Chris Pratt, the stud in such movies as “Guardians of the Galaxy’’ and “Jurassic World,” who’s shined his Hollywood star on a slew of film and TV roles, has apparently broken from the pack of bland, pretty-boy actors — by farming the land, openly worshipping God and observing a brand of personal and political conservatism capable of making progressive heads explode.
How dare he! Perhaps more remarkable considering all of the above, in 2015, Pratt was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list.
And yet that didn’t stop Kaitlin Thomas from going after him in a snarky piece published by TV Guide last week as part of the magazine’s “12 Days of Chris-Mas’’ feature — a celebration of 12 dudes named Chris, including Chris Pine and Chris Tucker, even Ludacris. Pratt comes in fifth place, but only after a sound drubbing.
The piece — headlined, “How to Love Chris Pratt Without Hating Yourself: He’s Definitely the Most Divisive of the Chrises” — is so petty and mean-spirited, it could only have been intended to turn fans against its subject. This, even as the author asserts that “many people” — maybe in Tinseltown — share the author’s distaste for Pratt’s way of life.
“When you take a deeper look at Pratt the man and not necessarily Pratt the actor, some of the shine wears off,” Thomas wrote. And then she goes at Pratt for, apparently, trying to give away his family’s aging cat via Twitter in 2011. The cat found a good home, and crisis was averted. But that was only Thomas’ first gripe.
Next, she attacks Pratt because he and his then-wife, Anna Faris, tried to get rid of the family’s pet Chihuahua five years later (the couple’s son was allergic), resulting in the pooch for a while wandering the streets of Los Angeles.
Horrors! The beastie was returned to a loving home. But of all the animal-cruelty complaints against Pratt, the most wickedly unfair is Thomas’ diatribe about his love of hunting — a responsible and clean method of feeding his family. (And I would never kill an animal.)
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Writing about the lambs he raises on his farm on an island off the coast of Washington state, Thomas condemns Pratt for a video he posted to Instagram this year, in which he said: “They are the happiest lambs on the planet, they are so sweet and then one day they wake up dead and they’re in my freezer.” The writer doesn’t divulge if she eats meat.
Pratt then comes under fire for joking about the “outrage culture’’ that has engulfed society, which the TV Guide piece, I would venture, illustrates perfectly. He also takes licks for telling Men’s Health in 2017 that stories about his kind of blue-collar upbringing are under-represented in Hollywood. Well?
“The idea that Pratt doesn’t see himself — though he may come from a working-class family and spends most of his time on a farm, he’s also a successful, straight white man at the heart of two major film franchises — as being represented in television or film is ridiculous,” Thomas writes. “But the truth is, the reason Pratt’s comment enraged so many people is because it ignored the fact there are a number of communities actually struggling for better representation.’’
Perhaps to fend off people coming for him with pitchforks, Pratt actually apologized for making this “stupid’’ comment about the lack of characters like him in Hollywood fare.
He shouldn’t have bothered.
Thomas makes clear that her main grievance against Pratt is with something over which he has no control — he’s a “straight white man.” As much as she might resent Pratt’s skin color, his sexual orientation and his success, she can’t just wish him away.
Then there was the egregious Instagram post in which Pratt told people to “turn up the volume” and not just “read the subtitles” — which apparently could offend the hearing impaired. Whatever.
One thing not expressly referred to in TV Guide is Pratt’s deep Christian faith, a rarity in amoral Hollywood. And something I applaud. You are free to hate Chris Pratt’s hunting, his conservatism, even his acting. But don’t hate him. He is to be praised, not scorned, for the way he lives. This is one good and humble man.
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