Late Wednesday morning, Guardians of the Galaxy actor Chris Pratt began trending on Twitter under the hashtag #ripchrispratt, and soon after a series of faked racist and sexist tweets from his Twitter account began circulating.
Only one of the tweets was real, a photo that Pratt posted in October 2012 of a Bank of America pen with the label “Made in China” stamped on it. “I feel like somebody smarter than me could make a joke about this,” Pratt wrote.
It’s unclear what sparked the hashtag, but it didn’t take long for the memes to start flowing, including ribs at Pratt’s Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars rushing to defend him last October.
Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Zoe Saldana all took to social media to say what a great person he was after Pratt was targeted when a Twitter user asked which Chris out of Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine, or Chris Hemsworth “has to go?”
It seemed the majority decided that Pratt was on the outs, prompting E! News to pick up on the story, earning it a scathing comment from Pratt’s wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.
“Is this really what we need,” she asked in a caption directed at the celebrity entertainment news site. “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 tide turning against Pratt was a strange one. The actor became beloved for playing goofball Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation and was fawned over for his relationship with ex-wife Anna Faris.
But since his divorce from the actress in 2018, Pratt has repeatedly found himself the subject of criticism.
Juno star Elliot Page called Pratt out for reportedly being a member of Zoe Church in Los Angeles, which has ties to celebrity-favorite Hillsong Church, claiming it was “infamously anti lgbt” in February 2019.
“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed,” he wrote in a tweet.
Pratt denied the allegation, saying in an Instagram story, “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.”
He landed in hot water again when paparazzi photographed him in July 2019 wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt. The motto originated from the Revolutionary War but has since been co-opted by gun rights and conservative Republican groups.
Internet sleuths found he followed several prominent Republican accounts on Instagram, including Ben Shapiro, Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw, and North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn.
Most recently, Pratt was dogged for an “insensitive” voting joke where he went on a spiel about how important it was to vote and to let your “voice be heard,” not in the 2020 presidential election, but for his animated movie Onward in the 2020 People’s Choice Awards.
While Pratt has managed to avoid landing in any major hot water, it seems the internet hasn’t quite given up just yet.