Bobby and Millie honestly believe that there are no men who are gay running over new cars. They also believe that at McDonald’s, people who wear pride T-shirts and enjoy piping hot McCafés are just like them. Additionally, Bobby and Millie believe that there are no men who are gay bullies sliding into their texts and dropping f-bombs, similar to the maggots that rhyme with “one.”
Allegations like these supposedly caused Millie Bobby Brown, the 14-year-old protagonist of Netflix’s Stranger Things, to disable her Twitter account this week. Nevertheless, the acceptance or rejection of individuals is ultimately irrelevant.
Ridiculously homophobic remarks covered with low-effort images, typically screenshots from Brown’s Snapchat, are included in the #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown trend.
The internet’s festering orgy of tasteless humor is evident in the shocking and distasteful meme. It is truly heinous to falsely depict this young girl and child star as a violent and prejudiced individual, and it is understandable that Brown chose to delete her Twitter account to escape this chaotic situation.
It’s astonishing how the internet can amplify the worst version of itself, especially when it comes to tarnishing the pristine image of celebrity Brown. It’s ridiculous how a meme about it is the only thing that succeeds, highlighting the irony and the deep intertwining relationship with the internet. If you delve deeper into this story, you’ll discover the profound connection the internet has with irony.
The narrative of Millie Bobby Brown being a monstrous bigot originated as online harassment
Commencing in November 2017, when depicting Brown as opposed to Islam, the meme effectively elicits a response by juxtaposing her image with such atrocious remarks. Brown, a sweet and honest young girl, appears to be such a person, which is why demonstrating genuineness versus absurdity is the focal point of this meme regarding Brown.
@Kelsfiona, a troll account that has now been suspended, posted a fabricated and preposterous story about meeting Brown at the airport, which ends with stomping on a hijab, asking for proof as a response to this nonsensical and trollish request for evidence, @Kelsfiona is clearly joking and further driving the joke.
That viral image prompted a remarkably similar, equally absurd fabricated narrative about Brown displaying homophobia.
A person dressed in a rainbow pride T-shirt was targeted with a steaming McDonald’s McCafé drink by Brown, an utterly absurd story similar to this one, which has a few versions that mirror those initial responses. Recently, the meme “Millie Bobby Brown is anti-gay” has been circulating along with the mocking hashtag #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown, giving rise to that.
Different versions of a clearly poorly edited image of Brown expressing her desire to deliberately harm homosexual men with her vehicle, along with a recent version that falsely attributes stories of hateful racism to Brown, primarily comprise more vulgar and direct content. The noticeably subpar photoshopped images that frequently accompany these tweets amplify the blatantly artificial aspect of the initial meme, which is not directly linked to the tweet that initiated all of this.
Brown’s response might attract greater scrutiny from internet trolls due to the Streisand effect, wherein the viral content garners even more attention and its lifespan extends. Moreover, the stronger the reaction, the more likely the posts become troll-like, as these memes are intentionally crafted to provoke a response. The key point to remember is this.
Nobody thinks the Millie Bobby Brown meme is authentic. However, that doesn’t imply it’s innocuous.
In today’s society marked by prejudice against homosexuality, finding amusement in such an absurd situation serves as a means to challenge and cope with the actual existence of homophobia. It represents a bleak and exaggerated portrayal of the outrageousness prevalent in the real world, especially considering that we recently marked the two-year anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting. Depicting Brown, who appears to be a kind and innocent individual, as a despicable bigot who intentionally targets gay men using brand-new vehicles is so ludicrous that it elevates these statements to the realm of surreal comedy. To be honest, I must confess that I find some dark humor in this meme.
The bullying that a 14-year-old girl experiences raises questions about whether this type of humor is also a form of bullying. It is a fact that this type of humor is coming at the expense of the girl, but it is considered fun. However, if LGBTQ people were not included in the fun, it would create a context of reclamation, where the LGBTQ community laughed and remixed the meme.
It is quite evident that the meme falsely portrays Millie Bobby Brown as a homophobic individual, which is absolutely absurd when considering the fact that she has never made any remotely related statements or shown any evidence of being a hateful or bigoted person. It is important to emphasize once again that there is no actual belief that Brown is a bigot.
The irony of love in the real world is evident when we consider the lessons that can be learned from the internet. Brown’s dislike of the association of her name with these memes is not irrational. It’s understandable that she may feel uncomfortable with the existence of this meme, as it is attached to her and she may not want to be associated with it. That’s why she deactivated her account, as the reports about her are accurate. It is important to recognize that Brown is still a young actress in her formative years, and people who see this meme as a form of bullying may have a valid point.
Pepe the Frog, which started as an awkward joke about a frog and eventually became the mascot for the alt-right, is another example of an ironic joke that ironically turned into an anti-Semitic symbol. This phenomenon, involving memes like Pepe and others, can cause people to question real things and engage in ironic humor. The Verge pointed out in its examination of the rise of flat-earthers that there’s a case to start questioning things again with ironic jokes about believing in a flat Earth.
Each time, it becomes harder to know on which field you’re playing, as the goalposts move a little bit closer to that ironic point, eliciting a reaction.
Given an opportunity, the internet has regrettably demonstrated its ability to transform into its most negative form, and as much as I would want to trust that these Brown memes would never reach that point.