If Disney thought the recent joint-statement from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast was the end of the controversy that has followed the firing of writer/director James Gunn, it was mistaken. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the Marvel series, has released another strongly-worded condemnation of the studio.
Bautista replied to a fan on Twitter who asked him what his plans were if Gunn was not rehired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. Bautista stated that he would do what he was “legally obligated” to, which suggests that he is under contract to return for the next movie. However, he went on to state that making the films without Gunn was not “what I signed up for,” and that it would be “nauseating” to work for a studio that would “empower a smear campaign by fascists.” Check the tweet out below:
The tweets that led to Gunn’s dismissal last month date back almost a decade, and saw the director joking about topics such as pedophilia and rape. They resurfaced online via conservative website The Daily Caller, and Disney was quick to sever ties with him.
Bautista was quick to condemn this decision, and remains the most outspoken cast member on the issue. The cast, which also includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel, offered Gunn their support in their statement, but stopped short of stating that he should be rehired or that they wouldn’t return for Vol.3. While the movie has never officially been given a release date by Disney, it was reportedly set to start production in February 2019 ahead of a 2020 release.
Last week, it was reported that despite the statement, Disney had no plans to rehire Gunn. Variety spoke to “multiple people familiar with the studio’s current thinking,” and stated that, despite the support from the cast, the tweets that ultimately led to his dismissal remain totally at odds with Disney’s family-friendly image.
Soon after he was fired, Gunn offered a statement in which he took responsibility for the tweets and accepted Disney’s decision. “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” his statement read. “I have regretted them for many years since–not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.
“Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse.”