According to American sweetheart Chris Pratt, Hollywood isn’t doing a good job representing Middle America.
In an interview with Men’s Fitness writer Jim Schmaltz, the beloved actor expressed some thoughts on political division and media representation. And he’s a good one to talk—because people will listen. According to Schmaltz, although the list of things Americans can agree upon is getting shorter by the day, almost everyone loves Pratt.
“I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories,” Pratt, who grew up in Lake Stevens, Washington, told the magazine. “I think there’s room for me to tell mine, and probably an audience that would be hungry for them.”
“The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood,” the Christian actor continued.
But those comments, wrote Marie Claire senior entertainment editor Mehera Bonner, make Pratt “your new problematic fave.” In other words, she wasn’t having it.
“While it's nice that Chris wants to see more people like himself on-screen, he is a straight, white male,” Bonner observed. “And Hollywood has an *actual* diversity problem at the moment—both in terms of race and gender. So, actually, maybe it's time for there to be less stories like Chris Pratt's, and more stories about, oh, you know, literally any other marginalized community in this country.”
Interestingly enough, Pratt’s words echo the sentiments of ABC President Channing Dungey, an African American woman, who noted that her network hadn’t “paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans.”
Clearly, Bonner missed the fact that blue-collar workers can be of any race or gender, and furthermore, that diversity extends to traits beyond the physical. But the Marie Claire writer at least agreed with Pratt’s comments on the need for country-wide unity.
"I really feel there's common ground out there that's missed because we focus on the things that separate us," he said. "You're either the red state or the blue state, the left or the right. Not everything is politics. And maybe that's something I'd want to help bridge, because I don't feel represented by either side."
Update: After facing social media backlish for his comments about representation, Pratt walked back his statement and tweeted: "That was actually a pretty stupid thing to say. I'll own that. There's a ton of movies about blue collar America."