Guardians Of The Galaxy's Dave Bautista "Not OK" With James Gunn's Firing
"He's made mistakes. We all have."
Last night it was reported that writer/director James Gunn has been fired from the upcoming Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 by Disney, following the resurfacing of tweets he made several years ago. Now his Guardians star Dave Bautista has weighed in on the subject. [Update: Hellboy star Selma Blair has also spoken out to defend Gunn, as has the broader Guardians cast.]
Bautista, who plays Drax in the Guardians movies, took to Twitter to comment that he was not happy with the decision to remove Gunn as writer and director of Vol.3. The actor stated that he would have more to say on the subject at a later date, but defended Gunn as "one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met." Read his full tweet below:
I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 21, 2018
The tweets that led to Gunn's dismissal date back almost a decade, and saw the director joking about topics like pedophilia and rape. They resurfaced online via conservative website The Daily Caller, and Disney were quick to sever ties with him. In a statement, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said, "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
Gunn offered a subsequent statement in which he took responsibility for the tweets and accepted Disney's decision. "My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," his statement read. "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. 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."
The news emerged in the midst of San Diego Comic-Con 2018, where Marvel was not expected to have any major announcements. Gunn himself was set to appear at SDCC on Friday during the Sony Pictures panel to promote a new project, but Sony subsequently pulled this announcement from its schedule.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had been set for release in 2020, though Gunn's removal could affect that. The events of Avengers: Infinity War stand to have a potential impact on the film, though Avengers 4--due out next year--could always make further changes. Without saying how, Gunn had previously teased that Guardians 3 would be "very different."
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