Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World star Chris Pratt is a rare A-list Christian voice in Hollywood. He’s also made headlines in the past for wearing patriotic-themed T-shirts and expressing support for the military.
Pratt’s latest project, a production company he announced on Feb. 4, aims to “create entertaining content, focusing on themes which will help to bridge the growing divide in our country and world.” Pratt calls the company Indivisible Productions.
“You know, make the world a better place,” he said jokingly. “No biggie. You’re welcome.”
Pratt has used platforms like the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards to let his fans know, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that, I do!”
While accepting a Teen Choice Award in 2017, he was more explicit, saying, “I would not be here with the ease and grace I have in my heart without my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Christian audiences have good reason to hope the new company will put out material they can appreciate. That said, Pratt also has shown a tendency to back away from Biblical teaching when challenged.
In 2019, lesbian actress Ellen Page criticized Pratt for being a member of Zoe Church, a Los Angeles congregation with ties to the Australian megachurch Hillsong. Page called Zoe “infamously anti-LGBTQ.”
Popular with other celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and the Kardashian family, Zoe’s lead pastor, Chad Veach, has shied away from answering questions on social issues, saying he prefers to avoid controversial subjects. But the church’s statement of faith affirms the Biblical definition of marriage.
“My faith is important to me, but no church defines me or my life, and I am not a spokesman for any church or any group of people,” Pratt responded to Page on his Instagram page, adding, “Everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”
Despite Pratt’s distancing himself from Zoe’s official position, some industry watchers have greeted the announcement of his new venture with skepticism.
The movie news site Screen Rant called the name of Pratt’s production company, a reference to the Pledge of Allegiance, “divisive.”
“[Pratt] fails to realize he’s evoking one of the most controversial aspects of the Pledge of Allegiance,” Screen Rant critic Shawn DePasquale wrote, noting that Pratt used other phrases from the pledge in his Instagram post about the company. “The inclusion of the line ‘one nation, under God’ brings to mind endless debates on the appropriateness of ‘God’ being included in a pledge to a country that purports the separation of church and state,” DePasquale added.
It likely will be clearer what kind of influence Pratt hopes his new company will have on his industry when it begins acquiring and announcing film projects. This country—and especially Hollywood—needs all the bridge builders it can get.