Petition to Rehire James Gunn for "Guardians 3" Garners Close to 51,000 Signatures Overnight

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An online petition has been circulating for the Walt Disney Co. to rehire "Guardians of the Galaxy" writer and director James Gunn after he was fired on Friday, from 'Guardians 3,' because of past tweets dating back to 2008.

The heavy criticism happened with a series of offensive tweets in which he joked about Pedophilia, rape and the Holocaust.

Director Joe Carnahan ("The Grey," "Smokin’ Aces") shared the petition on his Twitter, which had around 5,000 signatures by Saturday. On Sunday morning, the total had risen to 51,000.

Disney had released this statement after Gunn's firing:

 “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Company Chairman Alan Horn said in a statement Friday afternoon.

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Gunn issued a statement right after by apologizing for his tweets:

 “My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” he said. “I have regretted them for many years since — not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don’t reflect the person I am today or have been for some time.”

 He continued: “Regardless of how much time has passed, I understand and accept the business decisions taken today. Even these many years later, I take full responsibility for the way I conducted myself then. All I can do now, beyond offering my sincere and heartfelt regret, is to be the best human being I can be: accepting, understanding, committed to equality, and far more thoughtful about my public statements and my obligations to our public discourse. To everyone inside my industry and beyond, I again offer my deepest apologies. Love to all.” 

Marvel Studios and most of the stars from its films have been silent on the situation, but Dave Bautista, who plays scene-stealing Drax in the Guardians movies, spoke out against Gunn’s dismissal.