Fantastic Four and Capone director Josh Trank has returned to social media and is responding to the trolling and harassment that prompted him to leave Instagram and Twitter late last week. Trank posted his response on his now reactivated Twitter account -- the director's Instagram appears to still be deleted at this point -- and in it not only apologized for what he described as "overreacting" as well as addressed the frustration of being harassed online for years.
"Just back for a second to apologize for overreacting to a few accounts that trolled me on IG," Trank wrote. "Over years of being railed on these platforms for my movies and opinions, I've responded impulsively, more than once. That's on me."
He continued, "Online harassment can be a frustrating experience, especially in a cynical space where the majority of users are cloaked in anonymity. While you feel compelled to respond to personal comments in equal measure, the results are never on your side. Best to take it in stride, though it's not easy. I think I a LOT of people can relate to this."
Trank closed his comments by writing that he hopes to see everyone at the movies soon.
Late last week, Trank left social media after receiving a number of harassing and trolling comments on Instagram, many of the comments coming in response to Trank's post defending his film, Capone, against those he indicated were messaging him to tell him the film "sucks" by noting the praise the film has received. He also suggested that people "accomplish something interesting" with their lives instead of bullying him on social media. While some of Trank's reactions were extreme, the director has been dealing with bullying, trolling, and more on social media for years, apparently prompting his decision at that time to just step away.
The continued harassment of Trank over the years is something that some social media users noted when the user who reportedly prompted Trank leaving Instagram themselves took to Twitter to brag about it -- noting a now-deleted post that they "bullied" the filmmaker off the platform. Many users chimed in that while they didn't necessarily support Trank's behavior, the bullying and harassment wasn't okay, either.
At this point, it's not clear if Trank plans to return to Instagram or if his return to Twitter is a long-lasting one. His Tweet characterized the situation as a "break" from social media and noted that he'd leave the post up for the day. In either case -- actual departure or just a break -- the entire situation brings up conversation about online harassment and bullying in general and specifically in terms of entertainment, as well as where the line between dislike for something and maltreatment of others because of that dislike lies.
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