Chris Pratt: ‘The average blue-collar American’ isn’t represented in Hollywood

53rd Munich Security Conference (MCS)

Chris Pratt covers the new issue of Men’s Fitness, although I wouldn’t be surprised if you did not recognize him on this cover. Is it just me or did they morph Pratt’s face with, like, Tom Brady’s face? It’s weird. Maybe everybody just looks different mid-jump. Pratt is currently promoting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and much like his promotional tour last year for Passengers, Pratt is leaning in hard to his image as Mr. All-American, the down-to-earth movie star who relates to everybody. Pratt’s image is all about apple pie, patriotism, Git ‘Er Done, NASCAR, blue-collar America. Which means that he finds himself in tricky situations when he’s asked about anything involving blue-collar America. Some highlights:

He rarely sees his blue-collar upbringing represented on-screen: “I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories. 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.”

On the polarized politics today: “I really feel there’s common ground out there that’s missed because we focus on the things that separate us. 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.”

A script about his life: “I have a script I wrote that’s very personal about my life, that I’ve written almost more as an acting exercise than something I’d produce. But I think if I finish my career without ever having starred in something that I wrote and directed, I’ll feel some regret about that. Maybe that’s what I’d want to try to express in my work if I were to write and create something, because it’s a damn shame. I don’t feel we have to be at war with each other like we are, and it’s just getting worse.”

He relates to everybody: “I do feel like I relate to everybody – to the struggles of people both out here and where I grew up. I feel like I could have a beer or a meal with just about anyone and find something to relate to.”

[From People]

I’m of two minds about this, honestly. One part of me wants to give him the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge that he is (partially) correct: the real stories of working-class Americans are rarely told in feature films. But the other side of me says… those stories are told in documentaries. They’re told in television shows. They’re told in comedy tours. Those stories are told every night on the news, because our political system was flipped around so that now the white working class voter is king. That side of me is like… “spare me, we hear enough about the white working class.” That side of me is like… is Chris Pratt really complaining that we don’t tell enough stories about white dudes and their struggles??? No, really. Go back and really look at what he’s saying. He was given movie stardom on a silver platter and he works back-to-back on films with enormous budgets and he’s out here claiming that white dudes from working class backgrounds aren’t properly represented. If Chris Pratt doesn’t feel his story is properly represented, what chance is there for actors like Michael B. Jordan, John Cho, Mahershala Ali, Kal Penn, Trevante Rhodes and Daniel Dae Kim? AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN TALKED ABOUT WOMEN’S STORIES.

The world premiere of Marvel Studios’ 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.' - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of Men’s Fitness.

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93 Responses to “Chris Pratt: ‘The average blue-collar American’ isn’t represented in Hollywood”

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  1. SilverUnicorn says:

    I cannot comment further.

  2. Jenns says:

    Pretty sure those blue collar stories are all Mark Wahlberg movies.

    I missed the Parks and Recs Chris Pratt. Movie star Chris Pratt is kind of a douche.

  3. third ginger says:

    Clap trap from someone extremely lucky to be working. He also seems to know nothing of the history of Hollywood as Kaiser implies in her post. I do not want to sound snobby [I come from very humble origins] but for God’s sake, could some of these Hollywood idiots spend a tiny fraction of their vast wealth on an education?!

    • sarah says:

      So true. It bugs me because I came from lower middle class (we were actually struggling a lot but we “looked” middle class) and I went out and got an excellent education with student loans and taking breaks in between degrees to work. When I see people who have lots of money and could go to any school in the world or educate themselves in other ways (Brad Pitt and architecture), it ticks me off that they do nothing to expand their knowledge. And their kids finish high school and then stop because they are too busy on Instagram to go to college. It drives me crazy.

  4. Chelly says:

    That cover is……the face looks super hot & I’m sorry but Chris is just super not

  5. third ginger says:

    If anyone wants the antidote to this rich white boy garbage, look at TIME. Their annual “most influential” list is almost always baloney. However, this time there is a lovely piece about Riz Ahmed by national treasure Lyn Manuel-Miranda.

  6. Millenial says:

    American Sniper. Hacksaw Ridge. Hell or High Water. Deepwater Horizon. Patriot’s Day (any of the last 10 movies with Mark Wahlberg in them for that matter). There, I just named five without thinking. Those are movies specifically target to the white, working-class patriotic ‘MERICUH types.

    What is this guy talking about?

    • Jeesie says:

      I don’t think he was talking about films marketed to them, but films portraying them.

      • Millennial says:

        Soldier. Lumber worker turned soldier. People so poor they can’t pay their medical bills and resort to robbing banks. Oil drillers. Police officer. The movies I listed, in order. Doesn’t get a whole lot more blue collar representative than that.

