Clerks director Kevin Smith recently suffered a massive heart attack, but is currently recovering in a Glendale, California hospital. This prompted a wave of support for the filmmaker and podcaster on social media, including a couple of supportive tweets from Chris Pratt, who sent some thoughts and prayers Smith's way and asked his followers to join in. Here's what Pratt had to say.
"Kevin we don't know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I'm praying my ass off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!?"
In a follow-up tweet, Chris Pratt added, "Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS. I'm tagging my Lb/rb football coach who showed me the movie cause he believed in me and knew I'd be inspired." Many have argued against the thoughts and prayers approach in response to recent mass shootings that have taken place in the United States. The argument goes that thoughts and prayers aren't helpful and that action is needed to effect change. Many fans responded, saying things like, "prayer does nothing" and that "Doctors and nurses save lives not prayer."
Chris Pratt's friend and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter to defend the comments. Gunn has been very vocal about taking action against gun violence in the United States, but in a series of tweets, he argues that sending thoughts and prayers to someone like Kevin Smith, who is currently recovering, is quite a bit different and shouldn't be met with the same reaction. Here's what Gunn had to say.
"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. There is nothing wrong with sending someone positive thoughts & prayers. But when this is coupled with inaction when action will benefit the situation, it's empty. If you're offering Parkland shooting survivors prayers, but are unwilling to deal with the problems of gun violence in this country in a practical way, those prayers are empty. But 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..I'm not tweeting this to defend Chris, he's a big boy and can take care of himself. But for me, personally, prayer and meditation are great boons to my life and help me navigate my way through this world, and I don't want to dissuade others who find those things useful. I don't think that means YOU need to pray. I don't. There are many ways to navigate this life. Mine is only one of them. Prayer isn't for everyone but, in the face of helplessness, it's often meant as a acknowledgement that one cares (and we all care about @ThatKevinSmith). If I am ever sick I will gratefully accept any of your thoughts and prayers. And will not be as grateful for some random fan knocking down my doctor and performing his own brand of kick ass surgery on me. Love to you all. Have a great week."
As for Kevin Smith, no further updates have been provided on his current state. What we know for sure is that he suffered a massive heart attack following a performance for a standup special. He had a 100 percent blockage of his LAD artery, which is a very severe condition that is often fatal. However, Smith did take some time to tweet about his health scare and later, took to Facebook to provide a more in-depth explanation of what happened, where he's at with it and how he's processing the whole thing at the current time.
"I was trying to do a killer standup special this evening but I might've gone too far. After the first show, I felt kinda nauseous. I threw up a little but it didn't seem to help. Then I started sweating buckets and my chest felt heavy. Turns out I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life at the #glendale hospital told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (also known as "the Widow-Maker" because when it goes, you're a goner). If I hadn't canceled the second show to go to the hospital, the Doc said I would've died tonight. For now, I'm still above ground! But this is what I learned about myself during this crisis: death was always the thing I was most terrified of in life. When the time came, I never imagined I'd ever be able to die with dignity - I assumed I'd die screaming, like my Dad (who lost his life to a massive heart attack). But even as they cut into my groin to slip a stent into the lethal Widow-Maker, I was filled with a sense of calm. I've had a great life: loved by parents who raised me to become the individual I am. I've had a weird, wonderful career in all sorts of media, amazing friends, the best wife in the world and an incredible daughter who made me a Dad. But as I stared into the infinite, I realized I was relatively content. Yes, I'd miss life as it moved on without me - and I was bummed we weren't gonna get to make #jayandsilentbobreboot before I shuffled loose the mortal coil. But generally speaking, I was okay with the end, if this was gonna be it. I've gotten to do so many cool things and I've had so many adventures - how could I be shitty about finally paying the tab. But the good folks at the Glendale hospital had other plans and the expertise to mend me. Total strangers saved my life tonight (as well as my friends @jordanmonsanto & @iamemilydawn, who called the ambulance). This is all a part of my mythology now and I'm sure I'll be facing some lifestyle changes (maybe it's time to go Vegan). But the point of this post is to tell you that I faced my greatest fear tonight... and it wasn't as bad as I've always imagined it'd be. I don't want my life to end but if it ends, I can't complain. It was such a gift. #KevinSmith"
A generation of young filmmakers and fans have been inspired by Kevin Smith, Chris Pratt included. While many of his recent efforts, such as Yoga Hosers, have left something to be desired for many, he remains an inspiring, positive and influential figure in the industry today. And his recent work on shows like The Flash and Supergirl as a director has gone over quite well. We wish Smith a speedy recovery. You can check out James Gunn's Twitter response, as well as Chris Pratt's tweets and Kevin Smiths Facebook post, for yourself below.