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Chris Pratt Thinks Saying This 1 Thing Turned Public Opinion Against Him

He points to a moment in 2018 as the reason for much of the backlash he's received.

When the "Hollywood Chrises" are discussed and ranked by fans online, it's often Chris Pratt who comes in last. (The others usually included, for the record, are Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine.) While the actor gained fans for his roles as Andy on the sitcom Parks and Recreation and Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Pratt has also managed to attract a lot of negative attention. Now, he thinks he knows why.

In a new interview with Men's Health, Pratt tried to pinpoint the moment that public opinion of him changed, and he thinks it has to do with an award acceptance speech he gave in 2018. Read on to see what else the Marvel star had to say.

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Pratt has received a lot of backlash online.

Chris Pratt at the 2016 Venice Film Festival
Matteo Chinellato / Shutterstock

Pratt has received backlash on social media regarding his religious affiliation, as well as his family life. For example, in 2019, after Pratt appeared on The Late Show and spoke about his faith, actor Elliot Page tweeted that Pratt was part of an "infamously anti-LGBTQ" church. Pratt responded on Instagram, "It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which 'hates a certain group of people' and is 'infamously anti-LGBTQ.' Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone."

In another moment of backlash, in 2021, Pratt posted an Instagram about his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and thanked her for giving him "a gorgeous healthy daughter." Some people thought this comment was insensitive to Pratt's ex-wife, actor Anna Faris, and their son, Jack, who was born prematurely and has had some health issues as a result.

Pratt thinks he knows when the public turned against him.

In his Men's Health interview, Pratt said that he believes public perception of him changed after he accepted the Generation Award at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards and talked about his beliefs in his speech. The actor said he was told to say something inspirational when he was on stage, so he centered the speech around nine pieces of life advice. Those pieces of advice ranged from "don't be a turd" to more serious messages, including, "Number six: God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do," and ""Number eight: Learn to pray. It's easy and it's so good for your soul."

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Pratt thinks this made people think he's more religious than he is.

Chris Pratt at the premiere of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" in June 2018
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Pratt thinks that he became "the face of religion" after the speech, which wasn't intentional on his part.

"Maybe it was hubris," he told Men's Health. "For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I'm not sure I touched anybody. Religion has been oppressive as [expletive] for a long time. I didn't know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I'm not a religious person. I think there's a distinction between being religious—adhering to the customs created by man, oftentimes appropriating the awe reserved for who I believe is a very real God—and using it to control people, to take money from people, to abuse children, to steal land, to justify hatred. Whatever it is. The evil that's in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride."

He also says he never belonged to Hillsong.

Chris Pratt at the premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in April 2018
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

When Page tweeted that Pratt was attached to an "anti-LGBTQ church," he was referring to the controversial Hillsong Church, where Pratt was rumored to be a member. In the Men's Health interview, Pratt said that he was never a member of that church. He did say that he attends Zoe Church, which was modeled after Hillsong and founded by a former Hillsong preacher, according to Refinery29.

"I never went to Hillsong. I've never actually been to Hillsong. I don't know anyone from that church," Pratt said. Asked why he didn't clarify that at the time, he said, "I'm gonna, like, throw a church under the bus? If it's like the Westboro Baptist Church, that's different."

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But he has been outspoken about his beliefs.

While Pratt said that he doesn't consider himself "a religious person" in the Men's Health interview, he has shared a lot about his Christian beliefs on social media, in interviews, and in speeches. Before the MTV Movie & TV Awards speech, at the 2017 Teen Choice Awards, Pratt also brought up his religion. "I would not be here with the ease and grace I have in my heart without my lord and savior, Jesus Christ," he said at the awards show.

In 2019, when he responded to Page, Pratt wrote on Instagram (via Variety), "My faith is important to me but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or group of people. My values define who I am. We need less hate in this world, not more. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgement of their fellow man."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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