July 30, 2018 at 01:46 PM EDT

The Guardians of the Galaxy cast members have expressed their “shock” at Disney’s severing of ties with franchise writer-director James Gunn. This show of support for the filmmaker came in the form of a statement posted Monday on social media accounts belonging to several of the franchise’s principal actors and was signed by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Michael Rooker, and Gunn’s brother Sean. Both Pratt and Saldana also called for the reinstatement of Gunn as the director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. On July 20, it was announced that Marvel and Disney had dropped Gunn as the director of the film after old, offensive tweets were unearthed.

“We fully support James Gunn,” the statement begins. “We were all shocked by his abrupt firing last week and have intentionally waited these ten days to respond in order to think, pray, listen, and discuss. In that time, we’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of support from fans and members of the media who wish to see James reinstated as director of Volume 3 as well as discouraged by those so easily duped into believing the many outlandish conspiracies surrounding him.

“Being in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been a great honor in each of our lives. We cannot let this moment pass without expressing our love, support, and gratitude for James. We are not here to defend his jokes of many years ago but rather to share our experience having spent many years together on set making Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. The character he has shown in the way of his firing is consistent with the man he was every day on set, and his apology, now and from years ago when first addressing these remarks, we believe is from the heart, a heart we all know, trust, and love. In casting each of us to help him tell the story of misfits who find redemption, he changed our lives forever. We believe the theme of redemption has never been more relevant than now.”

Read the full statement from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, below.

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