The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy franchise issued a joint statement Monday showing their full support and expressing that Disney rehire James Gunn to direct the third film following after several tweets surfaced showing the director joking about child rape, pedophilia, and the Holocaust.
“We fully support James Gunn,” reads the statement signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and other cast members. “We were all 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.”
“His story isn’t over — not by a long shot,” the statement says. “There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”
James Gunn was part of the social media mob justifying ABC’s decision to fire Roseanne Barr earlier this year.
In May Gunn wrote, “I wish some of these so-called defenders of liberty would start to understand what freedom of speech is AND isn’t. Roseanne is allowed to say whatever she wants. It doesn’t mean @ABCNetwork needs to continue funding her TV show if her words are considered abhorrent.”
The cast statement, like most of the media coverage of Gunn’s post over the last 10 days, doesn’t mention Gunn’s relationship with Huston Huddleston, a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty this year to possession of child pornography. In September of 2010, Gunn posted a video on his personal blog titled “100 Pubescent Girls Touch Themselves” and added the following comment:
Huston Huddleston posted this video on my Facebook page with the note “I thought you’d appreciate this.” My response: “Appreciate it?!! I just came all over my own face!!”
The video is apparently of a chorus of underage girls singing Divinyls’ ode to masturbation, ”I Touch Myself.”
Gunn deleted is blog hours after his rape tweets went viral. But the blog was archived on the Wayback Machine. Gunn has yet to address his connection to Huddleston or the video posted to his blog.
Among the more disturbing tweets Gunn posted include him saying in 2009: “The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like ‘whew this feels great, not being raped!’”
“I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am,” Gunn wrote referencing the group for pedophiles.
In a statement last week, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn called Gunn’s tweets “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values,” and said the studio “severed our business relationship with him.”
A petition urging Disney bring back Gun has received more than 336,000 signatures.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson