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James Gunn Defends Chris Pratt Against “Made Up, Utterly False” Homophobia Rumors

"Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord but, if he ever was, we would all be going with him"

james gunn defends chris pratt homophobia accusations
Chris Pratt (photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) and James Gunn (photo by hoto by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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    Some Marvel fans have had issues with Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt because the actor attends Hillsong Church, which has a reputation for homophobia. Now, after the Pratt-featuring Thor: Love and Thunder trailer reignited calls to fire the actor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, director James Gunn has defended Pratt from his detractors.

    Pratt plays Peter Quill in the MCU, a celestial-human hybrid who, upon his abduction from Earth, became the intergalactic outlaw Star-Lord. In the Thor trailer, Pratt’s character gives Thor (Chris Hemsworth) a pep talk, recommending the god “look into the eyes of the people that you love” if he was feeling lost. But when Thor looks back at Star-Lord, the hero quips, “Not me.”

    Given Pratt’s history — and the fact that a 2020 Guardians of the Galaxy comic book made canon that Star-Lord is bisexual — not everyone loved the trailer’s joke. Twitter erupted in calls to replace Pratt with an actor more willing to show their support for LGBTQ rights, prompting Gunn to come to the actor’s defense.

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    Responding to one such tweet calling for Patrick Wilson to take over the Star-Lord role, Gunn tweeted: “For what? Because of your made-up, utterly-false beliefs about him? For something that someone else told you about him that’s not true? Chris Pratt would never be replaced as Star-Lord but, if he ever was, we would all be going with him.”

    Another (now-private) Twitter user pushed back against Gunn (via TooFab) by asking, “So ur cool with him being part of a homophobic church?” Gunn responded: “He isn’t. I know the church he currently goes to. Do you? (The answer is you don’t, but you heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone where he goes to church, so decided, ‘yeah, okay, I’ll believe this terrible thing I heard online about this celebrity!’).”

    This isn’t the first time Pratt’s come under fire for his association with Hillsong Church, whose founder Brian Houston proclaimed in 2015 that homosexuality is a sin and that a gay member could never hold a leadership position. In 2019, Elliot Page asked the actor to address his worship at the “infamously anti-LGTBQ” institution. In response, Pratt insisted that the church “opens their doors to absolutely everyone,” and said he himself was not homophobic.

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    “We need less hate in this world, not more,” Pratt said. “I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”

    Love for the God of Thunder or not, Pratt’s Star-Lord returns in Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8th. Revisit the teaser trailer for the film here.

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