Is this the most controversial celebrity photo cropping incident since Diddy famously cut Kendall and Kylie Jenner out of his Met Gala photo?
Robert Downey Jr. became the subject of controversy this week after he posted a seemingly innocuous photo of himself and actor Chris Pratt on Instagram, defending Pratt from the controversy which many have said has been greatly overblown. Downey joined the ranks of celebrities comforting Pratt after a Twitter thread dubbed him the least liked Chris in Hollywood, with Downey’s post referring to Pratt as his “brother” and applauding his “positivity.”
It all seemed innocent enough (if unnecessary) until fans noticed one huge and hilarious misstep: the original version of Downey‘s picture included Tom Holland and had been posted to Holland‘s Instagram account more than three years ago. Oops?
As one popular tweet pointed out, in Downey‘s rush to defend Pratt from other people’s perfectly valid opinions, he and/or his team have inadvertently exposed that he possibly does not even have a photo of himself and Pratt together, leading one to wonder just how close these two actually are.
To top it all off, the photo cropping throws a tiny bit of shade at Tom Holland, who is an innocent bystander in all of the Chris Pratt drama and who is, by all accounts, a real-life superhero who everyone unanimously loves.
How did the drama start?
It’s been an eventful week for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It all started after Warrior Nun writer Amy Berg took to Twitter last week to ask the internet which famous Chris they’d be willing to get rid of if they had to choose, the options being Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Evans, and Chris Pratt.
The unofficial poll was met with an overwhelming amount of responses suggesting that Pratt was the worst Chris in Hollywood, likely due to the problematic accounts he follows on social media and the church he belongs to, at which point many of his Marvel co-stars rushed to their own social media accounts to defend and uplift Pratt over what basically amounts to some people preferring other Chrises.
The unofficial “Protect Chris Pratt” team includes Downey, Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gunn, all of whom have published posts calling Pratt “as solid a man as there is” (Ruffalo) and encouraging him to “keep [his] head up” (Saldana).
This has rubbed many fans the wrong way, with some pointing out the noticeable silence when other Marvel stars, like Brie Larson, received actual hate and harassment online in the past due to their casting. Pratt, himself, has remained remarkably silent in regards to the controversy.