    • Casi says:

      I think he meant more the stories themselves. The movies you mentioned are not about the day-to-day of blue collar workers. They are about extraordinary people or events.

      You are probably too young for this but when Roseanne first came on, it was really different because that was the story it told (kind of like, I assume, All in the Family, but *I* am too young for that, LOL).

      The problem with his theory to me is that lower-to-middle class blue collar is my background and I have no desire to pay $12 plus snacks to be reminded that the grind of reduced-fee lunch tickets and “the phone’s going to be disconnected for a couple of days” sucks and that’s why I work my ass off to grind slightly less. I don’t need to see it on the big screen. Others feel differently, they feel left behind, which is why the populist message is so appealing to them.

      • Squiggisbig says:

        But even stories about rich people aren’t just about their every day lives because that’s boring…like look at Iron Man, batman, etc. Rich dudes.

      • third ginger says:

        Casi, you touched such a chord with me. I am probably far older than you but I came from the working class and my parents from extreme poverty. [my grandfather was a child coal miner, for example] My parents worked so hard for us to have an education not only so that we could have a better life [all of us have advanced degrees. I'm a professor] but so we could rid ourselves of the ignorance that sometimes accompanies a lower class life. I am truly disturbed by the current “worship” of voters who put Trump over the top. We can appreciate their hard work, but let’s not take all their all their attitudes and beliefs as our own. I feel that Pratt, fun though he is in the movies, is trying to milk this wave of popularity for all things blue collar.

      • Casi says:

        Third Ginger, I totally agree with you. And, in my opinion, our parents and grandparents were pretty extraordinary in their own right to do the things they had to do to elevate the circumstances of their children. (That doesn’t mean I want to pay $12 to go see a movie about my mom’s life though :) )

        Have a great weekend!

      • sarah says:

        @ Casi and third Ginger :
        Great points from both of you! And yes, I like movies that give me the fantasy over grittier movies. And Roseanne was a groundbreaker because it was about the day to day of a poor struggling family but it was also funny.
        My parents had an okay life in England – my dad had a “good steady job” working on the railway, so bills got paid and they could pay the rent on an “okay” row house. But they immigrated to Canada so that their kids (yet to be born) could have a chance at more. And yes, Casi, that is extraordinary.

      • Vanessa says:

        Casi, thanks for this comment!

  7. Mia4s says:

    Yawn. I can barely work up the energy. Considering his acting range really runs the gamut from A to A, I don’t expect much from him. I look forward to Jurassic World 9 sweetie.

    He’s so busy trying to please everyone, “No one be mad at me! Everyone go see my dinosaur and/or alien movie!”, I highly doubt he has much interesting work in him. But he’ll have a long career playing variations of StarLord. He’ll be fine. Just…not interesting.

  8. adastraperaspera says:

    Yeah, he isn’t talking about the ladies I just saw shopping at Dollar Tree yesterday. They have a story too. He’s talking about another male myth.

  9. winterforever says:

    I can’t with this guy 😒

  10. QQ says:

    * All the eyerolls that ever rolled in the eyes of the land* We don’t currently got 5-6 of the same “all American White Chris” all over the Movie business?!?!? Poor Oppressed underrepresented goofy manchildren that just want a woman and a truck ‘Merica …

    • Nike says:

      “goofy manchildren” is everything. <3

    • sarah says:

      The real man owning a truck commercials were lampooned in a skit on “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, a Canadian mock-news TV show. It shows the man getting out of a truck, wearing his plaid shirt and cowboy hat, doing the macho swagger. Then it pans to the wife, standing with 3 kids on the front steps of a suburban home, glaring at him. He stops dead in his tracks as she says “Go back to the dealership and then come back in a minivan – or a body bag”. Hilarious!

  11. detritus says:

    He is ringing all my Douchedar bells.

  12. Irene says:

    I always get the feeling this guy is a closet Trump supporter.

  13. Lindy79 says:

    That and his admission that he didnt get the big deal about Passengers and why people hated it, he can feck off.

  14. Ashley.Nate says:

    This is some asinine sh!t. Pure trolling. He basically said “I can’t believe Hollywood has never represented a white dude before. We’re totally not on screen at all”- Chris Pratt 😒😂

  15. Talie says:

    Some PR person probably told him that he had a real opportunity to be the movie star of Trump’s America — but Passengers flopped, so it didn’t really work out so well, did it?

  16. Neelyo says:

    Silly me, I thought Mark Wahlberg was going to ascend to Charlton Heston’s Right Wing Douche throne.

  17. kay says:

    ahahahahahhahahaha rofl “maybe everyone looks different mid jump?”
    so long japanese potatoes…i am off to jump my way into a new face…wish me luck.

