Disney fires James Gunn: More celebs rally behind him

By PTI Published on Jul 24, 2018 04:30 PM IST

Los Angeles: Micheal Rooker, Pom Klementieff and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait are the latest Hollywood stars to come forward in defence of James Gunn, who was fired from directing third "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.

The 51-year-old filmmaker was sacked from the third film in the Marvel franchise after a series of old offensive tweets made by him were shared by a right wing website over the weekend.

Rooker, who played Yondu in Gunn's film, said he was quitting Twitter over the brouhaha. "This account will be inactive after today. We're very tired and upset over the ongoing BULLS**T, neither I nor my rep will use Twitter again. Twitter sucks and I want nothing to do with it. Thank you to all who gave kind words and support. See you on Instagram," he wrote.

Klementieff, who plays Mantis in the film, shared a video of a note penned by her, which reads, "We are Groot. We are a family. We stand together."

In an lengthy Instagram post, Goldthwait asked Disney to remove his voice from its theme parks to protest his "loyal friend" Gunn's firing. "Dear @disney, I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I'm suggesting that you remove my voice from an attraction that's coming to your park. It's called WORLD OF COLOR - VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES," he wrote.

Citing his example, the comic said years ago he had made "a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes," of which he is today embarrassed about and that, like Gunn, he is also an open critic of the Trump administration.

"I'd hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I'm openly critical of the President and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters. I think James Woods may have recorded a voice for this new attraction, too. Why not check out some of his whacky past tweets?! They're a hoot! For the record, I do stand with survivors of sexual abuse and I was wondering if you guys are still making money off of your movie POWDER? Asking for a friend," Goldthwait added.

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 248,00 signatures in Gunn's support. The director's firing is seen by many as a retaliation by the right wing groups for Roseanne Barr's sacking from the eponymous TV show for her alleged racist comments. Film's lead stars including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista have stood beside the director.