The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy have issued a statement regarding the firing of James Gunn.

Posting via social media, the statement titled An Open Letter from the cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy”, reads:

“To our fans and friends:

“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.

“Being in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been a great honour in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. 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. 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. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”

Guardians James Gunn tweets

The statement continues: “Each of us looks forward to working with our friend James again in the future. His story isn’t over – not by a long shot.

“There is little due process in the court of public opinion. James is likely not the last good person to be put on trial. 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 weaponising mob mentality.

“It is our hope that what has transpired can serve as an example for all of us to realise the enormous responsibility we have to ourselves and to each other regarding the use of our written words when we etch them in digital stone; that we as a society may learn from this experience and in the future will think twice before we decide what we want to express; and in so learning perhaps can harness this capability to help and heal instead of hurting each other. Thank you for taking the time to read our words.

“The Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The statement is signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff and Michael Rooker.

Posting the statement on his Instagram account, Chris Pratt said: “Although I don’t support James Gunn’s inappropriate jokes from years ago, he is a good man. I’d personally love to see him reinstated as director of volume 3.”

Dave Bautista simply wrote: “#istandwithjames #rehirejamesgunn #wearegroot”

This is the first joint statement the actors have made regarding Gunn, who was fired from directing duties on the forthcoming Marvel Studios movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The director was fired over a series of old social media tweets where he joked about pedophilia and rape.

Since the news broke about Gunn’s dismissal by Disney, the internet has been very divided over the situation. I’ve shared my own views on the matter – some will agree, others will not.