Axelle/Bauer-Griffin; Aaron J. Thornton, Getty Images
After E! News issued a wholly unnecessary, though mostly harmless, poll about which Hollywood Chris is the fan-favorite, Chris Pratt’s Marvel castmates swiftly came to the apparent loser’s defense. But Twitter users are standing their ground in the case against Pratt—and pointing out that those same Marvel stars were glaringly absent when fellow MCU members like Brie Larson, Tessa Thompson, Anthony Mackie, and Zendaya were bullied by racist, sexist fans.
Quick rundown on the controversy: E! posted the impromptu poll via Instagram yesterday, October 2oth, calling out Marvel's Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Pratt, plus Chris Pine, and the comments section swiftly filled with Pratt detractors. (“Anyone but Pratt,” one user bluntly wrote.) As InStyle notes, Pratt has garnered criticism in the past for his political beliefs (he may or may not be a Trump supporter) and attending a church with allegedly anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
Pratt’s wife Katherine Schwarzenegger was the first to come to his defense, commenting on the E! Instagram post: “Is this really what we need? There’s so much going on in the world and people struggling in so many ways. Being mean is so yesterday. There’s enough room to love all these guys. Love is what we all need not meanness and bullying. Let’s try that.”
A post shared by E! News (@enews) on Oct 19, 2020 at 8:01pm PDT
The Guardians of the Galaxy star’s fellow MCU members Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. followed suit with their own defenses. Ruffalo called out the poll as a “distraction” (which, okay, fair enough), while Downey Jr. praised Pratt for being a “A real #Christian who lives by #principle.”
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.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 20, 2020
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... @prattprattpratt I #gotyerbackbackback
A post shared by Robert Downey Jr. Official (@robertdowneyjr) on Oct 20, 2020 at 2:53pm PDT
Of course, it’s totally within Ruffalo and Downey Jr.’s rights to stand up for their castmate. But it begs the question: Where were these militant character defenses when their female and/or BIPOC cast members faced racist, misogynistic trolls? See: Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson facing backlash for being cast as a character who appeared in the original comics as blonde and white; Marvel fans accusing Brie Larson of “ruining the [Captain Marvel] franchise” for being too feminist.
Twitter folks: Activate!
Brie Larson: gets daily misogynist attacks and death threats.
Anthony Mackie: received racist remarks and death threats again for replacing Chris Evans as Cap.
Chris Pratt: gets called out for going to a homophobic church and being weird looking
MCU Cast: pic.twitter.com/IdV6EI26bD
— Shane Emery (@Shame_Memory_) October 21, 2020
brie larson: *gets death threats for being a woman*
mcu cast: 😐
zendaya: *gets death threats for playing an originally white character*
mcu cast: 😐
chris pratt: *loses poll*
mcu cast: i know chris personally he’s an amazing man 💔💔💔😭
— archiekins 🦕 monster high era (@sxlineas) October 21, 2020
avengers cast when fans obsessively harass brie larson every day for 2 years vs avengers cast when chris pratt gets called out for supporting white supremacists pic.twitter.com/Gqbsh2XjKS
— twin zekes: the return❗🎃🕷💀🕸 (@maculvein) October 20, 2020
brie larson, don cheadle, anthony mackie, tessa thompson, zendaya getting racist and misogynistic comments daily
the mcu cast:
chris pratt gets called out for being a trump supporter and shitty person
the mcu cast: pic.twitter.com/crwoWqSFoU
— alice (@maddenthot) October 20, 2020
brie larson: suffers attacks and harrasment from all types of media for speaking up
marvel cast: *pretends to not see it*
chris pratt: is problematic
marvel cast: pic.twitter.com/fG7cWbjCk5
— adri (@jbbarnxs) October 20, 2020
Brie Larson: *gets literal death threats for being a woman*
The MCU cast:
Chris Pratt: *loses a random twitter poll and follows alt right Republicans*
The MCU cast: pic.twitter.com/QyZ2fV9ctj
— inigo montoya (@brintybitch) October 21, 2020
It’s heartening to know that Twitter fans will come to bullied superheroes’ defense. But it’d be even better if other superheroes would make use of their massive platforms and denounce the racism and misogyny that runs rampant among a small, but horrible, subsection of their fanbases. Just an idea!