Peter Quill wears a leather jacket
(Marvel Studios)

Chris Pratt Has Been In Many Controversies Over the Years, So Let’s Break Them All Down

2023 is a big year for Chris Pratt, considering he’s starring in two of the most anticipated films of the year: The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Despite mixed reviews and some backlash over having Pratt voice Mario instead of an Italian actor or more experienced voice actor, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has been dominating the box office since its premiere on April 5th, already garnering over $500 million. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the final film in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy and is highly anticipated since it’s been six years since the last film came out.

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In addition to being in two big blockbusters that are set to release in the first half of 2023, Pratt just came off of the high of Jurassic World Dominion, which was one of the highest-grossing films of 2022. His career shows no signs of slowing down in the future as he has already booked another voice role in Garfield, as well as a role in the Russo brothers’ upcoming sci-fi film, The Electric State. However, not everyone is as taken with Pratt as Hollywood is. Over the years, he has been involved in several controversies. In fact, he has even been dubbed the “worst Chris” in Hollywood because of his past actions.

Some of these controversies were the result of thoughtless social media posts made by the actor, while some were more serious, including allegations of his involvement with Hillsong Church, a notoriously homophobic church, and him seeming to shade his ex-wife Anna Faris over complications that arose during the birth of their son, Jack. Pratt has either denied or apologized for nearly every single controversy he has been involved in. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone has forgotten them. As his career continues growing, TV and movie viewers unfamiliar with Pratt may be curious about the backlash he has received over the years, so we’re here to explain all of them.

Chris Pratt’s Hillsong Church controversy explained

A close up of Peter Quill in 'Thor: Love and Thunder'
(Marvel Studios/Disney)

The biggest controversy surrounding Pratt is his alleged affiliation with Hillsong Church. The megachurch is known for being notoriously anti-LGBTQ. Hillsong’s former, now disgraced, senior pastor, Brian Houston, went public with the church’s anti-LGBTQ stance in 2013 and continued to reaffirm it over the years. The church even openly barred those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community from holding leadership or ministry positions. Pratt has always been open about his faith and Christianity, but rumors of his involvement with Hillsong arose in 2019, with reports that he and his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, attended the church.

Following these allegations, Elliot Page called Pratt out for addressing his religion, but not his church’s problematic stances. Pratt responded by denying that his church was anti-LGBTQ in an Instagram story, writing, “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 step of the way, never judging, just gracefully accompanying me on my walk. They helped me tremendously, offering love and support.” This statement only further raised scrutiny as he never denied attending Hillsong, and he also tried to compare his experience of getting a divorce to what individuals in the LGBTQ community face.

It wasn’t until 2022 that Pratt spoke out and denied ever attending Hillsong Church in the first place. As to why he didn’t deny it three years earlier, his excuse was that he did want to “throw a church under the bus.” Of course, it’s unclear how clarifying what church one belongs to would constitute throwing a church under the bus or why one would be so concerned about protecting an openly anti-LGTBQ church that has also been accused of covering up sexual abuse and misconduct. However, there is no proof that he ever attended Hillsong. As for his views on the LGBTQ+ community, he stated, “I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”

Shading Anna Faris controversy explained

Another major controversy that Pratt was involved in arose when he wrote a tribute to his wife on Instagram in November 2021. The post seemed innocent enough, but one comment he made about Schwarzenegger giving him “a gorgeous, healthy daughter” didn’t sit right with many internet users.

This is because it is well-known that Pratt and his ex-wife, Anna Faris, have a son, Jack, who was born prematurely. In addition to being born two months early, Jack also experienced a cerebral hemorrhage, which resulted in him spending a month in the NICU. Faris has continued to share his story on social media and participate in fundraisers to raise awareness and research for premature birth. Given Jack’s history, many felt that Pratt’s “healthy daughter” comment was a slight at Faris, shading her for not giving him a “healthy” child as Schwarzenegger did. As a result, his post sparked outrage, with many rushing to defend Faris and Jack, and slamming Pratt for his unnecessary and insensitive comment. After all, seemingly blaming a woman for labor complications out of her control or comparing a child born healthy to one born with complications is not a good look for anyone.

Pratt denied that he meant anything by the comment and even stated that he cried reading the backlash, knowing his son would also read it someday. Even if he wasn’t intentionally throwing shade, most can agree that the healthy daughter comment wasn’t necessary.

Pratt’s social media controversies explained

The healthy daughter controversy wasn’t the first time that Pratt got himself into trouble by posting to social media without thinking. Social media users circulated a screenshot of a Tweet he allegedly posted in 2011, in which he claimed he would be a cop if he wasn’t an actor. However, he would specifically be a “crooked” cop, who would “turn a blind eye to corruption” and “shoot a dude.” Another Tweet joked that the Miss Universe contestants look like “Miss Hungry.” It has been reported that most of the Tweets were likely fake, though the Miss Universe Tweet was confirmed to be real.

Pratt also received criticism in 2017, when he posted a video and told people that they needed to turn on the volume and “not just read the subtitles.” Considering that many deaf/hard-of-hearing and neurodivergent folks rely on subtitles, his video sparked backlash, prompting him to create an apology video.

Pratt was also criticized in 2017 for claiming that blue-collar workers weren’t represented in film. During an interview Men’s Fitness, Pratt stated, “I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories. I think there’s room for me to tell mine, and probably an audience that would be hungry for them.” Of course, it didn’t take social media users long to begin compiling lists of blue-collar representation, including films like Paterson and Moonlight. Considering the numerous communities that actually don’t get fair representation in film, it was quite odd to hear Pratt complain that “his story” wasn’t represented enough … even though it was. Per usual, he issued an apology and acknowledged his comments were “stupid.”

Ultimately, the fact that more than half his controversies were easily avoidable emphasizes the importance of thinking, researching, or making an effort to be considerate of others before speaking or posting to social media. Hopefully Pratt has learned this lesson.

(featured image: Marvel Studios)

This article has been updated from its original version for sensitivity in relation to disability.


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.