Disney urged to rehire James Gunn by celebrities and fan petitions

The Guardians of the Galaxy director was fired on July 20 for controversial tweets sent between 2009 and 2012.

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An online petition calling for Disney to rehire director of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, James Gunn, is rapidly gathering steam as cast mates and celebrities rally for him. 

At time of writing, the petition has over 130,000 signatures, spurred in part thanks to a tweet of support from Hellboy actress Selma Blair.

Disney fired Gunn, who was slated to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on July 20 for "offensive attitudes and statements" he made on Twitter between 2009 and 2012. 

Gunn tweeted a five-part apology on July 19, and a statement was given to ABC News on July 20 in which the director took responsibility for his actions and said he understood the business decision made by Disney.

Since news broke of the dismissal, at least 50 different petitions have been started on change.org, with the vast majority urging the Disney-Marvel machine to get Gunn back on board for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Others are petitioning for Thor : Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to take the reins.

Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the Guardians franchise, tweeted his support for Gunn on Saturday, stating he's "NOT ok" with what's happening to him. 

Others who leaped to Gunn's defense include Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland and Sean Gunn, the director's brother, who plays Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The third installment in Marvel's intergalactic superhero franchise was set to be released in 2020, but Disney and Marvel have not yet made an announcement as to who will replace Gunn as director.