After a series of controversial tweets posted between 2009 and 2012 resurfaced, “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn was fired by Disney on Friday, meaning that he will no longer be directing the upcoming third installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
The decision to fire Gunn was met with a significant response from fans of the series, who were quick to either rally behind or condemn his online commentary.
— Jack Posobiec?? (@JackPosobiec) July 20, 2018
Most members of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast were slow to respond to the news that Gunn was fired, but eventually their statements trickled in through Twitter.
On Monday, Zoe Saldana, who portrays Gamora, said: “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 (sic). I just want everyone to know I love ALL members of my GOTG family. Always will.”
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.
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 22, 2018
Additional cast members, such as Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Pom Klementieff (Mantis), noted similar sentiments of love and support for the “Guardians” team.
Although, aside from Dave Bautista (Drax), none of the cast members have expressly supported the statements Gunn made, fans were quick to express disappointment in the cast members’ responses, many accusing them of siding with him.
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
However, it may be a little premature for fans of the series to come for the cast members’ throats. Expressing their love for the series, and even the role Gunn played in its creation, doesn’t mean they love what he said or did in the past; it simply means they, well, love him.
And it makes sense for them to do so — Gunn played a significant part in crafting the first two installments of the series and was bound to have a huge part in working on the third. The cast undoubtedly understands that Gunn is partially linked to the successes of the first two films.
In addition, the “Guardians” cast was also friends with him. Both on and off the set, they have spent a lot of time getting to know one another, and it can be incredibly difficult to accept that the person that you have come to know well has a darker, previously unknown side.
When considering such realities, it’s completely understandable that they are reluctant to officially condemn Gunn, since he has been their friend for such a long time.
Though ideally the cast will more firmly express that his statements were unacceptable, it’s not entirely fair for the series’ fandom to already be criticizing the cast for the little that they have said about the situation.
“Guardians” cast members are certainly having a difficult time, as they have been directly involved with Gunn for many years, and it would be wonderful for the fandom to show empathy toward the cast members during this messy situation.