Several Hollywood figures have come to the defense of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, whose old tweets joking about rape and pedophilia sparked outrage after surfacing this week.

“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this..@JamesGunn is one of the most loving, caring, good natured people I have ever met,” tweeted actor Dave Bautista, who plays ‘Drax’ in the GOTG films.

“He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him.”

Comedian Patton Oswalt attacked right-wing journalist Mike Cernovich for exposing Gunn’s tweets, rather than condemning the appalling tweets themselves.

“This is one of the LESS disgusting tweets from Mike Cernovich, the dude who, after running a Gamergate-style smear campaign, just got James Gunn fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Okay have a good weekend,” Oswalt tweeted Friday.

Several others joined in the Hollywood outcry, urging Disney to “rehire” Gunn.

“Disney, your stories are so often about redemption,” he tweeted. “To fire James Gunn for jokes made as a younger man, jokes for which he has already apologised, goes against the moral code you taught us all when we were kids. No sense in cutting loose a good man. I urge you – rehire him.”

Compare Hollywood’s outrage over Gunn’s firing to their reaction over comedienne Roseanne Barr’s firing from ABC in May over a tweet making fun of Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett.