It’s been four days since the Walt Disney Company decided to fire Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn, and the movement to have him reinstated continues to grow.
On Sunday, we reported on a petition created via Change.org asking the House of Mouse to reconsider their decision to dismiss Gunn after a series of old social media posts referencing things like pedophilia and rape in the context of shock-value jokes. At the time, the petition was noteworthy because in just a couple of days it had managed to garner nearly 60,000 signatures. Now, it’s dwarfed that number. By a lot. As of Wednesday morning, the same petition had passed the 290,000 signature mark, with new supporters joining it every few seconds.
Disney announced Gunn’s firing Friday, after far right website The Daily Caller published screenshots of offensive Gunn tweets that the director framed as the “provocateur” jokes of a younger man, but which the Caller insisted were evidence that he should not be employed by Disney. Gunn had previously issued a statement explaining and apologizing for the posts (as he has for other posts in the past), and issued yet another statement following his firing.
In the days since the firing, fans have continued to rally around Gunn, as have fellow celebrities like Patton Oswalt, Joe Carnahan, Selma Blair, Thanos creator Jim Starlin, his Guardians of the Galaxy collaborator Dave Bautista, and his brother Sean Gunn.
There is still no word at all on whether or not this still-growing petition, and the still-public outcry over Gunn’s firing among his peers, will actually have any impact. The creator of the petition, Chandler Edwards, indicated a belief that it might not make a difference when the petition was launched, but framed it as a statement of support nonetheless. Whatever happens with Gunn and his career now, one thing has been made very clear: He definitely still has support.