Those of you who have been paying attention will understand that this announcement isn’t coming out of Knowhere. For compassionate work in championing animal rights, this guardian of the galaxy—and of three rescued companion animals—is PETA’s 2023 Person of the Year!
PETA is honoring DC Studios’ co-CEO James Gunn for speaking up for animals in all facets of his life, from fiercely promoting adoption and featuring computer-generated animals in his films to using his knack for cinematic storytelling to expose the torture that animals endure in laboratories to millions of viewers worldwide.
Inspiring Empathy for Animals Through Captivating Chronicles
Gunn’s 2023 blockbuster hit, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, is in a league of its own. The film did something that few movies have ever done: It engaged a Marvel-sized audience with a thought-provoking narrative about the horrors of experiments on animals.
Using beautifully designed animated animals, the film reflected many of the often unseen realities of animal testing—including that experimenters give animals in laboratories ID numbers instead of names—while remaining fun and family-friendly. It’s no wonder that the Guardians of the Galaxy series is one of Marvel’s most successful franchises, with the most recent installment becoming the fourth-highest grossing film of 2023.
This is all great, but what the movie has meant to people around the world is so much more meaningful to me. Thanks to all of you for your support and kind messages! 💜 #gotgvol3 https://t.co/yzW4FJrIzh pic.twitter.com/LH9p2t35og
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 11, 2023
Serving as a Stellar Supporter of Adoption
With an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats in the U.S. alone, adoption is the only responsible option when it comes to welcoming an animal companion into your home. A devoted dad of two adopted dogs, Ozu and River, and a cat named Emily, rescued by Gunn as a stray, the Guardians of the Galaxy director showcases his real-life superhero spirit by passionately advocating for adoption to his millions of followers on social media.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 21, 2023
The animal-friendly filmmaker consistently shares endearing snapshots of his three companions, proving that in his universe, the real magic happens when rescue meets the cosmos.
River gets pets from @MurryHammond of the @old97s on the set of the #GuardiansoftheGalaxyHolidaySpecial. Riv was scared of this alien creature at first but came to love him. pic.twitter.com/jlrfx5TsbW
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 6, 2022
Be Like PETA’s 2023 Person of the Year by Taking Action for Animals
Like Gunn, you can be a hero for animals by pledging never to buy them from breeders, pet stores, or anywhere else.
Take action for animals who suffer in laboratories—like the ones featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3—by urging AELF FlightService to stop shipping monkeys to their deaths: