(Or, “I Didn’t Buy It, man. I just… you know?”)
Before the Jurassic World press tour, Chris Pratt posted an apology letter on Facebook for an offensive comment. Which offensive comment? Well…
“I want to make a heartfelt apology for whatever it is I end up accidentally saying during the forthcoming #JurassicWorld press tour,” Pratt began. “I hope you understand it was never my intention to offend anyone and I am truly sorry. I swear. I’m the nicest guy in the world. And I fully regret what I (accidentally will have) said in (the upcoming foreign and domestic) interview(s).”
It seems to suggest that offended people who protest celebrities are some kind of inevitability, and they’re irrational, when in fact there’s a very structured and time-honored ecosystem in place for ‘Dude says offensive thing X,’ and ‘Internet reacts.’
As Louie CK might’ve said five years ago, this anxiety is a white people problem. People who have become targets in an arena of their own creation. But this isn’t how we assuage that worry, by shifting the aggression onto offended minorities — that faceless, brownish mass that we’d be quick to draw with beady eyes and rabid, snapping jaws.
I love Jurassic World, and a big part of it was Chris Pratt. He’s incredibly charming — an inspired yet completely obvious pick for action superstar. His letter here isn’t offensive, and it’s barely worth mentioning (however many months after it was relevant, to begin with).
But it’s symptomatic of this whole Seinfeld ‘college students are too PC’ counter-counterculture bullshit that’ll only relegate certain comedians to the footnotes of history. The anti-political correctness brigade irritates with increasing intensity each day spent on Twitter, and while Pratt’s letter went a way to make both sides laugh at the utter absurdity of the whole thing, at some point we have to look back and get serious.
Let’s remember that everybody who’s ever been fired from a TV show and probably didn’t deserve it — did deserve something. Accountability will become more and more important as our war for equality continues to rage on, as Americans want to see themselves and their stories shown in the media they and pursuant generations consume. If straight white guys (like Chris Pratt, I suppose) continue to hold the mic, it doesn’t matter what they say, offensive or benign — they are the master control units.
So when they do say something that alienates a section of the population, as demarcated by shitty invisible lines they didn’t sign up for, it’s important that it at least starts a conversation. I know it sounds like a prickly, awkward conversation, but these are the conversations this city deserves. “Kids these days get offended by everything!” They’re probably more sensitive than would be ideal, but taking offense to something is a complex matter. Better to keep listening.
If you’re confused, this stopped being about Chris Pratt a long time ago.
Alright, ladies, alright! I swear I don’t even know what a GamerGate is!
For a final complaint, I don’t want to hear about Indiana Jones 5. Everybody, it’s time for the quiet game. Much as he’s a perfect fit, and Indiana Jones is great (along with Sergio Leone, those movies represent the best argument the Nolan camp has in the Keanu Reeves film vs. digital debate — color and texture both), I resent that Jurassic World is just an elaborate demo reel for Indiana Jones 5. For most people, Jurassic Park isn’t a fulltime love, and that’ll be evident when the #3 highest grossing movie of all time is only such a thing for half a year when Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out this December.