Why These 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Fans Bought A Billboard Next To Disneyland
Writer/Director James Gunn was fired by Disney off of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old, offensive tweets were resurfaced by alt-right commentator Mike Cernovich. Some fans are holding on as hard as Peter Quill held onto that Walkman — they've gathered through social media, and created the site RehireJamesGunn.com.
They've also managed to pool their money through a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to buy a digital billboard near Disneyland, promoting their efforts to bring back the director. Organizer Giuseppe "Gio" Cincinnato said they chose the location because they wanted to get the attention of the fans most of all.
"Obviously, Burbank would be cool, right outside of headquarters, or right outside of where the executives actually live," Cincinnato said. "But I think it's been made very clear that the executives really don't care."
Disney CEO Bob Iger stood by the decision in a recent interview, telling the Hollywood Reporter, "The James Gunn decision was brought to me as a unanimous decision of a variety of executives at the studio and I supported it." He added, "I haven't second-guessed their decision."
The Rehire James Gunn fans had previously come close to landing a billboard near Disney World, but the billboard company backed out due to the billboard's content after an initial contract was signed, according to Cincinnato.
That was due to "fear of possible retaliation by Disney, because they get so much of their revenue from them," Cincinnato said.
But Cincinnato said it's about more than just convincing Disney to change their minds — ultimately, it's about showing Gunn that the fans support him.
While Gunn's old tweets were offensive — they included jokes about rape, pedophilia, and historic tragedies — Cincinnato said that Gunn has shown that he's penitent, and had long since stopped tweeting that kind of shock content.
"His stories are strongly rooted in love and redemption, and I think that he solidified that," Cincinnato said.
Cincinnato said that fans like him will stick by Gunn as he moves over to Marvel's competition, directing DC Comics movie Suicide Squad 2, as well as a horror film he has coming out from Sony.
The billboard is four miles from the park, visible off the 22 Eastbound Freeway near the Harbor Boulevard exit.
Cincinnato is encouraging supporters to take photos of the billboard and post them to social media. It's at the corner of Task and Newhope in Garden Grove, at 13541 Newhope Street.
Disney did not respond to a request for comment.
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