Monday 20 August 2018

Selma Blair adds name to list of stars speaking out in support of James Gunn following Guardians firing

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said Gunn's tweets were indefensible.

James Gunn has been fired by Walt Disney Studios (Ian West/PA)
James Gunn has been fired by Walt Disney Studios (Ian West/PA)

Bang Showbiz

Selma Blair is the latest star to speak out in support of James Gunn, urging fans to sign a petition to have Disney re-hire the director.

The 51-year-old filmmaker - who wrote and directed the first two installments of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' film series - has been booted from the helm of the upcoming third movie by Walt Disney studios after offensive social media posts he had made in the past resurfaced online.

Now the 'Cruel Intentions' star has lent her support to the director by sharing a link to a Change.org petition.

She tweeted: "Marvel: RE-HIRE JAMES GUNN - Sign the Petition! https://chn.ge/2JIuUrB  via @Change. 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.(sic)"

(L-R) Writer/director James Gunn, actors Chris Pratt, Anna Faris and Jennifer Holland at The World Premiere of Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA April 19th, 2017 (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney)
(L-R) Writer/director James Gunn, actors Chris Pratt, Anna Faris and Jennifer Holland at The World Premiere of Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA April 19th, 2017 (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney)

At the time of writing, the petition has already attracted almost 170,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, a number of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' stars have also voiced their support for the ousted director.

Director James Gunn, left, laughs with American actor Chris Pratt during a media conference of
Director James Gunn, left, laughs with American actor Chris Pratt during a media conference of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Addressing his firing, Chris Pratt, 39, tweeted a praying hands and heart emoji and wrote: "'Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters. Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. JAMES 1:19'"

His co-star Zoe Saldana, 40, admitted it had been "challenging", and while she hinted at commenting in more detail on the issue in the future but still voiced her support for Gunn.

She tweeted: "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."

Dave Bautista has also promised to address the subject at length, but in the meantime, he told fans he isn't "OK" with the behind-the-scenes change.

He tweeted: "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"

'Ant-Man' actor David Dastmalchian didn't address the controversy but has also lend his support to the director of his 2016 horror-thriller 'The Belko Experiment'.

He shared a photo of them together and wrote on Instagram: "i've been saying this FOR YEARS! @jamesgunn is one of the most amazing people i've ever known - both professionally & personally. there are so many people in our lives that we would never have known without the incredible magnet of talent & goodness that is james (& his awesome partner in life, @jenniferlholland). thanks for making us a part of your family, buddy. (sic)"

Comic Rufus Hound called out Walt Disney Studios for their decision to fire Gunn for his previous actions.

He tweeted: "Disney, your stories are so often about redemption. To fire James Gunn for jokes made as a younger man, jokes for which he has already apologized, goes against the moral code you taught us all when we were kids. No sense in cutting loose a good man. I urge you - rehire him."

Gunn previously issued his own statement on the incident, where he apologised for the comments he made in the past.

He wrote on Twitter: "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo. As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humor. It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago; today I try to root my work in love and connection and less in anger. My days saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over.

"In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn't living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it. Anyway, that's the completely honest truth: I used to make a lot of offensive jokes. I don't anymore. I don't blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today. Love you to you all."

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