes, he stands behind him nonetheless. Together, it seems as if they hope their words can sway Disney to reinstate Gunn, so that the director can finish what he helped start on Guardians 3. Read the powerful letter below.