Petition to Re-Hire James Gunn for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Almost Has 200K Signatures

Disney firing James Gunn from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, with all sorts of celebrities and even politicians weighing in on the matter. Meanwhile, Marvel fans have taken it upon themselves to start a petition calling for Gunn to be reinstated as Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3's director - and that petition is already nearing its 200K goal!

Over on Change.org, the "Re-Hire James Gunn" petition has over 175K signatures and counting, in just three days since being launched. The end goal for the petition was 200K signatures - which will almost definitely be achieved in the next 24 - 48 hours.

Gunn was dropped by the Guardians franchise when Twitter users began to dig up and compile tweets Gunn had put out in the late 2000s, in which the filmmaker made highly questionable jokes about everything from rape to pedophilia. When the matter started to become a trending topic on the social media site, Gunn himself took Twitter with a length apology - something he had previously done years ago as well. Even though there were a lot of people who voiced support and understanding for Gunn, Disney nonetheless announced that same day that Gunn had been dropped, with Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn stating:

"The offensive attitudes and statements on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."

The real point of contention hasn't been whether Gunn's jokes were inappropriate (they were - especially in a post-"Me Too" culture), but whether the effort to dig up and compile the tweets - and launch a social media outrage campaign wasn't politically motivated. Gunn has been an outspoken proponent of very liberal and progressive political views - not to mention a very vocal and confrontational Twitter opponent of public figures connected to the current Trump administration. Some deep digging quickly reveals that the initial outcry about Gunn's Twitter past came from users associated with alt-right and/or MAGA groups, with the conversation about Gunn hinging on how right-wing figures are supposedly vilified for making such statements (even in "jest"), while the liberals supposedly give free pass to figures like Gunn.

From there the debate has mutated and gone viral, with Gunn becoming a figurehead for all sorts of culture wars, whether it's the aforementioned "left vs. right" political battle; the greater sensitivity to sexual abuse (and subsequent "jokes" about it) in wake of "Me Too"; or even the DC vs. Marvel geek-war, which has fanboys clashing over how Gunn has is being championed while DC's Zack Snyder has been thoroughly shamed.

In short: like every socio-political discussion these days, this has gotten way out of perspective, very quickly.

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Will you be signing the petition to bring back James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!