Strange Fans of Stranger Things?
By Kala Fogg
Stranger Things, the web television series better known for being a supernatural phenomenon, has been making headlines once again following the debut of it’s second season. The series primarily gained its popularity solely for the groundbreaking quality of it’s content through Netflix, but lately the show is trending for less obvious reasons.
The show stars children/teenagers who range from ages 12-15 but that hasn’t quite registered in the minds of some adult fans of the show. Being in the spotlight, surrounded by mature themes can force certain child-stars to grow up at a faster pace than the average child, especially in the minds of those watching them grow up onscreen. These young actors constantly being in front the camera has a way of influencing people into thinking they have the right to comment on their life, personal character, and appearance. Recently 13 year old Millie Bobby Brown who plays “Eleven” on the show has been the target for grown up male fans and their comments; she has been criticized for either dressing too old or too young for her age. The comments being made in regards to her body from unfamiliar men much older than her, are out of pocket considering the reality of her youth.
Not only are these young stars being sexualized, however they are also being demanded to act in particular ways in public off camera. Recently Finn Wolfhard who plays “Will” in the series and starred as "Richie" in the horror movie “IT” was publicly attacked by an adult fan of the show for not stopping to take a picture with him outside of Wolfhard’s hotel. The fan recorded videos of himself demanding a photo with Wolfhard while he left and returned to his hotel the same day. There has been a series of opinions regarding the video, the most popular being everyone’s disregard for these actors being children. It is intimidating for these stars to be in the spotlight at their age, and their popularity isn’t going to die down any soon. I think it’s safe to say those who are readily viewing these children as adults, forget about the common path child stars often take due to the overwhelming demands the job requires. Many have been voicing their opinions through twitter, siding with the kids and bashing those who are harassing these young actors; Finn Wolfhard himself has tweeted, telling his fans it’s not cool to harass him or his co-workers.
These encounters all raise an important issue concerning the relationship between those who acquire fame, and the public. It seems like the world is having difficulty just appreciating the entertainment these actors are providing us with. It's unfortunate that now agreeing to showcase your talent worldwide means to give up being a human being and belonging to yourself. We aren't entitled to demand anything of anyone regardless of their role in society, especially of someone else's child.