Los Angeles: "Guardians of the Galaxy" star Zoe Saldana and actor Selma Blair have come forward in support of James Gunn, who was fired from the Marvel threequel after a series of old offensive tweets made by the director resurfaced on social media.
Saldana, who plays Gamora in the MCU, took to Twitter and without mentioning Gunn simply stated that loves "ALL members of GOTG family".
"It's been a challenging weekend I'm not gonna lie. I'm pausing myself to take everything in before I speak out of term. I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will," she wrote.
Blair, who is friend of the sacked filmmaker, shared the link to the online petition asking Walt Disney Co to rehire him. "Because if people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones," she wrote.
Star Lord/ Peter Quill actor Chris Pratt, who evaded questions related to Gunn during a Q&A session round for "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" at San Diego Comic-Con initially, shared a cryptic message on Twitter with a Bible verse, the prayer hands and heart emojis. "'Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.' JAMES 1:19," Pratt tweeted.
Gunn's brother, Sean, who stars as Kraglin in the Guardians franchise, came to his defense, urging fans to still "appreciate" the films despite his director brother formerly being "kind of a jacka**".
"So I guess my hope is that fans continue to watch and appreciate the Guardians movies, not despite the fact that the filmmaker used to be kind of a jacka**, but because of it. They are, after all, movies about discovering your best self. Working on those movies made my brother a better person, and they made me one too. I'm proud of that. Peace," Gunn wrote in a lengthy post on social media.
Dave Bautista, who was the first one from the Guardians team to come to the director's defence, claimed the unearthing of Gunn's old tweets was a "cyber attack".
"What happened here is so much bigger then G3, @JamesGunn, myself, @Disney etc. This was a #cybernazi attack that succeeded. Unless we start to unite together against this crap, whether people are offended are not! ... It's going to get much worse. And it can happen to anyone," Bautista wrote.
In the old tweets, screenshots of which are available online, the 51-year-old director cracked crude jokes dealing with pedophilia and rape. The screenshots of Gunn's tweets, which ranged from 2009 through 2012, were shared by a conservative website The Daily Caller.
After being fired, the filmmaker also issued a statement where he "regretted" the tweets and stressed that "they don't reflect the person I am today".
Gunn was in the middle of writing the script for the third film, which was scheduled to begin shooting in Atlanta in the fall for a 2020 release date.
The petition, titled 'RE-HIRE JAMES GUNN' on website change.Org was started by a Chandler Edwards, has gained over 140,000 signatures in Gunn's support.