Two Avengers assembled on social media to defend fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe star Chris Pratt, who had become the target of a joke about the many high-profile actors named "Chris."
The issue began Saturday when writer-producer Amy Berg ("Warrior Nun," "The Alienist: Angel of Darkness") parodied a meme that first went viral last year asking which Halloween candy was the worst and "must go." Tweeting headshots of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine and Pratt, Berg wrote, "One has to go."
That ignited a flurry of posts focusing on "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Jurassic World" franchise star Pratt, 41, with many citing his membership in a church accused of being anti-LGBTQ — the actor says his church is not — and additional points as one commenter wrote: "Not a great actor — always plays the same character. Arguably the least attractive Chris. Very right wing."
Pratt's fellow MCU star Mark Ruffalo, 52, a prominent liberal activist, tweeted in response Tuesday, "You all, @prattprattpratt is as solid a man there is. I know him personally, and instead of casting aspersions, look at how he lives his life. He is just not overtly political as a rule. This is a distraction. Let's keep our eyes on the prize, friends. We are so close now."
"What a world," lamented Tuesday Robert Downey Jr., 55, who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man in the superhero franchise. "The 'sinless' are casting stones at my #brother, Chris Pratt … A real #Christian who lives by #principle, has never demonstrated anything but #positivity and #gratitude," he wrote on Instagram. "AND he just married into a family that makes space for civil discourse and (just plain fact) INSISTS on service as the highest value."
Pratt's wife, author and lifestyle blogger Katherine Schwarzenegger, a grandniece of President John F. Kennedy and the daughter of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and journalist Maria Shriver, weighed in in response to E! News pondering on Instagram, "Which Hollywood Chris is the best?"
"Is this really what we need?" Schwarzenegger, 30, wrote in a comment. "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."
"Seriously, enough," Berg tweeted Tuesday evening, saying her original post "was a play on the 'one has to go' Halloween candy meme going around and the responses turned it into a hate-filled ... fest on both sides. The only thing I will say is that I wish all those coming to CP's defense had showed up for Brie Larson," titular star of the MCU blockbuster "Captain Marvel" (2019), who received right-wing vitriol after expressing a desire for more diversity among film critics.
None of the other Chrises has commented publicly.