From aggressive stalkers to harassment on social media, Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things fame have both recently spoken out against the negative ways stardom has affected their daily lives.
The two rose to fame in 2016 when the first season of Netflix’s Stranger Things was released – Brown was 12 during the filming of season one, and Wolfhard was 14. Now, four years later, both have several other projects under their belt: Brown landed a role in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and is returning for upcoming sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, in 2020. In 2017, Wolfhard starred in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, and has also been in two different indie rock bands, Calpurnia and The Aubreys.
Millie Bobby Brown On Social Media
In 2018, Brown deleted her Twitter account after excessive harassment when several memes depicted her as being violently homophobic and racist. All of these memes were fake, of course, but that didn’t stop them from spreading, prompting Brown to leave the social media platform altogether.
More recently, on her 16th birthday, Brown took to Instagram to share a video post with her feelings about how the media has treated her since her rise to stardom. The video contains clips of Brown throughout her childhood and into her teenage years, as well as a few headlines and audio soundbites.
“When did Millie Bobby Brown go through the change??? (Menopause)” reads one ridiculous headline. An audio clip from an entertainment news show plays: “It kind of sounds like Millie Bobby Brown is letting fame get to her head!”
Brown accompanied her post with a statement explaining why she uploaded the video: “there are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me. but not ever will i be defeated.”
“I hope this video informs you on the things that go on behind the scenes of the headlines and flashing lights,” she writes.
Finn Wolfhards’s Struggle With Stalkers
Sadly, Brown is not alone in her experiences. In a recent interview with Mastermind, her co-star Wolfhard described a sketchy encounter he had with adult stalkers when he was 13 years old.
Wolfhard, now 17, explained: “…some adults followed me back to my condo when I was shooting It. Stranger Things had just come out, and I was by myself. As I walked faster, they walked faster, and I was getting a bit antsy by the time I got to the door. Suddenly, they were like, ‘Hey, dude, can we get a selfie?’ And I was like, ‘No you can’t have a selfie! How about don’t follow children?”’
He also explained that he was once followed by a taxi, and that “the person continued to be pretty relentless” in their pursuit to get his attention once the driver had parked.
Overly-pushy fans have even followed Wolfhard in his other pursuits. While performing with his band, Calpurnia, Wolfhard has “had to stop shows because people were getting crushed.” Actor Ryan Reynolds, a friend of Wolfhard’s, “almost got injured in Brazil when he went to the barricade” during one of Calpurnia’s concerts. Wolfhard added: “It was lucky that the hundred people who fell over it weren’t hurt.”
The inappropriate behavior exhibited by the so-called “fans” in these scenarios would be uncalled for even if the celebrities in question were adults – so the fact that Brown and Wolfhard are teenagers makes these situations even more apalling. No child, regardless of their level of fame, should ever be exposed to harassment for exploring their passions and finding success.