Millie Bobby Brown became the breakout hit of the Netflix series Stranger Things when she debuted as the telekinetic Eleven in 2016, gaining her a massive and passionate fanbase. The sudden surge in popularity also made her the target of unwanted attention, as recent months have seen a surge of hateful memes involving the 14-year-old actress and homophobic slurs. The actress has since deactivated her Twitter account.
WARNING: Offensive language below
people getting mad over the millie bobby brown homophobic meme makes me giggle
most of these memes were made by the gays so don’t worry, susan!
anyways, enjoy these funny ones xoxo 😘 pic.twitter.com/EeCS0PfK6k— daniel ?¿ (@thelovelesscIub) June 11, 2018
It's unclear exactly when and why the memes started, as Brown has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ causes and anti-bullying campaigns.
One of the (many) drawbacks to humor on the Internet is that neither irony nor sarcasm is immediately recognizable. While it doesn't justify having hateful words attributed to her image, one would think that the meme started by juxtaposing the image of a well-meaning and innocent celebrity with offensive quotes. The joke has clearly gone too far, with Brown being an unwilling participant of such a vulgar series of so-called "jokes."
Brown hasn't officially commented on why she abandoned the social media platform, though it's easy to see how much of an impact the memes would have on her. Sadly, Brown would be only the latest celebrity to part ways with social media following relentless harassment.
In 2016, Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones left Twitter after being subjected to racist insults, though she has since returned to the service. Also in 2016, The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley left social media following comments calling for gun control. Ridley was then harassed by social media users who claimed she was a hypocrite for starring in a sci-fi film featuring blasters while also hoping that stricter gun laws would lead to fewer innocent lives being taken.
More recently, The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran left social media after being the target of countless racist and sexist insults as a response to her character Rose Tico. Despite Tran not detailing personally why she left social media, The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson took to Twitter to make the reasoning behind the departure seem pretty clear.
"I don’t want to speak for her, I’m sure at some point she’ll talk about it. But if anyone is honestly questioning whether her decision had anything to do with the constant presence of toxic threats, insults
Stranger Things Season Three will debut on Netflix next year, with both Season One and Season Two streaming now.
What are your thoughts on Brown's social media departure? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!