Chris Pratt is a rarity in Hollywood. He’s humble, good-natured, and seemingly enjoying his rise to the A-list galaxy of actors — all while remaining a family-focused man of faith. Few have had bad words to say about the actor; he seems above the egotism and usual controversies we’ve come to expect from today’s celebrities.
So, of course, some people have had to generate controversy about him.
At issue is a video that was posted by Marvel featuring Pratt in a promotional piece for his new blockbuster, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” In the video, he implores people to “listen up,” directing them to forgo reading the captions on the video and to crank up the volume. Can you imagine he tried to get away with that insensitivity?
OK — many people may be wondering how exactly this was offensive. Well, it turns out Pratt experienced some blowback. He was deemed offensive to those who are deaf and hearing impaired. The actor has shown a bit of class by putting out an additional video, mentioning how he realizes this was “incredibly insensitive to the many folks out there who depend on subtitles.”
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The reasoning behind his initial directive was that the Instagram video playback defaults to a muted display with subtitles. He was encouraging fans to manually raise the volume to get the full experience of his video. This follows the marketing of the film, which has a heavy reliance on musical components and the mixtape plot line. On the poster, Pratt is even depicted with headphones. So in the original video it made perfect sense for him to say, “You’d rather read those than hear me?” Thus, in his encouragement, he was somehow offensive.
But how was this offensive, exactly? He did not insult or ridicule the deaf. He did not mock their need for subtitles nor display an ignorance of the technology. He implored that people “turn up the volume and not just read the subtitles.” He did not denigrate the subtitles; he encouraged people to also listen. One imagines that if someone hearing-impaired saw this, that person would simply continue using the subtitles.
Decent guy that he is, Pratt seems genuine here. But he is a box-office behemoth, and studio executives cannot risk controversy with a movie that just opened to $150 million. There is likely some studio wrangling here, of the “get out there and fix this” variety. His dropping of statistics in his posted apology sounded remarkably like PR-firm spin control. Note also, his original video — lacking any true offensive content — has been pulled as a result.
Pratt, who has been upfront about his faith, appears under fire by a liberal Hollywood that feels the need to educate others on the “proper” way of thinking. Last month he was also cajoled into an apology over another innocuous comment, a time that he expressed his view that the working class in flyover country is underrepresented in film.
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“The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood,” he told Men’s Health magazine.
They will only keep coming at him until they get compliance or silence.
What was so horrible about that? Yet he faced backlash — and the fact that Pratt had to walk back that inoffensive comment is a sign of how inflexible his industry is to opposing opinions. The problem is Pratt has the clout and charisma to quell these uprisings. He could calmly correct these charges while maintaining his stature.
Instead he apologizes — and all that does is embolden the reactionaries.
They will only keep coming at him until they get one of two things from him: compliance, or silence.
Today, those are the only acceptable results for the liberal elites.