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"Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" Star Will Poulter Said He’s Stepping Back From Social Media After Online Criticism

“In the interest of my mental health I feel the time has come to change my relationship with social media," wrote Poulter, who played guru game designer Colin Ritman in the Netflix show.

Posted on January 3, 2019, at 6:03 p.m. ET


Will Poulter, one of the stars of the Black Mirror choose-your-own-adventure episode "Bandersnatch" on Netflix, said Wednesday that he’s taking a step back from social media after being on the receiving end of online criticism.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Poulter wrote that “in light of recent experiences,” he’s going to take a break from Twitter, but still thanked fans for their responses to the episode, “whatever they may be.”

“I accept all criticisms and it’s been a delight to learn that so many of you enjoyed what many people worked hard to produce,” he said.

"Bandersnatch," which premiered on Netflix on Dec. 28, is an interactive episode set in England in the 1980s.

The show was well received by many fans, but some viewers used Twitter to mock Poulter's appearance and make negative comments about his performance. One meme even compared him to Sid, the bully from Toy Story.

"This is disgusting," one Twitter user said, defending Poulter. "He is an amazing person and it’s not funny to make fun of someone's appearance. It’s not okay."

Poulter said he was stepping away from social media to protect his mental health — a message that resonated with many fans of Black Mirror, which routinely explores the negative effects of technology on society.

“As we all know there are balances to be struck in our engagements with social media. There are positives to enjoy and inevitable negatives that are best avoided,” Poulter said.

“It’s a balance I have struggled with for a while now and in the interest of my mental health I feel the time has come to change my relationship with social media," he wrote.

The 25-year-old actor, who's also appeared in films like Detroit, We're the Millers, and The Maze Runner, clarified that he’s not definitively quitting social media for good because he might still pop on Twitter once in a while to tweet on behalf of some anti-bullying organizations he’s involved with.

"I am privileged to have this platform," Poulter wrote. "I hope that this shift to reduce my personal expression and increase the focus on issues that matter will result in a better outcome for everyone."

British actor Ben Barnes, one of the stars of HBO's Westworld, was among those who offered support to Poulter after his tweet.

"Nothing but love, brother," Barnes wrote. "Stay safe in the knowledge that you are the kindest, sweetest, most generous and vibrant human anyone could have the good fortune to have cross their path."

The two actors starred together in 2010's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Representatives for Poulter and Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.