UPDATE (10/21/20, 5:10 PM EST): After being labeled the “Worst Hollywood Chris” by Twitter users, Chris Pratt’s mother-in-law — Maria Shriver — also jumped to the Avengers star’s defense. Maria shared a screenshot of Robert Downey Jr.’s kind words for Chris on her Instagram Story on Oct. 20 and wrote, “Beautifully said, @robertdowneyjr. So inspiring when people who know people stand up for them in the public square. May we all be so blessed.”
The former First Lady of California also commended her daughter, Chris’s wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, for defending her husband. “As always, I’m proud of this young woman. Proud of what she says and does. We all need more love and kindness in the world,” Mariah tweeted on Oct. 20.
ORIGINAL: Chris Pratt’s wife and co-workers don’t think he’s the “worst” Chris in Hollywood. The Avengers star was given the label after television producer Amy Berg started a Twitter poll on Oct. 17, writing that “one has to go”: Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Evans and Mr. Pratt. Although there were some differing opinions, the majority consensus was Pratt, largely due to his membership in a church that was modeled after the celebrity-favorite (but controversial) Hillsong Church and speculation over who he’s voting for in the U.S. presidential election.
Even E! News brought the poll to its Instagram page, asking fans, “It’s an age-old debate: Which Hollywood Chris is the best?” Chris’s wife, children’s book author Katherine Schwarzenegger, 30, jumped into the comments section and wrote, “Is this really what we need? There’s so much going on in the world and people are 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.”
Meanwhile Robert Downey Jr., who starred as Iron Man alongside Chris’s Star-Lord in the later Avengers films, shared a throwback photo with his co-star on a movie set on Oct. 20. He fiercely defended Chris in the caption, writing, “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.”
Mark Ruffalo was another Avengers star who jumped in on the Pratt defense train. The actor for Hulk tweeted, “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.” Josh Gad, who voices Olaf in Frozen, responded to Mark’s tweet by writing, “Seconded. They don’t get better than @prattprattpratt.”
Even James Gunn, the director of another Marvel franchise that Chris stars in — Guardians of the Galaxy — took to Twitter to back up Chris. “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.”
James further attempted to back up Chris by arguing with a fan that the Hillsong church “disavowed conversion therapy years ago” while the Catholic Church “hasn’t.” James was fired ahead of filming for the third Guardians of the Galaxy film over alarming tweets that resurfaced in 2018, but got his director job back by March of 2019.
Chris himself attends Zoe Church, which was “modeled after” the Hillsong Church that’s frequented by celebrities like Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, according to The New York Times. Both churches have different founders, but Zoe Church’s founder Chad Veach also preaches at the Hillsong Church founded by Brian Houston, who once stated that “Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture” in 2015.
Such controversial remarks led Juno star Ellen Page to call out Chris’s affiliation with his church in Feb. 2019, and the Parks and Recreation alum tried to defend his church in an Instagram Story: “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.”