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Everybody hates Chris

Actor enrages Twitter mob with polite silence

Chris Pratt at the world premiere of Onward in Los Angeles Associated Press/Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision (file)

Everybody hates Chris

A-list actor Chris Pratt, who stars in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World franchises, keeps his politics to himself. He’s the worst, according to Twitter users.

Earlier this month, TV producer Amy Berg started an online melee by tweeting a picture of Pratt and three other movie stars: Chris Evans, who played Captain America in the Avengers movies; Chris Hemsworth, Marvel’s Thor; and Chris Pine, known for playing Capt. James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek franchise. “One has to go,” Berg said.

Ranking the four blond-haired, blue-eyed Hollywood “Chrises” has been an Internet parlor game for years, as has listing out similar people, places, or things and choosing which one “has to go.” Berg’s post went viral, and things got unfun quickly.

In more than 20,000 responses and retweets, many laced with vitriol, Twitter users almost unanimously dubbed Chris Pratt as the worst Chris. Pratt has not spoken publicly about his political convictions this election season, making liberals suspicious he supports President Donald Trump—a cardinal sin in the entertainment industry.

Last week, the Russo brothers, directors of two Avengers movies, organized “Voters Assemble!”—an online fundraiser for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign. Many of the films’ actors participated, but Pratt, who acted in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game, declined to make an appearance. He also skipped last month’s fundraiser for the Democratic Party featuring most of the cast from Parks and Recreation, the NBC sitcom he worked on for six years. His most political public comment this election season was a joke on Instagram in which he tried to convince followers to pick his movie Onward for a People’s Choice Award by gently mocking celebrities who earnestly extoll the virtues of voting. Many followers complained about his insensitivity, saying voting isn’t something to be laughed at.

Pratt also “has to go,” according to Twitter users, because he’s a Christian. He attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, which says it welcomes people of all backgrounds while affirming Biblical sexual ethics. That has prompted critics—most notably actress Ellen Page—to accuse Pratt of being anti-LGBT.

The thousands of attacks on Pratt became so personal and mean-spirited that some of his fellow Avengers came to his rescue. Robert Downey Jr., who played the character Iron Man and also skipped the Biden fundraiser, said Pratt was “a real Christian who lives by principle.” He encouraged Pratt’s haters to delete their social media accounts and think on their own defects. Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, who supported socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the Democratic presidential primaries, had no patience for fans who wanted to cancel a fellow Avenger. He tweeted Pratt “is as solid a man there is. I know him personally, and instead of casting aspersions, look at how he lives his life. He is just not overtly political as a rule.”

During Hollywood’s Golden Age, studios wanted to avoid controversy with their actors. But modern culture increasingly, as Pratt’s case shows, does not allow celebrities to be apolitical.

Collin Garbarino

Collin is a correspondent and movie reviewer for WORLD. He is a World Journalism Institute, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Louisiana State University graduate, and he teaches at Houston Baptist University. Collin resides with his wife and four children in Sugar Land, Texas.



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