The Internet Turned Millie Bobby Brown Into A Homophobic Meme
The 14-year-old deleted her Twitter account as a result…
The internet can be a scary place, especially if the trolls who hide behind their screens join forces to zero in on you with their harassment. Millie Bobby Brown, the 14-year-old star of Netflix Original Stranger Things is the latest celebrity to get the troll treatment.
It all started with a hashtag, #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown, which is, all on its own, ridiculous and mean-spirited for no reason at all. It started in November of 2017 when a Twitter user accused Brown of telling her to “remove the hijab” before she would take a photo with her. That story (which is completely unsubstantiated) was all it took to start the hashtag and it wasn’t long before it spread.
People started taking photos from Brown’s Snapchat and pasting homophobic and racist “quotes” from her on top to share on Twitter along with the hashtag. Some people even went so far as to share screenshots of homophobic and racist tweets Brown had supposedly posted. That was in addition to the fictional stories people were tweeting of Brown treating them horribly.
While it’s pretty clear that the stories, quotes, and tweets are all made up, it’s not really fair to make an innocent 14-year-old girl the focus. It takes a very particular sense of humour to actually find the memes funny, and it stems from the reality that the homophobic and racist things Brown is accused of, actually do happen. They aren’t jokes—but attributing them to an innocent actress like Brown strikes people as ironic and funny.
LGBTQ people themselves have shared and laughed at the meme, probably because they think it’s too absurd to be true—and that’s what makes it so funny. But Brown, who has been outspoken in her support of the LGBTQ community, doesn’t think it’s funny. She went so far as to delete her Twitter account last week reportedly because of the hashtag, so clearly she’s uncomfortable.
While the hashtag and meme may have started out as an innocent joke, it has turned into what can only be seen as bullying. As a celebrity, Brown will inevitably learn how to ignore internet trolls and negative comments, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Either way, homophobia and racism shouldn’t be a joke, and memes like this only encourage people to continue poking fun at serious issues that affect millions of people’s lives every single day.