“It’s sad. But it’s a part of our fabric now and I get it,” Russell said. “But I do think we’re getting a little too sensitive on maybe some of the wrong people.”
Gunn was removed as the director from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when decade-old tweets, involving jokes about rape and pedophilia, resurfaced online. The filmmaker apologized, writing that they were not indicative of the person he grew to be in the intervening years, but the damage was already done.
His removal as a major creative force at Marvel Studios drew backlash from the entire Guardians cast as well as Selma Blair, Mike Colter, Jim Starlin, Rob Liefeld, and Gunn's brother, Sean. Blair and Michael Rooker even ditched Twitter over the entire affair. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson did the same not long after, although it is unclear whether it was done as a sign of support for Gunn.
“You have to realize that when you are in that world as a comedian, a writer, whatever you’re always stretching the boundaries and trying to find something, which led him to something that the world loves, which is Guardians of the Galaxy," Russell continued. “He has a wonderful heart and a wonderful mind. I hope he is forgiven.”