Just over a week after Disney cut ties with director James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast has issued a statement asking for the writer-director to be rehired for the upcoming third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
Disney made the surprise decision to fire Gunn, who helmed both Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, when a collection of controversial tweets resurfaced online. The tweets—many of which were posted nearly a decade ago, and made light of taboo subjects like rape, incest, and pedophilia—were boosted by alt-right figureheads like Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec.
Gunn himself immediately issued an apologetic statement, saying, "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."
After over a week of debate about Disney's decision to cut ties with Gunn, the Guardians cast—which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel—issued a signed statement expressing their support for the Gunn, who was in the early stages of drafting the third Guardians script.
"We fully support James Gunn," the statement reads. "We were shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten 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."
Read the full statement below:
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.