Kevin Smith suffered a massive heart attack this weekend. Smith shared a selfie with fans from the hospital, assuring everyone he was still “above ground”, but if he’d performed his second show of the weekend instead of attending to his health, the story may not have had such a happy ending.
Chris Pratt and Kevin Smith
In reaction to the news, many people reached out to Smith over social media, sharing their well-wishes for a quick recovery. And why shouldn’t they? One of those people was Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, a man who has not been shy about his faith or his beliefs. When Pratt offered Smith his prayers post-heart attack, fans took issue with the offer and let him know.
no. a doctor saved him. not a spaggetti monster
— Gary P (@Garypercival8) February 26, 2018
Guardians of Galaxy And the Power of Prayer
James Gunn, director of the Guardians series, had a message for Pratt, Smith, and the fans, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gunn came to Pratt’s defense in a series of nine tweets, discussing his own practice with meditation and prayer, and asking fans to take a more positive view of Pratt’s offer.
So I just read Chris Pratt’s tweet to Kevin Smith saying he would pray for him & made the mistake of reading the comments, many of which go off on Chris for saying he’d pray. I think people misunderstand the backlash against “thoughts & prayers.” (thread)
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 26, 2018
Gunn started his tweet storm with one of the most prescient reasons for the backlash against Pratt’s tweets—the negative connotation that “thoughts and prayers” have in America in the wake of increased gun violence and police brutality. While that negative connotation is well-deserved, it is not the thoughts and prayers that should change. Instead, Gunn argues, the sentiments in different context should be followed up by action. In some cases, however, prayer or kind thoughts might be all someone can offer. Smith’s heart attack is one of those cases.
No one expects Chris Pratt to shoulder doctors out of the way and perform heart surgery on Kevin Smith. Nor does Kevin need Chris to pay his medical bills. So I think his prayers are appreciated, and about all he can do.
Pratt has not responded to either fan reactions or Gunn’s series of tweets. It’s likely that he won’t, in the grand tradition of turning the other cheek and/or ignoring the comments section of anything on the internet. The way Gunn handled the situation, however, is a lesson in grace under fire.