Less than a week after Disney cut ties with Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn over offensive tweets he posted early in his career, fans of Gunn have banded together to show their support with an online petition. The most active petition recently crossed the 300,000 signature line.
Some petitions that circulate online lead to active steps towards completing whatever objective the form sets out to do, though in the case of a "Re-Hire James Gunn" petition, fans are merely trying to show their support of Gunn to Disney and Marvel Studios, despite the poor choices he made earlier in his life.
"I'm smart enough to know this most likely won't change anything but hopefully, this could get Disney to realize the mistake they made and not do it again in the future," the petition reads.
"I agree on the point that if people say a bunch of stupid sh-t while working for a studio, the studio has full right to fire him over the possible controversy," it continues. "This situation is very different though as he made these jokes years before he was working for Disney and also the fact that they were jokes. I agree with most, including Gunn himself that the jokes were shitty and un-funny but they were still jokes, it wasn't an opinion or a statement, it was just a bad attempt at being funny."
Fans who have signed this petition aren't the only ones to lend their support to the filmmaker, as stars of the films Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff have all shared their support for the filmmaker online. Michael Rooker, who has collaborated with Gunn frequently, deleted his Twitter account over the matter.
After making a series of political tweets, alt-right activists began digging through Gunn's tweets for incriminating messages. Dating back to 2009, they found comments where the filmmaker used rape and pedophilia for the subjects of his jokes.
After the comments were brought to the attention of Disney, they issued the statement, "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."
As the petition admits, collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures might all be for naught, though petitions like these have seemingly been effective when it comes to fans uniting to share their support for canceled TV series, which sometimes get renewed, so it's possible Disney will ultimately reevaluate the situation.
What do you think will come of the petition? Let us know in the comments below!