Why Are Celebrities Defending Chris Pratt?

As you probably know, for the last several years Hollywood has been overrun with hunky white guys named Chris, leading to a casual debate over which Chris is superior. You’ve got Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, and Chris Evans (all stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to make matters more confusing), as well as Chris Pine. Each Chris has his own strengths and career achievements, but at the end of the day, they’re all doing very well. 

Well, they’re all doing well career-wise, but this hasn’t been a great week for Chris Pratt. Over the weekend, TV and film writer Amy Berg posted a tweet with photos of the four men mentioned above, and invited her followers to choose one to get rid of. If you’re on Twitter regularly, you’ve probably seen these kinds of celebrity prompts all the time, and discourse about “which Chris is the best Chris” isn’t a new phenomenon. As Berg’s tweet gained traction, it became clear in the replies that there was general consensus: Chris Pratt was getting voted off the island.

Yes, that’s Chris Pratt, who stole our hearts as the dumb-but-lovable Andy Dwyer in Parks & Rec, and has since become an action star in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. But the negative opinions on Twitter had less to do with his acting career, and instead focusing on his affiliation with the controversial Hillsong Church, as well as long-rumored conservative political views. While Pratt has never outwardly expressed political opinions, people on Twitter noted that he follows a few alt-right politicians on Instagram, and his church is notoriously anti-LGBTQ, promoting conversion therapy and opposing same-sex marriage.

But while this innocuous Twitter post—it wasn’t even a poll!—shouldn’t have really meant anything, instead, it became the kickstarter for a Hollywood controversy. After going semi-viral, Berg’s original tweet was picked up by some entertainment news sources, including E! News. Naturally they promoted the article on their Instagram feed, and more anti-Pratt comments flooded in on that post. This was apparently too much for Katherine Schwarzenegger, Pratt’s wife, to handle, and she fought back in the comments, accusing people of “meanness and bullying,” and saying that “being mean is so yesterday.” I love Hilary Duff too!

I’m not sure random people on Twitter trolling one of the world’s biggest movie stars counts as bullying, but overall, I’m not that mad about Katherine’s comment. Like, people are coming for her man, and she wants to defend him—that’s natural. I will always be team Anna Faris in this situation, but I get it.

But this whole thing took a turn for the bizarre, when later on Tuesday, some of Chris Pratt’s highest-profile co-stars Streisand Effect-ed this whole thing when they began chiming in with their own messages of support on social media. First, it was Mark Ruffalo, who said that Pratt is “as solid a man there is.” He urged us to “look at how he lives his life,” and added that Pratt is “just not overtly political as a rule.” This is a nice message, I guess, but the thing is, most of us have learned by now that the choice to be “not be overtly political” is one of privilege. Chris Pratt is someone with a large platform, so why shouldn’t he use that platform to advocate for marginalized communities?

Next in the sh*tty Avengers parade was Robert Downey Jr., who posted on Instagram that Pratt is “a real #Christian who lives by #principle.” Yeah, it’s the randomly placed hashtags for me. He then suggested that those who have issues with Chris Pratt should “Delete your social media accounts [and] sit with your OWN defects of #character.” It’s one thing to defend your friend, but the end of this caption just feels patronizing. Fun fact: you’re allowed to call out someone else’s problematic beliefs even if you’re not 100% perfect yourself.

But for me, the icing on the cake was Zoe Saldana’s tweet. Quoting none other than Tupac Shakur, she encouraged her friend, “No matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it.” Then she told Pratt “you got this,” and said that anyone he’s ever met knows “your heart and your worth.” I’m sorry, but if I read  this tweet with no additional context, I would think that Chris Pratt just got diagnosed with terminal cancer or something. It’s nice to stick up for your friends, but this is too much! He’s getting called out on Twitter, not like, accused of a murder he didn’t commit. It is just not that serious.

This whole situation brings me back to a few months ago, when famous people were coming out of the woodwork to defend their pal Ellen DeGeneres. The main difference? With allegations about her the work environment at her show and her leadership swirling, Ellen was actually going through a tough time. Chris Pratt just got dragged in the reply section of a tweet—no one is taking away his movie career, and this will all pass in about a week. This man will be absolutely fine! If Chris Pratt doesn’t want to say who he votes for, that’s his decision. But he’s a public figure, and if people on Twitter want to use some widely available context clues to figure out where he likely stands, that’s their right. If they’re wrong, Chris, feel free to speak up and correct the record; don’t be shy.

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Images: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com; bergopolis, markruffalo, zoesaldana / Twitter; enews, robertdowneyjr / Instagram