The cast of the Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy have penned an open letter in support of their director James Gunn.
Last week, Gunn was fired by the Walt Disney Co after a series of old tweets emerged, where the director made jokes about rape, paedophilia, AIDS and the Holocaust.
Gunn, who had directed the two previous Guardians of the Galaxy films, was set to direct the third film in the series, which made his departure rather unexpected.
After waiting 10 days, the cast, which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Karen Gillan, signed a joint statement which they shared on their social media pages.
In the letter they write:
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.
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.
Disney fired Gunn as, according to chairman Alan Horn, the tweets were "indefensible" and "inconsistent with our studio's values."
The tweets were posted between 2008 and 2011, before Gunn started to work with Disney and Marvel.
The statement from the cast shows that they are still in support of Gunn and hints that they would like to see him return to the franchise.
However, fans are divided over the statement from the cast as they feel that the jokes he made, although old, are still inappropriate, especially for a film that appeals to children.
Others were in support of the actors and felt that the situation had been blown out of proportion.
Walt Disney Studios chairman said the tweets were "inconsistent" with our studio's values.
Gunn has issued a statement in which he apologised for the tweets, stating:
I have apologised for humour of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies.
Fans who are in support of James Gunn have launched an online petition in the hopes of getting him reinstated, which has already received over 350,000 signatures, at the time of writing.
Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol 3 is due for release in 2020.