WARNING: This article contains spoilers of the newly released movie Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2.
Aside from Clint Eastwood, Rob Schneider, Tim Allen, and James Woods, everyone in Hollywood seems to subscribe to one ideology, and that one is a fairly left-wing one. Even being silent or apolitical earns you criticism in Hollywood, in the age of President Trump. Chris Pratt in an interview pleads to keep politics out of every aspect of our lives.
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.
You don’t need quantifiable number to see how divided voters and the media are, and how politics is ruining our personal and online relationships. In a world of divide, in a plea to end the political turmoil, Chris Pratt attempts to speak to a large portion of Americans: the hard-working blue collar Americans. He saw that regardless of the political views, those in Hollywood are not using their fame and voices to represent and resonate with the average American. Attempting to bridge a gap he sees forming, he uses his voice to please for a bridge, and for Hollywood to get off their high horse.
The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood.
For saying this, Chris Pratt has come under fire from the left and Hollywood journalists and paraded around as a hero to the right. Neither of which he wanted to happen. Neither of which I support as a characterization of Chris Pratt or his statements.
What I believe happened was that the Hollywood “elite” rhetoric and so-called “journalists” in Hollywood played identity politics with Chris Pratt’s wording and attempting to paint the term “blue collar” to mean white men, which they argue have plenty of representation in Hollywood. They are correct that Hollywood has had plenty of movies of the working class and rags to riches stories, many of which have white males as their main character. They were wrong to assume that Chris Pratt was talking about white males only, and a bit prejudice since working class people come from all backgrounds, races, and cultures. The true beauty of the melting pot of America can be seen in factories, in air conditioning repairmen, in tradesmen, in “blue collar” work. Chris Pratt has since had to apologize and walk back the comments he made.
That was actually a pretty stupid thing to say. I'll own that. There's a ton of movies about blue collar America. https://t.co/DclYfNsiv3
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) April 21, 2017
If you expected Marvel’s blockbuster Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 to feature a character representing blue-collar America, then you will be disappointed. However, Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill speaks to another demographic, a demographic unfortunately on the rise: those who come from single-parent households and those who felt or are without a parent.
While there are some movies that focus on a child who grows up alone or has to fend for themselves, this movie (and the first) skips over that and shows the adult life of Peter Quill. We missed out on his childhood, and so did he.
Peter Quill’s mom passed from brain cancer when he was at very young age, while his father was no where to be found. Peter Quill was abducted/adopted by aliens, and raised to join an intergalactic gang of thieves. Eventually he ends up on his own and forms a team who become the “Guardians of The Galaxy.” He never had a family, but those around him now, he proclaims, are his family. This relates to many who find that those they befriend can help fill the void left by their lack of or distance from a family.
In the second film, Peter still longs to meet his father, or at least have a father figure in his life, despite being an adult. This speaks to the majority of single-parent of children, most of whom are lacking their father and not their mother. This especially speaks to the black community. At last count in 2010, 73% of black children came from single parent/non-marital homes. That number is believed to be rising, nearing 80%.
Simply relating to a demographic is not enough. This story has been told before. What makes Christ Pratt’s Peter Quill so amazing? He doesn’t play victim as many in society would want him to play, he rises above the difficulties in his life to achieve great things (he literally saves the ‘galaxy”…twice). What makes his story unique too (here are the real spoilers, skip the paragraph if you have an interest in seeing the movie) is that his father does come back into his life. But his father isn’t the man he dreamed he would be. He turns out to be a greedy, ruthless, and reckless man. He empowers Peter (literally), giving him a unique ability few in the Marvel Universe could even come close to. Peter, despite being empowered, despite finally having a father figure in his life he longed for, gives up his powers. When threatened that he would lose his powers if he allowed his father to die, and end up like everyone else Peter Quill answered “and is that so bad?”
(no more spoilers beyond this point)
This speaks mainly to those who have overbearing parents who attempt to live through their children, or those with dead-beat parents who attempt to come back into their lives.
As I said before, the key demographic spoke to here may be those who come from single-parent households or who basically had to raise themselves. The world wants you to be a victim. But Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, and hopefully more characters in thee future, show you that you can do anything you set your mind to, despite the tough path in front of you.
Maybe the media and Hollywood does need to adjust its vision of “the American dream” instead of attempting to kill and bury it. We need to stop painting “the American dream” as something a child with two parents, a dog, a picket-fence around their house, in a nice suburban neighborhood, can achieve.
The idea of single-parent households is not something that should be promoted by a degenerate Hollywood. At the same time, it should not be suppressed by those who want to feel moral superiority. It is a reality we need to face, a reality we need to address, and a real demographic we need our media to inspire, not victimize or demonize.