July 31 (UPI) -- The cast of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy have thrown their support behind series director James Gunn in an open letter after the filmmaker was fired by Disney for offensive jokes he made online a decade ago.
The open letter was posted across the social media accounts of the cast on Monday and was signed by series stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff and Gunn's brother Sean Gunn.
Gunn was recently fired from directing the planned third entry in the hit Guardians of the Galaxy franchise after a number of offensive tweets he posted from 2008 to 2009 resurfaced. The tweets, which featured Gunn joking about pedophilia and sexual assault, made the rounds online after they were highlighted by conservative blogs.
"We fully support James Gunn. We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten 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," the letter says.
"We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2," it continued. "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."
"There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial," the statement said. "Given the growing political divide in this country, it's safe to say instances like this will continue, although we hope Americans from across the political spectrum can ease up on the character assassinations and stop weaponizing mob mentality."
Gunn previously took to Twitter to address his firing where he apologized for the jokes he made. "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," he said.