Model sends bizarre message to star of 'Stranger Things'
Finn Wolfhard has had quite a year. After a few appearances in independent films and minor roles in TV shows, he landed the role of a lifetime as a key character in Netflix's Stranger Things, a series that in just one season built a fanbase nearly as dedicated and obsessed as those that have been watching Game of Thrones for seven seasons.
Then, this year, he starred as Richie in 'It', the hit horror movie which broke box office records all over the globe. And just last week the second season of Stranger Things was released for fans to binge-watch over the weekend, and he's set to become an even bigger star in the entertainment industry.
Unfortunately, that attention doesn't always produce the most wholesome of responses, as this ill-advised joke from Ali Michael showed. Michael, an American fashion model, made a joke about the 14-year-old actor and his character Mike from Stranger Things, and many people were quick to point out it was misjudged.
On her Instagram story, the 27-year-old model posted a photo of the 14-year-old actor, along with the caption: "not to be weird but hit me up in four years".
In no time at all the image was screenshotted and posted onto Twitter, where fans pointed out how weird it is that she would make this joke considering his age. While some believed that the joke shouldn't be taken so seriously, others pointed out how we might see it differently if the genders were reversed.
Michael apologised for her comments soon after, admitting she knows why people were offended by what she said.
"It was completely absolutely a joke but I understand that people have been offended by it," she wrote on her Instagram story, "It was wrong to joke about and I apologise. I do not want Mike from Stranger Things to call me. I hope this clears things up".
Given that this apology is closer to the dreaded "I'm sorry you think I did something wrong" than a true apology, she made a full statement to Teen Vogue with a lengthier explanation:
"The general nature of my social media platforms is often one of humor, sarcasm and playful self-deprecation. I often quote, post and publicly respond to music videos, films, documentaries and television shows in a frank and candid manner.
"The nature of my posts in response to television and media are always tongue-in-cheek and never intended to mislead or upset anyone."
"In the past, I have asked fictitious characters of films to call me (namely Edward Scissorhands and Simba from the Lion King). In this instance, it has become clear to me that asking a character 'to call in four years' and inappropriately tagging the underage actor who plays the character (Mike) was upsetting, suggestive and concerning for my audience.
"It was never my intention (nor has it ever been) to sexualise a minor in any way shape or form. To those I offended or misled, I apologise for a post made in haste and lacking in sensitivity, particularly considering the landscape of the present culture."
She does point out that tagging the actor in the post is likely the most inappropriate thing about it, but the longer you look at the original image, the more you'll find yourself asking why exactly she thought it would go down well in the first place.