The internet has been trying to cancel Chris Pratt for a few years now, but so far the mission has been largely unsuccessful. But whether or not it’s because he truly doesn’t deserve the negative attention is a bit murky.
As an actor, Pratt has been in a good number of TV shows and movies and, since he’s a comedian, most of his characters are fun, goofy, and easy to love. This is why a lot of people (myself included) may want to resist the notion that someone as sweet as Andy Dwyer or as heroic as the Star-Lord could do something in real life that’s worthy of canceling him.
Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be the first celebrity to shock and disappoint the masses in this way. His would just be the latest name added to an ever-growing list of people in Hollywood who suck.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. While I’m all about holding public figures accountable for their words and actions, I’m not willing to play a part in canceling someone based on rumors that can be easily debunked with a little bit of research. So, let’s dig into some of the claims against Pratt.
The Rumor: He’s a Trump Supporter
Now, if these rumors end up being true, we might be very glad he chose not to share his political views on Instagram after all. There are two parts to this rumor, first that he’s a Republican in general, and second that he’s a MAGA/Trump supporter.
Before I go any further, I want to point out that being a Republican does not necessarily mean being a Trump supporter. There are plenty of people who identify as Republican and did not vote for the human garbage that is Donald Trump. That being said, the party doesn’t exactly have a good reputation when it comes to social justice, human rights, foreign policy, or corruption.
Moving on, rumors that Pratt is a Trump supporter started in October of 2020 when Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers, held a fundraising event for Joe Biden. Most of the stars of the franchise showed up to support Biden’s candidacy, but Pratt did not attend. He also sat out of the Parks and Rec reunion in support of the Wisconsin Democratic Party in September of 2020. Some took this as confirmation that he’s team-MAGA, but he’s never been seen openly supporting Trump, wearing any of the notorious (ridiculous) red hats, or giving any other indication that Trump is his guy.
More broadly, as far as Pratt being a Republican goes, this is a rumor that can be cleared up — kind of. There is no evidence that he has aligned himself with the Republican party or the Democratic party. For the most part, he’s been pretty quiet about his political views throughout his career, and if he’s given comments at all they’re about how he doesn’t feel represented by either side. Further, while some people have pointed out that he follows Republican representatives on social media, others have been quick to draw attention to the many Democrats he also follows. Finally, he has a proven history of donating to a few Democratic candidates over the years (including Obama).
He’s just apathetic, which isn’t great by any means, but it’s a hell of a lot better than being a Trump supporter. It could be argued that he leans to the right politically, but if that’s the case he keeps it to himself. Would it be better if he spoke out against the MAGA movement and used his platform to support social justice and progressive policies? Yes, of course. But while he’s on some very shaky ground here, there’s nothing concrete enough to warrant canceling him on this count (yet).
The Rumor: He’s Homophobic
Back in 2019, Pratt went on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and talked about how he attends the celebrity-beloved Hillsong Church. The Hollywood Reporter ran an article about it and Elliot Page responded to it on Twitter, saying that the church is “infamously anti-LGBTQ”. This earned Pratt a lot of backlash and he took to Instagram to address Page’s comment.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone. Despite what the Bible says about divorce, my church community was there for me every stop of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk. They helped me tremendously offering love and support. It is what I have seen them do for others on countless occasions regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender.”
Page’s claim likely stems from a situation in 2015 when the church’s choir director appeared on Survivor as an openly gay man and shared that he was a Christian man and worked for Hillsong. He was forced to step down from his position after this and the church’s senior pastor Brian Houston posted a statement on the church’s website which said, in part,
“Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture. As I have stated previously, I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject.”
The statement then encourages you to view a post on the pastor’s blog titled, “Do I Love Gay People?” where he says he believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman (which he calls “traditional Christian thought”) but declares he still loves people, regardless of whether or not they’re gay (wow, what a hero). At that point, Houston was still the church’s “Global Senior Pastor” but he did step down from his position on the church’s board in September of 2021 due to a pending trial in Australia where he’s being accused of covering up abuse allegations against his father, a former pastor (seriously, this guy is a real gem).
