Dave Bautista Says He Hopes His Relationship With Disney is 'Good' After James Gunn Controversy

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01:  Dave Bautista attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for dcp)
2019 Billboard Music Awards - Red Carpet | Emma McIntyre

One of the most fiery fiascos surrounding the Marvel franchise was the abrupt firing and subsequent rehiring of James Gunn after the emergence of several controversial tweets. During the period following Gunn’s firing, a number of Marvel Studios creators spoke on his behalf--and few louder than Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. This week, Bautista spoke for the first time on the corporate response to his support for Gunn.

“I hope it’s good. I never actually talked to anybody from Disney,” Bautista said of his relationship with the company, according to Collider. “I only ever talk to people from Marvel. And they were very understanding about the way I felt.”

He added that, “I got people who are very understanding of where I stood. A lot of them just weren’t outspoken about it. And I just happened to be very outspoken about the way I felt.”

In the aftermath of the surfacing of Gunn’s years-old tweets, which satirically joked on very sensitive issues, Bautista was one of the strongest voices of support for the director, even going so far as to say he might leave Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as a result. Bautista recognized that his advocacy for Gunn was strong, but said that he did so out of loyalty to him.

“James [Gunn] is my friend. I love him,” Bautista said. “He helped change my life and I know he’s a decent person. He was being attacked. And what do you do when your friends are being attacked? You defend them, or you’re not really a friend.”

Ultimately, Gunn was reinstated on Guardians of the Galaxy following an outpouring of support from creators and fans--and even nabbed a role directing DC’s The Suicide Squad. As for us, we’re glad to see Bautista stand by his friend like that--the entire situation was very messy, but it’s good to know that many of those involved were concerned with doing the right thing.