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Chris Pratt Attacked for Sending ‘Prayers’ to Kevin Smith; James Gunn Sounds Off On Backlash

Pratt took to Twitter following Smith's heart attack to send the indie director prayers, but fans on social media didn't respond well to his choice of words.

Chris Pratt, left, a cast member in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," and the film's writer/director James Gunn pose together at the London West Hollywood Hotel in West Hollywood, Calif. The film opens May 5"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" Portrait Session, West Hollywood, USA - 20 Apr 2017

Chris Pratt and James Gunn


Chris Pratt is facing backlash from social media users after he posted a tweet in which he sent “prayers” to Kevin Smith following a heart attack. Pratt wrote that Smith’s “Clerks” inspired him when he was a senior in high school and included the line “praying for you.” Smith suffered a heart attack on February 25 following a comedy show in California. The director said he almost died.

Many Twitter users responded in fury to Pratt’s well-wishes, mocking the fact he was “praying” for Smith. The backlash cited the politicians who sent prayers and thoughts to the survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting while not actually attempting to enforce changes to gun control laws. James Gunn, Pratt’s director on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, quickly came to the actor’s defense. In a lengthy Twitter thread, Gunn attempted to explain the differences between the connotation of “praying” in these two examples.

“I think people misunderstand the backlash against ‘thoughts & prayers,'” Gunn wrote. “There is nothing wrong with sending someone positive thoughts & prayers. But when this is coupled with inaction when action will benefit the situation, it’s empty.”

“If you’re offering Parkland shooting survivors prayers, but are unwilling to deal with the problems of gun violence in this country in a practical way, those prayers are empty,” he continued. “But no one expects Chris Pratt to shoulder doctors out of the way and perform heart surgery on Kevin Smith. Nor does Kevin need Chris to pay his medical bills. So I think his prayers are appreciated, and about all he can do.”

You can read Gunn’s defense in the entire Twitter thread below. The director is set to reunite with Pratt on a third “Guardians” film.


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