Dave Bautista has made his feelings about director James Gunn’s termination very clear.
The professional wrestler-turned action superstar once again spoke out about Disney’s decision to fire Gunn from the upcoming production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, when he took to Twitter on Sunday to slam the studio.
Bautista — who, along with most of his fellow castmates, recently penned a joint open letter asking Disney to reinstate Gunn — fielded a question from a fan who asked what the actor would do if Disney didn’t listen to their request.
“I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for,” wrote Bautista, referring to his contractual obligation to appear in the third film in the franchise. “GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG.”
The actor, who plays the alien warrior Drax in the beloved Marvel franchise, also called out the studio directly for firing Gunn based on a “smear campaign” that was originally led by vocal alt-right white nationalist and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich.
“It’s also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis,” Bautista added. “That’s just how I feel.”
Gunn was fired after a handful of nearly decade-old tweets resurfaced in which he made lewd jokes pertaining to pedophilia and rape. While Gunn himself has said he understands and accepts Disney’s decision, a large number of Gunn’s colleagues and fans have come out to support him, and argue that jokes he made 10 years ago don’t reflect the kind of person he actually is in real life, or at the point in time.
On Saturday, Kurt Russell added his voice to the conversation, telling Variety that he thinks Disney made the wrong choice.
“It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now, and I get it,” said Russell, who played Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. “But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people.”
“You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something which lead him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy,” Russell added. “He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”
Last week, the entire cast of GotG — including Bautista, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and others — signed an open letter in which they vocally advocated for their friend and director.
“To our fans and friends: We fully support James Gunn,” the open letter read, in part “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. 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.”
For more on Gunn’s termination from the third installment in the Marvel franchise, and the subsequent fallout surrounding Disney’s decision, check out the video below.
James Gunn Fired From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ After Controversial Tweets Resurface
Sean Gunn Weighs In on Brother James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Firing
James Gunn Defends Chris Pratt’s ‘Prayer’ Tweet to Kevin Smith After His Heart Attack
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