Disney’s snap decision to give in to right-wing efforts to topple an anti-Trump voice by firing James Gunn after the re-surfacing of past tweets is a decision that continues to plague the studio. Following the united statement signed and shared by the entire principal cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy films in support of their fired director, star Dave Bautista has continued to show his support for Gunn.
While all of the cast is contracted for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 03, which Gunn had written and been preparing to begin production on soon before Disney’s firing, Bautista speaking with The Short List stated that he very well could be preparing to ask to leave the film should Disney decide to scrap Gunn’s script.
“Where I’m at right now is that if [Marvel] don’t use that script, then I’m going to ask them to release me from my contract, cut me out or recast me,” he said. “I’d be doing James a disservice if I didn’t.”
Bautista and the rest of the cast are on record that there is no defending of Gunn’s tweets, tweets using rape and pedophilia as jokes that Gunn apologized for when they surfaced almost a decade ago when Disney originally hired him, they are standing firmly alongside their director after the believed mistreatment from Disney’s choice.
“Nobody’s defending his tweets, but this was a smear campaign on a good man,” he said. “I spoke to Chris Pratt the day after it happened and he’s a bit religious so he wanted time to pray and figure it out, but I was more like: f*ck this. This is bullshit. James is one of the kindest, most decent people I’ve met.”
Many believe that Disney seemed to be reacting quickly for fear of some sort of backlash to Gunn’s staying on as what happened with ABC and Rosanne, but their choice has led to a backlash anyway. While Rosanne had continued to share racist and hateful focused tweets for years even after ABC hired her for the Rosanne revival, Gunn had left the ‘edgy’ attempts at humor from his past in the past once he apologized and began to move forward.
Since the firing, Disney has kept quiet about what will happen with the Guardians franchise and the next film but the continued noise being made by their stars and by much of the audience will likely make them have to make some decisions, and soon.