One of the few Hollywood stars that conservatives feel actually sees the world from a similar point of view is “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt, who is willing to openly criticize aspects of liberal culture and proclaim his faith in God, while managing to never come off as self-righteous or self-serving. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that TV Guide would feel compelled to write a hit-piece on Pratt warning its readers about his “problematic life offscreen” that is sure to offend their (presumably left-wing) sensibilities, including that he once mocked “outrage culture.”
The Pratt hit-piece is a part of a regrettable series of articles called “12 Days of Chris-Mas,” which highlights twelve actors named Chris over twelve days, leading up to “the best Chris” on Christmas. Or something. Despite all of his supposed “problems,” Pratt comes in at number 5. Even the tweeted caption promoting the piece includes the anti-Pratt angle, suggesting fans should feel guilty about loving Pratt (h/t Twitchy):
— TV Guide (@TVGuide) December 21, 2018
The un-Christmas-spirited piece begins by describing Pratt’s transformation from likable TV personality to “Hollywood’s golden boy” with his roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World.” But by the end of the second paragraph, TV Guide’s Kaitlyn Thomas introduces the true theme of the piece: not praising Pratt, but portraying him as a “problematic” (right-leaning) icon. Pratt, Thomas writes, “remains the most complicated and divisive of the Chrises.”
“When you take a deeper look at Pratt the man and not necessarily Pratt the actor, some of the shine wears off,” writes Thomas. “Although he can be as funny offscreen as he is on — his recurring ‘What’s My Snack’ videos on Instagram are almost always delightful — it’s impossible to ignore some problematic aspects of his life offscreen.”
So what exactly are those “problematic aspects” of his personal life? Well, for one, he tried to give his aging cat away. Seriously.
For instance, animals: In 2011, Pratt apparently tried to give his family’s aging cat away via Twitter, though he later gave an explanation (future children) and said the cat eventually found a good home. (Five years later, there was also a bizarre tabloid story about Pratt and then-wife Anna Faris’ attempt to rehome the family’s dog.)
To make matters worse, the cat and possibly dog-hating Pratt enjoys — prepare yourself, dear TV Guide reader — hunting and eating lamb:
Adding fuel to this particular fire is the fact that Pratt, an avid hunter who has often spoken about his love of hunting, currently raises lambs on his farm. The enthusiastic tone he took when speaking about “eating fresh farm-to-table lamb” in an Instagramvideo earlier this year — “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” — sparked backlash from a number of fans, and not just those who are vegetarians or vegans. The next day, Pratt posted a photo of several pieces of fresh lamb meat and even compared said lamb’s death to something as easy or trivial as “unplugging a TV.”
The beloved actor also once made the outrageous decision to publicly mock outrage culture:
Beyond animals: In May 2015, perhaps in response to a controversy that sprung up in the wake of his Marvel cohorts Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans making an inappropriate joke about Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character during an interview, Pratt mocked outrage culture in a Facebook post, pre-apologizing for something he’d probably eventually do.
“I want to make a heartfelt apology for whatever it is I end up accidentally saying during the forthcoming #JurassicWorld press tour,” he wrote. “I hope you understand it was never my intention to offend anyone and I am truly sorry.”
Thomas then revels in Pratt’s supposed need to apologize “several other times” after the post for various public sins. “The post lacks cleverness, but it’s kind of funny in hindsight: although Pratt didn’t step in it during that particular press tour, he’s since had to apologize several other times,” she writes snarkily.
One of the supposedly offensive comments, according to Thomas, was Pratt saying Hollywood doesn’t represent the voice of the “average, blue-collar American” enough. “I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories,” Pratt told Men’s Fitness in 2017. “I think there’s room for me to tell mine, and probably an audience that would be hungry for them. The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood.” Pratt later apologized for the comment, stating there are “a ton of movies about blue collar America.”
Thomas scolds Pratt for the comment, then turns it into a thinly veiled left-wing rant on underrepresented voices in movies:
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, as is the idea that working-class America isn’t well represented in Hollywood. (There are a number of films and TV shows that depict the working-class struggle, and I’d be happy to send Pratt a list.) 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, communities that have been fighting for a very long time to see themselves on TV and film.
TV Guide then highlights an Instagram post in which Pratt told people to “turn up the volume” and not just “read the subtitles,” which ended up offended hearing impaired people.
“So how do you navigate liking Chris Pratt as an actor and (usually) finding him charming on Instagram when you also know he’s kind of problematic offscreen?” Thomas writes. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Thomas ends by graciously informing readers that “[t]aking issue with some of Pratt’s real-life remarks doesn’t mean that you can’t still find him funny as Andy Dwyer or Star-Lord.” Whew. Thanks, TV Guide!
While TV Guide will never openly admit it, one of the real reasons they’re targeting Pratt is that he is open about his faith. In fact, the TV Guide hit-piece comes just a few weeks after Pratt read part of Luke’s Gospel at Disneyland and offered his own personal comments on his Christian beliefs.
“For me, being a parent has really changed my life in so many ways. And one of those ways is to understand, truly, the love that a father could have for a child,” he said, gesturing to his own child in the audience. “When I stare at this precious little creation of mine here, and I watch the ways in which he tries to please me, I just fill with a love that I feel is so pure, and unending. The way we love our children, the more we love our children, the more we will understand the capacity for our Father in heaven to love us. Each and every one of us a precious creation, and he just marvels in the ways that we can try to please Him. That should give us a great deal of comfort. I know it does for me.”