Chris Pratt – Is The Hate Justifiable?

Santhana Kanapathippillai

Chris Pratt is hugely famous for playing fun loving, friendly and hilarious characters on the big screen. Whether that be cuddly and innocent Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation, or everything is awesome Emmett in the Lego Movie, Pratt’s own personality became intertwined with the nice guys he portrays on the big screen. Santhana explores why this changed and whether the recent hate is valid. 

The persona he put forward ultimately came crashing down in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted about Pratt’s relationship with Christian churches that openly opposed and condemned LGBTQ+ people and rights; this included the Hillsong Megachurch, which encouraged Australians to vote against gay marriage in 2017. This, coupled with speculation that he is a Trump supporter due to being absent from Biden’s fundraiser event, Voters assemble, brings up the question of whether Pratt’s political and religious affiliation makes the hate against him justifiable.

to say that he is deserving of the hate he receives because of his alleged political alignment is difficult

The long-standing hate against Chris Pratt was reignited on Twitter due to his recent Instagram post praising his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger for giving him an “amazing life,” and a “gorgeous healthy daughter.” Whilst at first glance, this seems like your average cringy birthday post, Pratt’s poorly chosen words about his daughter raised an uproar on Twitter due to the alleged jab at his ex-wife Anna Faris and their son Jack.

Jack was born two months premature and suffered from cerebral hemorrhaging and has since had multiple surgeries on his eyes and heart. He currently suffers from some visual impairments and weakness in his legs.  Many people called out Pratt for being hugely insensitive towards his family and favouring his daughter over his disabled son.

However, Pratt’s choice of words, whilst being a great foot in the mouth moment, were highly unlikely to be aimed at Anna or his son. Especially since Anna speaks highly of her ex in her book, “Unqualified,” praising how he “decorated my room with posters and photos and he came to the hospital every night after work with desserts for me and, sometimes, a six-pack of beer for himself, and he’d just sit with me and hold my hand or crawl into bed,” it’s unlikely that Pratt was unhappy with his family.

something that could be easily misinterpreted should never have been said in the first place

Also, he is associated with the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth due to his experiences, highlighting how he sees great importance in raising awareness and supporting other families that were suffering like he, Anna and Jack did. Plus, he often talks fondly of his son on talk shows such as the Graham Norton show, where he recalls taking his son fishing. That being said, the idea that such a vast number of people picked up on the insensitivity of his words suggests that he should have been more careful. He might not have had ill intentions, but something that could be easily misinterpreted should never have been said in the first place.

Whilst Pratt’s post may not have been intentionally hateful towards Anna and Jack, actress Busy Phillips calls out his Instagram post for being “patronising,” as well, in her podcast “Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best.” She berated him for being “sexist” and treating his wife like a “possession.”

In Pratt’s homage to his wife and her role in their household, he gushes about how Katherine, ‘helps him with everything,’ whilst ‘he periodically opens a jar of pickles,’ in return. Phillips highlights how this was a typical example of a man “acknowledging their power.” The podcast host went on to say “That’s how f**king dumb what he said is. You are a Marvel superhero. You made $480 million last year.” “You work non-stop. You don’t just open a f**king jar of pickles, you motherf**ker.” She then goes on to add that through this he downplays her role as a mother. “That is actually legitimately a lot of f**king work. But by the way he’s talking about himself, putting himself in it, in the centre of it, it makes it seem like it’s bulls**t.”  Rather than his post coming across as heartfelt and a touching romantic tribute, Pratt portrays a warped power dynamic in his marriage.

Despite this controversial Instagram post, the huge negative reaction to Pratt’s birthday tribute for his wife brings up the question of whether he would have received this reaction if he wasn’t allegedly part of the political opposition. Would people still hold him to different standards if his “nice guy” persona hadn’t been threatened and demolished?

supporting an institution that discriminates means you too become a part of the hateful campaigns

During his marriage with Anna Faris and before he became religiously devout after the birth of his son Jack, Chris Pratt was widely loved and acknowledged as a great, easy going guy. After being exposed by Elliot page, Pratt’s religious beliefs and affiliation with multiple openly homophobic churches opened him up to major criticism. His pastor Zoe Church executively produced a film that negatively presented homosexuality labelling it as “sexual brokenness.” This, coupled with Pratt adorning a shirt with the Gadsden flag, which was often flown alongside the Trump and confederate flag and thus is seen to symbolise hate or racism, led people to view Pratt as politically aligned with the right.

Pratt has denied any wrongdoings with his Church describing how they had “helped me tremendously offering love and support.” He also goes on to say that “my values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgement of a fellow man.”

These statements, whilst seemingly side with the LGBTQ+, are too ambiguous. Perhaps he doesn’t want to alienate his fellow church goers but there shouldn’t be any room for him to show any signs of hate especially because of his large platform. Having connections with a Church that supports conversion camps is reflective of your views regardless of whether you personally agree with it or not. Supporting an institution that discriminates means you too become a part of the hateful campaigns; this is extremely destructive to the LGBTQ+ community.

it’s up to Pratt to be more vocal about what and who he supports

Chris Pratt, labelled the worst Chris on twitter, is less likely to stop featuring on the big screen especially after he’s been confirmed to play Mario and there is great excitement surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy 3. To say that he is deserving of the hate he receives because of his alleged political alignment is difficult. Especially since this information is mostly rumours; he is confirmed to have donated to Obama’s campaign, so it is uncertain where he does stand politically.

Also, how far is it okay to label and critique someone because of where they politically stand? That being said, it’s up to Pratt to be more vocal about what and who he supports. He ultimately can’t be cancelled due to the magnitude of his success and impact on Hollywood with his roles in the Marvel Universe and Disney, but he should be held accountable for his alignment with troubling institutions. His power as a successful white male actor shouldn’t allow him to continue to get roles if he keeps on associating with destructive ideologies.

Santhana Kanapathippillai

Featured Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 1 courtesy of @prattprattpratt via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 2 courtesy of @bpisdoingherbest via @instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.

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