Um…this one is pretty bad, and it didn’t take too much digging for me to find this information. Maybe Pratt didn’t know about this culture or these beliefs before he joined the church, but after Page’s tweet, he certainly could have done some research before coming to their defense. This is definitely not a good look.
The Rumor: He’s Racist
Back in 2019, pictures came out of Pratt wearing a shirt featuring the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, and the public was quick to pounce and call him racist. This is because, while the flag has roots that date back to before the Revolutionary War, it has evolved over time into a symbol for the far right, including extremists and racists. Given that the flag is often associated with racism, you’d think that even someone who identifies with some of what the right believes but does not support racism would definitely opt not to wear a shirt that could be viewed in that context — especially a celebrity with a very public image.
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) July 15, 2019
The “Don’t Tread On Me” flag (whether it’s in flag form or on a tee-shirt) is not *technically* only used as a symbol for white supremacy, but it’s flown by that group often enough that any celebrity in their right mind would stay far away from it. Sorry Pratt, this is another really, really bad look.
The Rumor: He’s A Bad Pet Owner
This one goes back 10 years when Pratt used Twitter to give away his and then-wife Anna Ferris’ 15-year-old cat because it was old and incontinent. When this all went down, people were pissed and didn’t shy away from calling him and Ferris out for abandoning a cat that they’d loved and was part of their family for so long.
What was even worse, though, was how Pratt responded to the backlash.
According to Gawker, Pratt posted a (now deleted) blog post defending their decision, which said, in part,
“Bottom line, and not that this is any of your fucking business weirdos, but my wife and I want to start a family and we ABSOLUTELY CANNOT have an animal that shits all over the house. Sorry. If you are a parent you will understand. And if not, that probably explains why you have such a hard on for cats. Just sayin’.”
However, he also shared that, thanks to Twitter, he found someone who was willing to take in the cat who Pratt said was “a perfectly reasonable, sweet and friendly cat lover.”
Honestly, I think his actual response is more cancel-worthy than the fact that he used social media to find his cat a new home rather than opting to put her down. He and Ferris knew they weren’t equipped to care for their aging cat and a baby, so they found someone who could step in. It was probably a hard decision for them to make, so the internet can lay off this one.
The Rumor: He Doesn’t Take The Privilege To Vote Seriously
Alright, we all remember (and have been slightly traumatized by) the 2020 election. It was high stakes, and we needed people to get out and exercise their right to vote. Unfortunately, instead of encouraging his Instagram followers to register to vote in a very important presidential race, Pratt chose to poke fun at all of the tension while campaigning for his movie Onward to win a Peoples Choice award. He wrote,
“With all that’s going on in the world it is more important than ever that you vote. Just ask any celebrity. They will tell you. Every day. Several times a day. To vote. But me? I will tell you EXACTLY who to vote for. #onward The heroes before us did not spill their blood only to have their sacrifices wasted by your apathy. The upcoming 2020 People’s Choice Awards is the most consequential vote in the history of mankind times a million infinity. Vote for #Onward for family movie of the year. Or else. You WILL die. No hyperbole. Click the link in my bio. Let your voice be heard.”
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Personally, I don’t find this to be particularly funny given the seriousness of the 2020 election, but it’s hardly worth canceling him for. In an ideal world, he would have shared a separate post, at some point, with a similar level of passion and urgency to inspire his fans to cast their ballots for their preferred local, state, and US candidates, but he didn’t. He also didn’t discourage people from voting or tell people how he thinks they should vote, so let’s call it a draw.
Pratt needs to be canceled. He teetered on the edge with the Instagram voting caption, he didn’t support Trump in 2020 but didn’t speak out against him, he attends a church that publically speaks out against gay marriage, and he wears a shirt that’s often associated with white supremacy. It doesn’t matter how many cats he saves, he deserves all of the internet hate he gets.