Fans Stand Up for Brie Larson and Tessa Thompson as Marvel Stars Defend Chris Pratt

Caroline Goldstein
·4-min read

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.”

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.”

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!

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!