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Dave Bautista responds to James Gunn's Guardians Vol. 3 firing

Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista is breaking his silence on the recent firing of franchise director James Gunn. 

On Friday, July 20, it was announced that Disney had elected to fire Gunn as director of the upcoming threequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn, who previously helmed the original 2014 Guardians film and its rockin' 2016 sequel, was already hard at work writing a script for the film, which was intended to complete his trilogy and mark the end of the story for the titular team of space-adventuring, galaxy-saving goofballs. 

Conservative media personalities — namely Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for One America News Network, and "right-wing provocateur" Mike Cernovich — obtained a number of controversial tweets Gunn posted to his Twitter page several years ago, presented the collection to Disney brass, and uploaded it to social media.

The company, which owns Marvel Studios where Gunn's Guardians film series is set up, promptly ousted Gunn from his directing post and completely cut ties with the creative altogether. Said Walt Disney Studios' Alan Horn at the time of Gunn's firing, "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."

Bautista — who captured viewers' hearts as the lovable, tough, and oblivious-to-sarcasm Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, its sequel, and this year's Avengers: Infinity Wartook to Twitter to share his thoughts on Disney's decision to fire Gunn from Guardians Vol. 3

"I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this," Bautista began. "@JamesGunn is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met. He's gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He's made mistakes. We all have. I'm NOT ok with what's happening to him."

For Gunn's part, he issued a statement the night before his official firing, when the tweets — in which he made light of sexual assault, pedophilia, and rape — were making the rounds on social media. 

"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," wrote Gunn. "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 [of] saying something just because it's shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."

News of Gunn being booted from his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 post has garnered split reactions. Some share the opinion of Bautista, arguing that Disney knew about the tweets and because Gunn has apologized and seems to have grown as a person, firing him was an overreaction. Others have taken the opposition, stating that Marvel and Disney "are still trash for even hiring" Gunn "in the first place."

In November of 2012, after Gunn was announced as the writer and director of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn apologized for a number of blog posts he had written in 2011 that were seen as being disrespectful and derogatory towards the LGBTQ+ community. The filmmaker stated at that time, "The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I'm sorry and regret making them at all … I'm learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future."

Neither Marvel Studios nor any other Guardians of the Galaxy or Marvel Cinematic Universe actors have come forward to speak about Gunn's firing. It's unclear who might take his place in directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or what might happen to the film, which is widely thought to be slated for release in 2020.