It's been nearly a week since the Walt Disney Company fired James Gunn from his position as writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Gunn's defenders aren't done speaking out yet.
Dave Bautista, who played Drax the Destroyer in both Guardians of the Galaxy films as well as this year's crossover hit Avengers: Infinity War, was the first member of the Guardians cast to publicly denounce Gunn's firing, posting a tweet last Friday in support of the director and promising he would have "more to say" in the future.
Well, that time has apparently come. Wednesday evening, Bautista tweeted out a link to a Hollywood Reporter piece about the bad implications that come with Gunn's firing, and how the decision will negatively affect Hollywood going forward. Bautista then added his own, somewhat NSFW, comments.
Bautista's comments, and the article he linked to, echo a common concern among Gunn's supporters: That this firing means people who may have said unsavory and offensive things in the past have no room for error, that they aren't allowed to change and grow, and that you can be punished for things you've long since taken stock of, moved on from, and apologized for. The comments also touch on the sequence of events that led to Gunn's firing, specifically the prevailing sentiment that the tweets which led to Gunn's firing were dug up by a far right website in response to Gunn's own very public liberal views and criticism of President Donald Trump.
Bautista is not the only Guardians cast member to speak out on Gunn's behalf, but he's been among the most outspoken, and the only one so far to go back to the topic after the initial news hit. As far as we know, Bautista is still set to appear in some form in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films, so it's not clear how these statements will impact his relationship with Disney going forward. At this point, he seems more interested in defending his friend than worrying about the character he plays.
Bautista's also only a small part of a very large groundswell of support for Gunn that's been generated in the days since his firing. Other celebrities including Patton Oswalt, Selma Blair, and Thanos creator Jim Starlin have denounced the firing, and a petition asking Disney to-rehire the director has picked up more than a quarter of a million signatures. As of this writing, the signature count stands at more than 315,000.
So, as we approach the one-week mark in this story, it's clear outrage over Gunn's dismissal isn't going away yet.