Nobody believes that Millie Bobby Brown runs over gay men in new automobiles. Similar to no one who honestly believes that Millie Bobby Brown throws piping hot McCafes at people wearing pride t-shirts at McDonald’s. Similar to no one who truly thinks it’s true that Millie Bobby Brown bullies gay men by sneaking into their messages and dropping F-bombs (the ones that rhyme with maggots).
What people may not believe isn’t that important in the end, because Millie Bobby Brown, the 14-year-old main character of the Netflix series Stranger Things , deactivated her Twitter account last week, according to reports, in response to claims such as these.
These claims are part of the #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown meme, which consists of low-effort pictures — usually screengrabs from Brown’s Snapchat — pasted over with absurdly homophobic statements.
At first glance, this meme is unsettling and not in good taste. It is false to portray this child and child actor as a violent homicidal bigot is disgusting and Brown having to delete her Twitter to stay out of the snarl is a reasonable response to the growing comedy of humor about toilets.
If you look into the story, it’s an article about the internet’s deep-seated connection to irony. It’s about a viral meme that is only successful due to how ridiculous this is. Also, it’s about how perfect Brown’s image of a celebrity is, and how anger can cause the internet to become the most vile version of itself.
The tale about Millie Bobby Brown being a monster bigot began with trolling
The meme that is centered around Brown is a test of honesty and absurdity. Brown seems to be innocent, sweet young woman and that’s why juxtaposing her image with such defamatory assertions triggers an outrage. In reality, the trend began in November 2017, with the portrayal of Brown as a sexist troll.
A Troll account, @Kelsfionathat changed their handle to @Kelsbich, and has been suspended posted a ridiculous, fake account of the meeting of Brown on the way to the airport which ended with Brown being seen stomping around in the floor wearing a hijab.
The key takeaway from this is that memes are created to provoke reactions which is why the more reactions that there’s, the greater trolly the posts become and the meme’s duration grows. That means Brown quits Twitter could trigger the Streisand impact where the meme is able to draw greater attention by trolls as a result of Brown’s response.
There’s no proof that this Millie Bobby Brown meme to be real. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous.
If I’m sincere, I’ll admit to finding some dark humor in this meme. The portrayal of Brown and his pals, who appear to appear to be a tiny, sweet human being and a bigot who smacks gay men in new vehicles is so ridiculous that it takes these claims to the level of surreal comedy. This is a dark satire on the absurdity of the real world (where we’ve just celebrated 2 years since the shooting at the Nightclub massacre at Pulse) as well as for those who are gay, laughing in this absurd scenario is a way of reducing and deal with the real homophobia that exists in the world currently.
To be transparent, nobody actually believes that Brown is a racist and hateful person There’s no proof she’s made any remarks that are even remotely connected to those that are being made public by her. The utterly false nature of the myth, as well as the reality that it’s an obvious attempt at absurdity, makes it feasible to separate the fun of homophobic Millie Bobby Brown from the real Millie Bobby Brown.
But the people who see this meme as bullying do also have a point: Brown is still a young actress in her formative years, and if the reports are accurate and she deactivated her account because of this meme, she’s clearly uncomfortable with its existence and may not feel that same compartmentalization. It’s not unreasonable for Brown to feel resentful about the significance of her name with the memes and to want to separate. This is the lesson of things that happen when internet’s obsession with irony collides with the real world.
There’s a trend in which ironic memes, such as ones that involve Brown often manipulated into being truths. The Verge pointed out that as The Verge noted during its analysis on the changing nature of flat earthers Engaging in ironic humor repeatedly often (in this instance, jokes about the flat Earth) could cause people to consider questioning what is real. Another illustration can be found in Pepe the Frog In where a satirical joke about a frog that was awkward was transformed into a joke about the frog being anti-Semitic in a way Then, eventually, that Frog was a symbol for the alt-right.
Every reaction to the irony shifts the goalposts by a tiny bit every time, until the point where it could be difficult to determine the is the field that you’re in.
As much as I’d like believe that the Brown memes will never make it to this level The internet has proved itself capable of becoming the most awful version of itself if given the chance.