Dave Bautista, a former WWE wrestler and retired bodybuilder, has come out in defense of James Gunn after his firing from Guardians of the Galaxy 3. According to Vulture, Bautista took to Twitter to address Gunn’s firing and the question of what he’ll do if Disney decides not to bring Gunn back to the movie.
“I will do what I’m legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. It’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis. That’s just how I feel,” said Bautista.
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
Gunn, who directed the first two installments of Guardians of the Galaxy as well as Slither, The Belko Experiment, and Dawn of the Dead, was let go from the franchise after some of his old tweets surfaced. The tweets featured “an endless, gross, ‘indefensible,’ in the company’s words, a litany of sick jokes about pedophilia.” Additionally, Gunn had removed several entries on his blog that spoke about the same topics.
Though the content had been the topic of discussion for a long time, it wasn’t until alt-right acolyte Mike Cernovich brought the tweets to mainstream media’s attention, questioning “how can Disney let this man work around children?” When provoked, Cernovich said, “how do you know they are jokes?”
After his termination, Gunn issued a statement addressing his former Tweets, according to Deadline.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative. 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.”
Gunn said he understood the “business decisions” that Disney made after discovering his tweets. He added that he took “full responsibility” for his past conduct and said that the only thing he could do was offer his “heartfelt regret” and try to be a better human by being “accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful” about the statements he makes in public.
After his firing, members of the Guardians of the Galaxy cast released an open letter about Gunn’s firing, as reported by Vulture, offering their support and noting that though Gunn’s tweets were indefensible, he deserved a chance at redemption and they hoped to work with him in the future.