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James Gunn Defends Chris Pratt Against Backlash Over Prayer Tweet for Kevin Smith

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 2/26/2018 Ryan Parker
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Michael Kovac/Getty Images

In a long series of tweets sent Monday morning, James Gunn defended his friend Chris Pratt, after the Star Lord actor was attacked online for merely telling Kevin Smith he would pray for him after the Clerks director announced he'd suffered a major heart attack. 

Pratt was among numerous celebrities who tweeted at Smith, telling him they were pulling for him, and they were glad the situation was not worse. 

Pratt tweeted two messages to Smith: "Kevin we don’t know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I’m praying my a-- off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!? Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS. I’m tagging my Lb/rb football coach who showed me the movie cause he believed in me and knew I’d be inspired @hodge1916." 

Some Twitter users began to attack Pratt, trying to use the argument of those who, after a mass shooting, tell politicians their thoughts and prayers are not enough, gun control must be enacted. 

Pratt did not respond, but in a series of nine tweets, Gunn said his piece. 

"So I just read Chris Pratt’s tweet to Kevin Smith saying he would pray for him & made the mistake of reading the comments, many of which go off on Chris for saying he’d pray. I think people misunderstand the backlash against 'thoughts & prayers,'" Gunn began. "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." 

He continued, "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. 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." 

Gunn noted that Pratt could stand up for himself, of course, "He’s a big boy and can take care of himself. But for me, personally, prayer and meditation are great boons to my life and help me navigate my way through this world, and I don’t want to dissuade others who find those things useful."

See all of Gunn's tweets below:


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