This week was a bit of a rough one for Wentworth Miller. A blog posted a meme making fun of his weight gain a few years ago but what they didn’t know was that the photo in question was taken at his heaviest and emotionally lowest point. Wentworth has been very open about suffering from anxiety and depression since his childhood. Whether it relates to his sexuality or not hasn’t been discussed but the photo was taken before he came out publicly a few years ago. The blog in question obviously had no idea about his mental health issues and have subsequently taken the post down and offered what seems to be a very genuine apology.
What troubles me is that this kind of meme that we have all laughed at, me included, is fine to post as long as everyone is healthy and emotionally ok. Not sure that’s the way to approach it. I love a good joke and some memes are bloody hilarious even when they are poking fun at someone. There are people like Donald Trump and the Kardashians that seem to contradict themselves and say stupid things setting themselves up for meme worthy attention. The culture we have at the moment of tearing celebrities down at any given opportunity is not good.
Does it stem from social media giving people a level of anonymity? I believe it does and the problem is that it’s not just celebrities. People are violently horrible to each other almost for sport on social media and it’s leading to more and more deaths. Thankfully Wentworth is old enough and strong enough to turn the suffering into a positive. “The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/ my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.” Read his full response here.