This article was written by our Everly Mag Intern, Chloe. Get to know Chloe and our other interns here!
WARNING: Though the contents of this article itself are not offensive, the “jokes” referenced in this article are violent and hateful, using words that are not suitable for minors. Pleased be advised if you should wish to partake in further research beyond this article. Opinions in this article are only reflective of the author herself.
It started as a silly ironic joke. Who is one of the sweetest celebrities out there? Who’s less likely to be a violent homophobe than 14-year-old Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown?
For those who haven’t seen the images littering Twitter, they mostly consist of images of Millie with fake quotes that contain hateful, violent messages with awful slurs. The joke was started by troll accounts and was later taken up by actual members of the LGBT+ community who mostly saw it as an absurdist joke. Once Millie decided to quit Twitter, reactions ranged from support of Millie in her break from Twitter to people saying that Millie needs to learn to take a joke.
As a proud member of the LGBT+ community, I’m all about creating weird surrealist inside jokes. These kinds of jokes and memes can bring us together and help speak to common experiences that many of us share. However, there’s no way I can feel any way but disgusted when the butt of a joke is a totally innocent 14-year-old is already under enough unjust scrutiny by the media. There are plenty of infinitely more deserving people out there to trash with memes.
So yeah, obviously, these jokes are in no way representative of Millie Bobby Brown. However, sometimes irony tends to get lost in translation on the internet. This can be seen in the comments on many of these images where people, legitimately confused, ask if Millie has ever actually said anything homophobic. These people were pretty quickly corrected, but the sentiment itself remains and must be extremely upsetting to Millie. In the past, Millie has again and again shown her support for the LGBT+ community.
Is a meme that insists that a perfectly innocent 14-year-old is violently homophobic really a funny joke? If it persists to the point where it’s no longer a silly inside joke and instead is co-opted by Twitter at large and is seen by the subject of the joke herself, is it really something we can justify and defend? If said innocent celeb that has promoted nothing but positivity and kindness her entire career is uncomfortable to the point where she needs to leave Twitter, can we not say at that point that the joke has turned into straight up bullying?
What’s your reaction to Millie Bobby Brown leaving Twitter? Comment below.
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