Avengers Assemble to Defend Chris Pratt After He Was Voted Hollywood's "Worst Chris"

Robert Downey Jr., Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo and James Gunn took to social media to support Pratt after a deluge of criticism of his supposed religious and political views.

In a bizarre turn of events, Chris Pratt's Avengers co-stars heeded the call and came out to defend the actor against a growing social media backlash that began with a throwaway Twitter meme and morphed into the Guardians of the Galaxy star being dubbed "Hollywood's worst Chris."

It all began innocently enough on Twitter on Sunday when Warrior Nun writer Amy Berg tweeted pictures of Chris Pratt, Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans captioned with the words "one has to go," part of a popular game on the social media platform.

There followed a deluge of responses that singled out Pratt as the unlucky Chris. The kinder users on Twitter pointed to Pratt's acting as reason enough for him to be the "worst Chris," but as the poll went viral, his religion and alleged views on LGBTQ issues as well as his supposed conservative political beliefs became topics to bash the actor.

A practicing Christian, Pratt reportedly attends services at Zoe Church in Los Angeles. The church has links to the Hillsong megachurch that has been criticized as ultra-conservative and was described by actress Ellen Page last year as "infamously anti-LGBTQ." At the time, Pratt addressed Page's comments, writing on social media, "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. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone."

Pratt was also criticized for missing a Joe Biden campaign fundraiser in Hollywood attended by many of his Avengers co-stars, which sparked off speculation he was pro-Trump.

As happens with these things, it escalated quickly and by Tuesday night, Pratt's MCU co-stars Zoe Saldana, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and James Gunn were among the heavyweights that took to social media to decry the social media bullying Pratt was facing as well as reaffirm his qualities.

Downey was the most strident in his criticism of the internet witch hunt engulfing Pratt, writing on Instagram: "What a world … 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 …AND he just married into a family that makes space for civil discourse and (just plain fact) INSISTS on service as the highest value. If you take issue with Chris … I’ve got a novel idea. Delete your social media accounts, sit with your OWN defects of character, work on THEM, then celebrate your humanness …"

Downey's post was liked by Avengers castmember Jeremy Renner.

Pratt's Guardians of the Galaxy co-star, Zoe Saldana, tweeted a Tupac quote in Pratt's defense, tweeting, "No matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it. -Tupac." She added, "You got this @prattprattpratt  Your family, friends, colleagues & everyone who’s ever crossed paths with you knows your heart and your worth!"

Ruffalo tweeted a personal testimonial of Pratt, writing, "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."

Gunn, who directed Pratt in both Guardians films, also spoke to his leading man's character, tweeting, "Sorry. Just finding out about this nonsense. @prattprattpratt is the best dude in the world. I’ve spent hours & hours sharing my deepest truths with this man, as he has with me. Please stop assuming what he believes, politically or in any other way, because he’s a Christian."

Pratt himself has yet to comment on the controversy.