Why Are People Trying to Rip Chris Pratt?
At one point, I couldn’t understand why so many people were trying to disparage Chris Pratt. Only days prior, his Twitter account had become trending due to a barrage of tweets about his alleged support of President Trump.
What made this incident particularly intriguing to me was that I noticed a pattern emerging that I believe to be an issue with social media platforms: the “trending function.” When a topic experiences an unusual spike in activity on Twitter, its trending feature displays many tweets about it, making it easy for fake information to spread quickly.
One of the most popular fake tweets during #ripchrisprattmania was a racial slur. According to its poster, Pratt had used this language while on Parks and Recreation; however, this has never been confirmed by him himself.
Though the slur wasn’t exactly true, that didn’t stop people from noting its offensiveness to those of Italian or Spanish descent. A photo of what many believed to be Pratt’s tweet circulated on Twitter and social media; many took it as proof that she indeed used the term.
Snopes quickly noted that the tweet wasn’t meant as a slur at all; rather, it was simply an offensive joke. Along with the slur, there was also a picture of a Bank of America pen bearing the message “Made in China” and an observation about the weight of Miss Universe pageant winners.
It’s worth noting that Pratt’s tweet is not on his official account, yet it shares the same date and time as two other posts – suggesting it was likely Photoshopped.
However, the slur has sparked much discussion about Pratt’s political views and how they intersect with his role as a Marvel character. He’s often criticised for not being as politically engaged on social media as other celebrities in the superhero industry, and he hasn’t participated in an Avengers fundraiser to support former Vice President Joe Biden.
Recently, there has been an increasing focus on how politicians use their public platforms to shape political debates. Celebrities like Pratt have become the target of right-wing attacks on their social media accounts from those who accuse them of supporting Donald Trump and other candidates for office.
On October 17th, Chris Pratt was trending on Twitter ahead of his upcoming debut in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Last Jedi. He had recently divorced actress Anna Faris and was eager to start a family with Katherine Schwarzenegger after divorcing Anna Faris.
On the following day, Twitter user CATGRLISM tweeted a screenshot of three tweets by Pratt, one of which contained an alleged racial slur. Additionally, they included another screenshot which had been retweeted by someone named ‘RipChrisPratt’.