Guardians of the Galaxy stars back sacked director

By Alan McGuinness, news reporter
Stars of Guardians of the Galaxy have written an open letter expressing their support for director James Gunn, who was sacked over offensive tweets.
Gunn was slated to work on the upcoming third instalment of the popular franchise, but Disney cut ties with him after messages from more than 10 years ago in which he joked about paedophilia and rape emerged.
He later tweeted that he was "truly sorry" for using humour "that hurt people".
1. 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.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
2. 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.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
3. In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
4. 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.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
5. 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.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 20, 2018
In the wake of Gunn's firing, a statement signed by Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel has been shared on Instagram.The letter, which has also been signed by Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff and the director's brother Sean Gunn, said they "fully support" him."We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these 10 days to respond in order to think, pray, listen and discuss," it said."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."

The open letter continued: "Being in the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies has been a great honour in each of our lives."We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James.
"We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spend many years together on set making Guardians Of The Galaxy 1 and 2."The character he has shown in the wake of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love."In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now."
Guardians of the Galaxy stars back sacked director

Guardians Of The Galaxy has been a huge hit at the box office
The letter added that "each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future", describing Gunn as a "good person".Pratt shared the letter on his Instagram account with the caption: "Although I don't support James Gunn's inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man."I'd personally love to see him reinstated as director of Volume 3. If you please, read the following statement- signed by our entire cast."
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Bautista posted it with the hashtags #istandwithjames, #rehirejamesgunn and #wearegroot.Gunn had been the writer and director of the franchise from the outset, taking an obscure Marvel Comics title about a group of misfits and turning it into two huge hits that together banked more than $1.5bn (€1.14bn) at the box office globally.
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