‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ cast says is 'fully supports’ James Gunn

The cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy” issued a statement of support for director James Gunn a little more than a week after Disney fired him from the upcoming third installment of the series, asking that the studio rehire Gunn.

“We fully support James Gunn,” the cast says in a statement posted to Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and other cast members’ social media accounts. “We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding him.”

“His story isn’t over — not by a long shot,” the statement adds. “There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. Given the growing political divide in this country, it’s safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality.”

The statement is signed by Pratt, Saldana, Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Karen Gillan. See the full statement below.

Disney fired Gunn after a series of offensive tweets were unearthed from years ago, where the writer and director appeared to make light of subjects such as pedophelia and rape.

In the wake of Gunn’s firing, a number of celebrities and other Hollywood figures have come out in support of the director. Selma Blair was the first and has deleted her Twitter account in solidarity. A petition has already garnered more than 300,000 signatures toward a goal of 500,000. Others are putting pressure on Disney, including comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, who has asked Disney remove his affiliation with its theme park rides.

Gunn’s firing over social-media posts has had a ripple effect in Hollywood, particularly since the tweets were surfaced by a right-wing, conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson also deleted 20,000 of his tweets, saying on the platform that he was preemptively destroying any possible ammunition that “right-wing trolls” could use against him, he said.

Gunn has apologized for the tweets, saying that his “words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative.”

Variety has reached out to Disney for comment on the cast’s statement.

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Zoe Saldana out and about
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: Actress Zoe Saldana is honored with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 3, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 03: Actress Zoe Saldana, Marco Perego, Bowie Ezio Perego-Saldana, Cy Aridio Perego-Saldana and Zen Perego-Saldana attend the ceremony honoring Zoe Saldana with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 3, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Zoe Saldana arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Zoe Saldana arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EDT and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, April 23 included Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Paul Bettany and Pom Klementieff ('Avengers: Infinity War'), and musical guest A Perfect Circle. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) ZOE SALDANA
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Actor Zoe Saldana at the Avengers: Infinity War Press Junket in Los Angeles, CA April 22nd, 2018 (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Zoe Saldana attends the 2017 Baby2Baby Gala on November 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 30: Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego walk the red carpet for the premiere of Campari Red Diaries short movie, 'The Legend of Red Hand' on January 30, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images for Campari)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: (L-R) Jessica Biel, Zoe Saldana, Rachel Bilson, Jaime King, Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell, Rachel Zoe, and Kelly Rowland attend The 2017 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell on November 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Zoe Saldana attends the 2017 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Mark Bradford and George Lucas presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego attend the 2017 LACMA Art + Film Gala on November 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14: In this handout photo provided by One Voice: Somos Live!, Zoe Saldana participates in the phone bank during 'One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert For Disaster Relief' at the Universal Studios Lot on October 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Handout/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 24: Zoe Saldana attends the Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia 2017 during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 on September 24, 2017 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31: Actress Zoe Saldana attends WORLDZ Cultural Marketing Summit 2017 at Hollywood and Highland on July 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for PTTOW!)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Actress Zoe Saldana arrives for the NALIP 2017 Latino Media Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on June 24, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Actress Zoe Saldana receives an award at the NALIP 2017 Latino Media Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on June 24, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
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