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Selma Blair explains her support for James Gunn, says he is "up against a mob mentality"

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Aug 4, 2018, 12:02 PM EDT

Selma Blair reiterated her support for James Gunn after she quit Twitter last week in solidarity with the Guardians of the Galaxy director. "This was years ago and there was a time where jokes were jokes," the actress told TMZ of the offensive tweets that led to Disney firing Gunn from the third Guardians film. "I’m not defending jokes that offended people or not, but things are taken out of context and this just happens to be someone who I know his character."

Gunn was fired by Disney on July 20 after a conservative website dug up some tweets from 2008 and 2009 in which the director made crude jokes about pedophilia and rape. "My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," Gunn tweeted in response to the situation. "I have regretted them for many years since."

Blair, whose credits include the Hellboy films, is a longtime friend of Gunn's and praises him for supporting her following her revelation last fall that she was sexually harassed by director James Toback in 1999. "You propped me up when I was in a scary place, and guided me towards the decent and right thing to do," she wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "You have shown strength of character more than most anyone I know."

In a video published by TMZ on Friday, Blair said she believes Gunn should not have been fired because "nuance matters more than people think. I think each situation matters." The actress admitted that she is under no illusion that her act of protest would actually help Gunn get rehired, but it was an important statement for her to make. "I’m not in the business of it all thinking a company would change its business practices by anything a nobody like me tweets, but support is just important when you’re up against a mob mentality," she said. "And there’s a wonderful mob that stands behind him and people like him, too, so I hope we always have that balance in this country.”

Among those who have also backed Gunn publicly are the entire Guardians of the Galaxy cast, who posted a letter of support on Instagram. "In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever," they wrote. "We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now."

Despite this support, it is reportedly unlikely that Disney will change course on its decision and rehire Gunn.