  18. lizzie says:

    i don’t like him. something pings me about him that i can’t put my finger on. does he come off as super aggressive to anyone else? like his goofiness is barely hiding a not nice guy?

  19. Miss Grace Jones says:

    I’ve said it before but I’ve never bought this guy as a movie star and everything he’s in just because he’s so overwhelmingly bland and generic.

  20. Donna Martin says:

    I’m liking this guy less and less. Just watched passsengers and it was a terrible movies with 2 people who had zero chemistry. Also Jlaws face was very distracting, looks so different now

  21. Kristy says:

    He never said “White Blue-collar Americans” He said Blue-collar Americans. I understood it as middle income stories. Hollywood movies are extremes. You’re rich or poor or some kind of crazy army action character etc. I don’t think his comment had anything to do with the color of your skin. Where i live middle income or blue-collar is a mixed bag of people. Not just white.

    • Kitten says:

      Go back and re-read the entire quote because context is important. He was making the point that he can’t relate to Hwood stories because he doesn’t see HIMSELF represented. He goes on to say that he thinks his story has a place in Hwood and that it would be received well by people. He is referring to himself, a so-called white blue-collar American male.

      He had the chance to be inclusive, he had the opportunity to elaborate but he made it about himself because that’s what this dude does.

    • thedecorguru says:

      Agreed! I had to read it several times to see if I missed something.

      We can infer that he means white, blue-collar life, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what he was identifying with.

      In our struggle to acknowledge white privilege,systemic racism, etc., sometimes I think we see it as a a this or that situation. Sometimes it has nothing to do with race.

      PS, I’m not a fan of his. He does a decent job at comedic roles, but like Lizzie, he rubs me the wrong way for some reason.

  22. HK9 says:

    Average white Americans are represented on the regular. They are not under represented and never will be.

  23. Bridget says:

    I am kind of amazed that folks have such strong feelings on this guy, just because he’s so boring.

    As for the rest, I find it interesting that the answer is “you have lots of television shows and comedy tours and stuff” when those all popped up specifically in response to the fact that those audiences did NOT see themselves represented in popular entertainment. They’re successful because there is an audience for it, and one that feels passed over by the mainstream.

  24. Jayna says:

    TV has made many blue-collar comedies that lasted many years. You know, the chubby blue-collar guy but always with a hot wife.

  25. Jayna says:

    TV has made many blue-collar comedies that lasted many years. You know, the chubby blue-collar guy with the very hot wife. It’s more like the blue collar wife is not represented in true form in these blue collar male fantasy TV shows.

    • Bridget says:

      I hate the schlubby guy-hot wife formula. But one thing I would like to point out is that very few of these shows really dive in to the blue collar part. The only show that I can think of that really represented it in recent memory was Roseanne (I should say, the mainstream show).

    • Jeesie says:

      Not really though. There’s Roseanne, and Malcolm in the Middle for lower middle class.

      Shows like King of Queens had a blue collar worker living in a way that would be far above his means. And more recent shows like The Middle take on problems in such a sanitised way.

      With a show like Roseanne you always felt the real stakes, and their money problems weren’t an occasional plot point for an episode but an overarching theme. The only show that does that now is Shameless, but that’s a family in poverty.

  26. Hola says:

    These people, actors … also directors… they make up stupid stories about their “origins”
    I think its the end of the star system because most of them are idiots

  27. tw says:

    In 2 minutes, off the top of my mind – Stand By Me, Mystic River, Outsiders, The 33, Deepwater Horizon, Boyhood, Erin Brokovich, The Client – there are literally hundreds of films set in blue-collar American life.

  28. yep says:

    Trying to get credit for being young and nerdy through Marvel while also being milquetoast enough to not offend either sid of the aisle while also pandering to manpained country xtian white dudes.

    Shades of nothingburger.

  29. Relli says:

    The more he talks the less I like him and that makes it’s harder to get through his movies.

  30. Marianne says:

    Manchester by the Sea? Is that blue collar enough for ya?

  31. Angela82 says:

    Loved Parks and Rec and Guardians of the Galaxy, but I am SO sick of hearing the “plight” of the white American wanna redneck. Get back to me when you want to talk about women and minorities.

  32. Saks says:

    Yeah well cry me a river. Try to be a Latino and just being represented as criminals and maids if ever

  33. Elise says:

    I’ve never been a big fan of Chris Pratt, but I have to have some respect for him, based on this Tweet alone:

    chris pratt‏Verified account @prattprattpratt · 2h2 hours ago

    chris pratt Retweeted Marie Claire

    That was actually a pretty stupid thing to say. I’ll own that. There’s a ton of movies about blue collar America.

