Ever since the release of the first Thor: Love and Thunder trailer, a backlash has been building against Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt, as MCU fans express their dislike of him.
Pratt is a fairly outspoken Evangelical Christian who worships at Zoe Church, which is believed to be associated with anti-LGBT rhetoric, due to the church’s pastor, Chad Veach, having once produced a film that refers to same-sex attraction as a form of “sexual brokenness.”
Actor Elliot Page famously called out Pratt for associating with the church in a viral tweet:
“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
Hence, Pratt’s loud and proud faith, combined with his right-leaning social media presence, led to mass mockery and backlash following the release of the latest Thor trailer, as young, socially conscious MCU fans took to Twitter to crack jokes, picturing Pratt’s imagined discomfort shooting a mildly homoerotic scene with Thor actor Chris Hemsworth. Fans also found it ironic that in Marvel comics, Pratt’s character, Star-Lord, was recently revealed to be bisexual.
The rhetoric grew increasingly hostile, as fans began to request that Disney replace Pratt with another actor. Keep in mind that Pratt has never actually made any homophobic statements in public – MCU fans appear to be reacting to his personality, rather than his actions (Pratt’s penchant for playing obnoxious, annoying characters likely contributed to the general dislike of him).
James Gunn Jumps In
It’s all pretty silly, an extremely online phenomenon that Disney could easily ignore. But Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn jumped on Twitter to defend the Star-Lord actor against the accusations; judging by his tone, Gunn seemed angered by the accusations, writing:
“For what? Because of your made-up, utterly-false beliefs about him? For something that someone else told you about him that’s not true? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord but, if he ever was, we would all be going with him.”
For context, Gunn famously experienced his own online backlash, in response to several of his dodgy tweets, in which he repeatedly joked about pedophilia. This led to him being (temporarily) fired from Marvel, allowing him to jump ship to Warner Bros. to write and direct The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, both of which were critically acclaimed, and arguably, more interesting than anything Marvel will ever create.
In response to Gunn, fans posted screenshots of far-right accounts that Pratt follows, as evidence of the actor’s alleged social conservatism.
MCU fans might well be right about Pratt, but it seems that he’s going to remain a permanent member of the Guardians, regardless.
Of course, the idea that one has to be socially progressive to work for a corporation like Disney, which has repeatedly been called out for its half-hearted queer representation, and even censoring LGBT-friendly plotlines, might just be funnier than any line Gunn ever wrote.