Before I begin what I’m sure will be another lengthy rant, as occasionally happens on this Tumblr of mine, let me just clarify two things:
1. I don’t know Yvette Nicole Brown personally (because obviously, if I did, this would be something I’d say to her in private,) and therefore can’t comment on her conduct outside of what I’ve seen in interviews or how she behaves on social media. I’ve never watched Community and don’t really have any desire to- not because of any bias against the show, but because my taste in comedy really only revolves around “Archer,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” or “South Park.”
The only time I’ve actively watched Yvette is when she appeared on “The Talking Dead,” where I found her informed and funny. After her most recent appearance with CM Punk and Melissa McBride following the episode “The Grove,” I followed her on Twitter.
2. In the grand scheme of importance, internet celebrity, or status in life in general- I fully admit that I am a nobody. I have roughly 200 followers on Twitter, most of who I talk to regularly, some of whom I don’t talk to at all, and others I’m fairly certain are just spambots. I am a paralegal and a blogger from Massachusetts who really doesn’t matter outside of my family, my friends, my place of employment, and my dog- and I’m fine with that- because I’m a happy person and content with what I have.
The reason I felt it necessary to comment on my lack of celebrity status is because even though I am not by any means famous, I’ve encountered my fair share of internet trolls, cyber bullies, stress and overall irritation on the World Wide Web. It comes with the territory, unfortunately. The internet is both one of the best, most fun places- and also the worst, most depraved and disgusting places- depending on where you find yourself.
From experience, simply ignoring said trolls/bullies worked best in my favor. They were fueled by any reaction, especially a bad one- so hypothetically kicking sand on their fire instead of adding gasoline to it resulted in them eventually taking their ball and going home- leaving me to carry on with whatever I was doing in peace. Should they return, I did the same thing- yielding the same results. It wasn’t always easy, but I felt good about not giving them the satisfaction of a response or retort to their attempts to get a rise out of me. I focused on good people and the good things they brought to discussions, and even debates at times.
In the case of celebrities, or anyone in the public eye, those trolls and bullies come out by the hundreds, if not more. Take a look at any actor/musician/politician’s Twitter and you will see A LOT of mean-spirited responses among a lot of really sweet, positive ones (or “COME TO BRAZIL!” ones.) Most celebrities handle it the same way I did- ignore it. Some responded, made their peace- and then left it alone. Some cracked under pressure and temporarily deleted their accounts. Others went on Jimmy Kimmel to read the tweets out loud to the world (and internet’s) amusement. How celebrities handle it, however- is a little more important- since they can be (and usually are) considered role models and people to look up to.
So while I was taking a break in my office today and scrolling through Twitter, a tweet from Yvette Nicole Brown, who up until that point had simply been promoting appearances (and had apparently had some sort of feud with a CM Punk impersonator,) caught my attention:
For those who don’t have Twitter or aren’t Twitter savvy, putting a period before you @ mention a user makes that tweet visible to your followers. Yvette has 433K people reading her tweets at the moment, so I was curious as to what could have possibly set her off that she would call someone out so publicly in front of so many people. All I had to do was click “view conversation,” and I had expected to see some heinous, horrible insult:
A civil and heinous-insult-free critique of the show’s apparent deteriorating quality with the absence of two characters was what I found, and sure enough- a decent sized amount (not all, thank God) of Yvette’s 433K followers began the assault on Christine Peterson’s Twitter. Not content with essentially humiliating a fan of “Community” who was voicing her easily-ignorable opinions, Yvette carried on (read from the bottom up)
When a couple of Christine’s friends (I assume,) as well as a few of Yvette’s followers who thought she was overreacting just a tad and taking her crusade a little too far politely suggested she take her own advice, block those who upset her, and LET. IT. GO., Yvette turned her attention and anger on them, and, embarrassingly enough- their follower count. Yvette has since back-peddled and deleted a good portion of her tweets, some criticizing people for low follower counts- which is quite possibly the most immature, idiotic way of saying “I’M MORE POPULAR THAN YOU NEENER NEENER,” made even more eye-roll worthy when you remember that this is a grown woman preaching about respect on social media to people who are simply questioning why she felt it necessary to attack someone for having an opinion she didn’t like as opposed to just- you know- ignoring/blocking them the way she was very passionately tweeting about.
The following are caps that were sent to me from one of the girls who thought Yvette was being irrational before the massive delete-a-thon. I can attest to these, because I saw them before they were erased:
(she responded three times to one tweet.)
But did Yvette really go #BackToHerLife? The handful of individuals Yvette blocked began discussing the absurdity of the situation among themselves (when they weren’t defending themselves against Yvette’s followers who thought joining the mob and dogpiling onto the drama was funny.)
Again, Yvette couldn’t let it go (please read from the bottom up, again.) The very bottom tweet is the most telling, as it seems Yvette was deliberately and purposefully reading the tweets of those she’d supposedly blocked and instigating further attention/fighting.
Some more caps:
(side note: Or they could just be upset that someone has been needlessly humiliated for expressing their views of “Community”)
The drama seemed to die down with one final tweet:
Sound advice. It’s a shame she didn’t consider it for the 2+ hours she kept at it.
So, to recap: a fan of “Community” tweeted her thoughts on the show’s quality directly to Yvette, which, while it could be considered offensive to some people- the tweet (and follow-up response) were polite and in no way a direct insult to Yvette or the character she plays on the show. Yvette took offense, called the girl out to her followers as opposed to just ignoring the tweet/blocking the user, went on a tirade about the importance of blocking/unfollowing while never actually doing it herself, got insanely defensive when people tried to get her to calm down, made fun of those who didn’t agree with her (and their follower counts,) continually instigated people, and finally deleted a ton of tweets that made her look really, really bad.
To attempt to wrap this up, I would like to say that I have unfollowed Yvette because that brand of schoolyard fighting isn’t something I needed polluting my feed, and I wanted to make this post, NOT because I think she’s a terrible person (I want to stress that, because like I said, I don’t know her personally- and her work as an actress or commentator has not been cheapened in my eyes) but because I think what happened today is a learning experience for everyone- Yvette included- especially Yvette, really- because of her status as an actress and potential role model.
I’ve said and done some really stupid things, both in person and online, and that’s life, but you can’t move forward unless you own your shit and admit and accept that you’ve made mistakes.
If you do not like what is being said on the internet- ignore it.
If you can’t ignore it- say your peace as adult as you can and let it be.
If the other person won’t let it be- block them.
If you can’t block them- then you should really, really re-consider whatever site/social media you’re using and whether or not you should be actively participating on it.
If you work in entertainment, or you want to work in show business (or any business, really,) you have to thicken your skin and realize that not everyone is going to like the work you create/do. Everyone will have an opinion- and most of them- you won’t like. Get over it and keep on keeping on. Otherwise, you will go abso-fucking-lutely insane.
This has been MY tirade (140 characters is never enough, hence why it’s here.) I welcome discussion, and debate- on the subject. I’ve never been afraid of either one.
Should Yvette ever see this (you never know who will tweet or forward something,) I’m disappointed in your actions today. I really expected better from a Caryl shipper- and I hope you move forward from this and don’t sink to this level again.
(side note: is “Community” worth watching?)