Excerpted from Abid Rahaman’s news story in the Hollywood Reporter
Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo and James Gunn took to social media to support actor Chris Pratt after a deluge of criticism of his supposed religious and political views.
Pratt reportedly attends services at Zoe Church in Los Angeles. The church has links to the Hillsong megachurch that has been criticized as ultra-conservative and was described by actress Ellen Page last year as “infamously anti-LGBTQ.” At the time, Pratt addressed Page’s comments, writing on social media, “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.”
Pratt was also criticized for missing a Joe Biden campaign fundraiser in Hollywood attended by many of his Avengers co-stars, which sparked off speculation he was pro-Trump.
Robert Downey was the most strident in his criticism of the internet witch hunt engulfing Pratt, writing on Instagram: “What a world … The ‘sinless’ are casting stones at my brother, Chris Pratt … A real Christian who lives by principle, has never demonstrated anything but positivity and gratitude …AND he just married into a family that makes space for civil discourse and (just plain fact) INSISTS on service as the highest value. If you take issue with Chris … I’ve got a novel idea. Delete your social media accounts, sit with your OWN defects of character, work on THEM, then celebrate your humanness …”
Pratt’s Guardians of the Galaxy co-star, Zoe Saldana, tweeted a Tupac quote in Pratt’s defense, tweeting, “No matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it. -Tupac.” She added, “You got this @prattprattpratt Your family, friends, colleagues & everyone who’s ever crossed paths with you knows your heart and your worth!”
Mark Ruffalo tweeted a personal testimonial of Pratt, writing, “You all, @prattprattpratt is as solid a man there is. I know him personally, and instead of casting aspersions, look at how he lives his life. He is just not overtly political as a rule. This is a distraction. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize, friends. We are so close now.”
Gunn, who directed Pratt in both Guardians films, also spoke to his leading man’s character, tweeting, “Sorry. Just finding out about this nonsense. @prattprattpratt is the best dude in the world. I’ve spent hours & hours sharing my deepest truths with this man, as he has with me. Please stop assuming what he believes, politically or in any other way, because he’s a Christian.”
Pratt himself has yet to comment on the controversy.
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