Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista has been the cast member most vocal in opposition of the firing of director James Gunn, even after cast members including Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillen, and others also released an open letter in support of Gunn. Disney fired Gunn in July after tweets containing tasteless jokes about subjects such as pedophilia, rape, and the Holocaust were surfaced as part of an alt-right campaign to get Gunn fired in retaliation for the director’s nonstop tweeting about Donald Trump and also in response to the firing of Roseanne Barr earlier this year. Gunn apologized for the tweets, which came from as far back as 2011, but Disney called them “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s value.”
Bautista was one of the first actors to speak out in defense of Gunn, calling the campaign to get him fired “a #cybernazi attack that worked.” Bautista, a former WWE Champion, didn’t go so far as to say he’d refuse to work on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, however. Now, Bautista has clarified that he will work on the film because he’s “legally obligated,” though he called working for “someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis” “nauseating.”
I will do what Im legally obligated to do but @Guardians without @JamesGunn is not what I signed up for. GOTG w/o @JamesGunn just isn’t GOTG. Its also pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis . That’s just how I feel https://t.co/Ym4FwruVDu
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) August 5, 2018
It sounds like Bautista doesn’t hold Marvel Studios and Disney in high regards right now, which is a bold position to take when the company is set to control a sizable portion of the annual box office after the acquisition of Fox. Then again, “The Animal” is someone who wasn’t afraid to go one on one with The Undertaker, Triple H, or John Cena, so what is Mickey Mouse gonna do about it?
A petition asking Disney to rehire Gunn has reached 368,000 signatures.