Do you think you're "owed" an autograph?
The kids that star in the hit Netflix show Stranger Things have been thrust into the spotlight. They’re popular with children and adults alike who are huge fans of their expert acting skills and comedic chops. Most agree that the incredibly talented children will probably enjoy long, fruitful careers in the entertainment business. Considering that they operate in a very mature industry, it’s easy to forget sometimes that they are, in fact, kids, and they can’t be beholden to adult responsibilities and obligations.
A recent incident in which fans called 14-year-old actor Finn Wolfhard “rude” has opened up a dialogue about how people take things way too far when they meet famous people on the street. It’s even worse when the celebrities are so young.
Finn Wolfhard is the undeniable breakout star of Stranger Things. While his co-stars are all enjoying attention and praise for their roles, his turn as Eleven’s best friend Mike has already carved out a unique place in pop culture history. The young teen star is being hailed as an excellent actor, a heartthrob, and a teen hero.
He’s achieved a level of fame that has fans watching his every move. They even lay in wait outside his hotel hoping to get a picture with him or an autograph.
Recently, Finn was returning to his hotel and was met by a large group of fans. Finn just didn’t have the energy to stop and meet all of them, so he kept walking into the hotel. One fan who appears to have been an adult commented, “Finn, I’ve never met you! That’s so rude!” The entire event was captured on camera, and the video went viral.
Twitter user @chandlerborrero wrote, “Imagine being 14 and [so] heartless that you can’t even stop for your fans who made you famous in the first place! WOW.”
Others started calling out the young man for ignoring his fans, but one special lady came to the young man’s defense.
Barb to the Rescue
Stranger Things fans are obsessed with Shannon Purser’s character Barb even though the character was (*SPOILERS*) killed off early in season one. She caught wind of Finn being bullied online for being “rude,” and she stepped in to defend him.
She wrote on Twitter:
“Okay, no. No actor is under any obligation to stop for anyone. Finn is an incredibly kind human. But he’s human and he needs breaks too. I experience this on a significantly smaller scale, obviously, but I’ve had people waiting for me in hotel lobbies, at my airport gate, etc. And I’m an adult. I can’t imagine being inundated with all this attention at his age. It’s intimidating.”
Shannon has experienced first-hand what it’s like to be constantly harassed by fans while going about your her daily life. It can be draining to feel like you have to spend time with each and every person who wants to meet you. She continued:
“So, from one big sister to the world, don’t you DARE make young actors feel guilty or indebted to you because they couldn’t say hi. They give you their art. They love their fans. Don’t take advantage of that. And if you can’t handle them needing space, stay away.”