With The Walking Dead season 8 filming leading up to the season 8 premiere this fall, Josh McDermitt is on a break. Specifically, a break from social media, which is something that we think is going to be increasingly common over the course of the weeks ahead.
McDermitt, who plays Eugene on the AMC zombie series, posted a Facebook Live video before deleting his social media accounts (at least for now) saying that he was going to report any further death threats that came his way to the police, largely because he wasn’t sure if people were threatening him or if people were talking about his character. This is systemic of an era where many feel as though they can hop onto Twitter, create an anonymous profile, and say terrible things without any consequence. Josh attends many conventions; we don’t want to speak for him, but we have a difficult time imagining that there are any zombie super-fans out there who are attending these events and telling him to die in-person. They’re just online outlaws using fake names to harass actors and channel their garbage feelings about themselves onto other people.
It’s easy to say “don’t let it get to you” to any actor who has a great job, fame, and a steady income, but it’s emotionally destabilizing over time. Social media gives so many people a chance to communicate directly with their favorite actors, and it’s certainly helped many careers. Yet, there is a tipping point where more and more people could leave it to allow for some more sanity in their personal life.
If we were to put on our Sherlock Holmes hat in an attempt to identify most of the responsible parties here, what we would say is that they’re kids. This is an issue of education, of people not making it clear that there is something wrong with going onto social media and responding to people with words like “DIE” or “CHOKE” or other nonsense that is in actuality a threat. The people saying them don’t often mean them, but they don’t understand what they’re doing or a little something known as the intentional fallacy. It’s a mistake to think that someone online can judge your intent by looking at a one-word tweet that you find funny or edgy or whatever else. It’s a shame that a few have to ruin something like this for everyone.
What’s your take on the problems stemming from social media towards actors, related to The Walking Dead or otherwise? Share in the comments. (Photo: AMC.)