It’s a tale as old as Twitter. Another celebrity has announced a break from social media after becoming the target of negative comments from “fans.” This time, it’s Will Poulter, who was most recently seen in Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Poulter plays Colin Ritman in the interactive film about a programmer who is adapting a choose-your-own-adventure novel into a video game, set in the 1980s. Since the movie dropped last Friday (December 28), the actor has been taunted online about his appearance.
Poulter took to Twitter (where else?) to release a statement about his decision to “take a step back” from the platform. “I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has watched Bandersnatch and for their responses (whatever they may be) to the material we created,” he began. “I accept all criticisms and it’s been a delight to learn that so many of you enjoyed what many people worked very hard to produce!”
He went on to note that we all need to find a “balance” with our social media usage as the platforms fluctuate between being positive and negative spaces. “It’s a balance I have struggled with for a while now and in the interest of my mental health I feel the time has come to change my relationship with social media.”
Poulter continued by expressing his gratitude for the supportive messages he’s received — possibly aimed at those who have asked for a Colin romance loop — and shouted out a few organizations he will continue to support on social media, including one anti-bullying campaign.
“I hope that this shift to reduce my personal expression and increase the focus on issues that matter will result in a better outcome for everyone,” he wrote before concluding with a nod to his movie. “This is not the end. Consider it an alternative path.”
Let’s all use this as a reminder that we, too, can decide to use social media for good or for bad, and selecting either option will help determine the path we’re on. You know, assuming free will exists.
Read Poulter’s full statement below.