Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista has come to the defense of franchise writer-director James Gunn after the filmmaker was fired over resurfaced offensive tweets. On Thursday, Walt Disney Company chairman Alan Horn said in a statement that the company had severed ties with Gunn because of “offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed” which were deemed “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.” In the tweets, Gunn made jokes and deliberately provocative statements about a range of controversial subjects, including pedophilia and rape. The filmmaker directed both 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and was writing the script for the third entry in the franchise.
On Friday evening, Bautista 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.”
Bautista played the character of the alien Drax the Destroyer in both Guardians films as well as this year’s Avengers: Infinity War, on which Gunn was an executive producer.
Ant-Man and the Wasp actor David Dastmalchian also showed his support for Gunn. “i’ve been saying this FOR YEARS! @jamesgunn is one of the most amazing people i’ve ever known – both professionally & personally,” Dastmalchian wrote on Instagram alongside a photograph of the actor, Gunn, and Ant-Man franchise director Peyton Reed. “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.”
Dastmalchian appeared in 2016’s Gunn-penned horror-thriller The Belko Experiment.
Disney’s severing of ties with Gunn occurred shortly after conservative pundits publicized the relevant tweets by the director on social media. Gunn has repeatedly criticized President Trump on Twitter.
A rep for Gunn released a statement to EW after Disney announced its decision.
“My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” Gunn said. “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.”
He continued: “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. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.”
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