This is award-winning actor Patricia Clarkson. You might know her from Six Feet Under, House of Cards, or Sharp Objects (for which she recently won this Golden Globe).
This is Dilara Elbir. She’s a 24-year-old film critic from Istanbul who’s based in Seattle. She’s also a big Patricia Clarkson fan.
Elbir told BuzzFeed News her fandom is in part due to the actor’s 1998 film High Art, in which she played a lesbian.
“Once you play a lesbian, lesbians embrace you forever,” Elbir told BuzzFeed News.
She also loves Clarkson’s good humor and talent.
But Elbir isn’t the only LGBT person obsessed with Clarkson. The actor has been something of a minor meme on Gay Twitter for a while now.
The fandom really took off after Sharp Objects came out last year.
Some of the memes now involve sharing fake quotes from Clarkson in which she says outlandish things.
“I probably have around 30–40 memes of her with funny made-up quotes about gays on my phone,” Elbir said.
Let’s be clear: Patricia Clarkson has actually said none of these things out loud (as far as we know), although she is a big supporter of the LGBT community.
Here’s a speech she gave in 2009 in support of LGBT rights at a Human Rights Campaign gala. (Watch just the first 10 seconds because it opens with her pirouetting to a Melissa Etheridge song — you can see why the gays love her.)
Anyway, after Clarkson won her Golden Globe for Sharp Objects on Jan. 6, Elbir posted this on Twitter, sharing some of her favorite made-up quotes.
Here are some of the memes she shared:
Time passed, and then Tuesday, Elbir was alerted to a new tweet from Clarkson’s actual publicists.
Elbir told BuzzFeed News she was actually working on a story about High Art when her phone lit up with the Twitter notification.
She said she was mortified.
“I’ve been on Twitter for 10 years and posted gay memes about actresses I had a crush on for ages and never got contacted by their PR,” she explained. “I was shocked because it’s so common on Twitter. And they took it so seriously.”
Elbir wrote about the exchange in a tweet that was subsequently shared hundreds of times.
“It immediately turned into a joke amongst my friends because we never thought a legit PR firm would be so bothered by them,” she said. “It’s not as if anyone thought she actually said those things.”
“I kind of feel bad for them now because everyone is making fun of them,” she added. “They had to face the wrath of film and gay Twitter.”
Elbir ultimately decided to delete the tweet rather than risk being reported for her memes, but responded to the publicists the only way she knew how.
The PR team at Stan Rosenfield & Associates in Los Angeles didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but explained some of their thinking on Twitter.
Elbir said she was sympathetic to the plight of the publicists.
“Though obviously it was not my or anyone’s intention to act like she said those things or stain her image in anyway, I understand how the memes might be misunderstood by those who are not familiar with Twitter culture,” she said.