While a free speech debate rages around the battle lines of Twitter following the news about Elon Musk yesterday, another unfolding online battle has stepped up a gear. This one via very direct intervention. Movie cancel culture has been dealt a small blow.
Chris Pratt is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and this is due in no small part to his stint in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Starlord, Peter Quill, in the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise.
Way back in 2019, six of the Avengers cast offered people the chance to hang out virtually online if they contributed to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Chris Pratt was not one of them, and neither was Robert Downey Jr, incidentally.
However, when the usual suspect groupings online decided to use this as a trigger to dig into Chris Pratt, they quickly pointed to his Christian faith and membership of his church. They combined this with his absence from the Biden line-up to declare:
“He’s a witch! Burn him!”
Well, not quite, but it is exactly the same principle as something we thought we had left behind us hundreds of years ago. Oh, the irony. Instead, they declared:
“He’s a MAGA, cancel him!”
The kind of people who inevitably have their pronouns in their bios were on this like a dog with a bone, demanding Marvel cancel him for the sheer temerity of appearing to be Christian and possibly not entirely on-board with the Biden project, or believing actors should be apolitical.
A couple of days ago, a tweet from a classically pronouned keyboard warrior started to go viral when she/her suggested a replacement for Chris Pratt.
Marvel. Hear me out. Just… replace him. pic.twitter.com/g4pfZ9ni7s
— meghan 2.0「she/her」 (@themeghanlodon_) April 24, 2022
This clearly reached the ear of one who holds a degree of power in the MCU and one who knows all about the wrath of online cancel culture himself. James Gunn, director of the franchise. He has come out swinging. How do you tell somebody to f**k off without using the words “f**k” and “off”? Well, a little bit like this.
It is only a small blow against the intolerant shrieking class, but it is a blow. Fair play James Gunn. Fair play.