    • Lizzie says:

      Any respect I would ever have for him disappeared after he and his wife dumped their second animal.

      • AmunetMaat says:

        Didn’t they give their pet to another couple? How is that dumping? I see that in my everyday life. That’s how people who can no longer care for a pet give them away– put out feelers with friends and family or co-workers and see who would like to take the pet. That’s not dumping.

      • sarah says:

        @ AmunetMaat : the dog was a rescue animal and they adopted it. The agreement with the rescue agency was that if they couldn’t keep the dog, they were supposed to give it back to the rescue who would find it another home. This was in a contract that they signed when they got the dog. They did not comply with the agreement and didn’t even tell the rescue that the animal was no longer with them. They had a responsibility to the rescue and they didn’t keep it.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always preferred more aspirational stories – blue collar stories are all around, but I want to see things to aim for. Maybe other people feel the same way.

  35. Oliver says:

    Hopefully the average blue collar American doesn’t give their pets away to people who mistreat and abandon them.

  36. Mannori says:

    White dudes should just sit down for a while. Without complaining. I get it that they’re butthurt because the outrage and the media attention are forcing Hollywood to steer a little and I said a just LITTLE of the budgets and the roles for minorities and they might or might not cast some minorities JUST because they HAVE to. But still, 90% of the movies the roles and the stories are about THEM and their white STRUGGLE. Of course in their stories they all end up getting the 20 something bombshell (even if most of the time they’re double their age) and get rich and loved. Duh…It’s been like that for a 100 years and if minorities are getting just some leftovers they have to patiently shut the f up.

  37. Jessica says:

    The comments on here are a little rabid; most black people are blue collar workers but are represented in the media as unemployed or criminal. That’s false and needs to change. Most white workers are middle class but feel like they are slipping out of the middle class because of the global recession, inequality and inflation. We do need to focus on blue collar workers and people because that is the fastest growing group but the face of that group isn’t a white man. So I partially see what he’s saying.

  38. Kitten says:

    Oh my god first comment the winner. No need to read to any further (but I will anyway).

    Pratt’s a Trumpster. He sounds just like my friend Josh who claims that he’s a Libertarian and that he hates the right and the left equally yet continues to defend Trump into his 100 days of unmitigated failures.

  39. INeedANap says:

    I was thinking the same — TV and film are regularly churning out stories related to blue collar America. I am not sure what perspective he thinks is missing.

  40. Amanda says:

    He is truly disgusting and so is Anna.

  41. Bitchy says:

    Oh well, neither Trump nor Clinton would have done a lot to improve the living circumstances of blue collar americans.
    Trump doesn’t lessen their tax burden by burdening the rich more. Trump’s daughter has suggested a child care bill that benefits the well-earning middle class but not anybody below that.
    Clinton wouldn’t have lessened the blue collar worker’s tax burden either but she would have sent their children to war in Arab and South West Asian countries.
    Both do / would continue to privatise the education system and do / would probably have decreased workers rights. As far as I know the amount/percentage of (college?) graduates per year group in the USA is decreasing.
    Neither Trump nor Clinton would have increased social housing.
    Unemployment among blue collar workers is decreasing and much higher than among academics (German statistics: chance to become unemployed: 13% among blue collar workers, 4% among academics).

    In order to understand the blue collar worker’s situation a bit better here is an example from Germany. As far as I know the situation in the USA is comparable.
    The tax situation in Germany: Around 1970 a vocational college degree blue collar worker with two children would not have to pay any taxes. Nowadays he pays 30%. But therefore the filthy rich who earn more than Euros 500.000 anually pay less.

    So Pratt’s comment isn’t entirely unintelligible but it isn’t very precise either. The worsening tax burden of the blue collar workers and their worsening educational and living circumstances are not depicted in movies, that is correct. I am not a fan of Pratt nor do I dislike him. But I am not going to rip him over inprecise statements in politics.

  42. Bitchy says:

    Correction: it should be “increasing”
    Unemployment among blue collar workers is increasing[sic!]

  43. sarah says:

    I agree. TV especially has a lot of this perspective. Aside from the odd Dynasty or Dallas spectacle, I think most TV focuses on this group.

    I like Chris Pratt in movies but he seems like a Ken doll (Barbie doll’s boyfriend) – cute but he ruins the whole fantasy when he starts talking and trying to use his brain and create reasonable thoughts. Then I think, oh dude, no, just stop! Ken dolls always ruin it when they do that.

  44. bitchy says:

    What about giving him cudos for trying? A lot of people aren’t even trying any more!

    And you can interpret Pratt’s statement in such a way that the struggles of blue collar workers need to be taken more seriously both in the movies and in politics. And not just in comedies. I would agree with that. He just phrased it really badly.