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Chris Pratt is in hot water for an 'insensitive' voting-related joke

Based on the mood of the country right now, voting is no laughing matter. Just ask Onward star Chris Pratt, who caused a social media controversy when he tried to make an ill-considered joke about people casting their ballots... for the 2020 People’s Choice Awards, not the looming presidential election.

The latest Pixar animated hit — which features Marvel Cinematic Universe residents Pratt and Tom Holland as a pair of elf brothers — is among the eight nominees for the year’s best family movie alongside Sonic the Hedgehog, Scoob! and Trolls World Tour.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Pratt arrives for Premiere Of Disney And Pixar's "Onward"  held at the El Capitan Theatre on February 18, 2020 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Chris Pratt arrives at the 2020 premiere of 'Onward' in Hollywood (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Naturally, Pratt wanted his movie to come out on top and took to Instagram to drum up votes by poking fun at the many celebrity-endorsed voting PSAs that are already out there. “With all that’s going on in the world it is more important than ever that you vote,” Pratt wrote. “Just ask any celebrity. They will tell you. Every day. Several times a day. To vote. But me? I will tell you EXACTLY who to vote for. #onward.”

Pratt continued to belabor the punchline by tipping his hat to the sacrifices made by “the heroes before us,” and declaring to his followers that the 2020 People’s Choice Awards would be “the most consequential vote in the history of mankind times a million infinity.” The actor — whose own political views have been the subject of much speculation — may have intended his words to be amusing, but many online were not amused.

“I get this is supposed to be a cute little joke but it comes off as really insensitive,” wrote one of his Instagram followers. And others registered their displeasure on Twitter.

Not everyone was ready to declare Pratt to be Hollywood’s newest #WorstChris, though. A vocal contingent of fans claimed to be on Star Lord’s comic wavelength.

For the record, voting in the 2020 People’s Choice Awards is open until Oct. 23, when many states will still be in the swing of early voting for the presidential election. And Onward’s fate will be decided when the show airs on E! on Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET — a week-and-a-half after the other (and more consequential) Election Day.

Onward is currently streaming on Disney+

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