Celebs Who Were Shamed Off Of Social Media

More than any other year prior, 2020 has truly shown the power of social media. While we have had to quarantine entirely or limit travel, there has been an influx of entertainment derived from Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Tik Tok. Not only has social media kept us entertained and occupied with all the memes, challenges, and drama that have surfaced, it’s also been a great way to stay connected.

But, as exemplified by Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, social media can also be a beast, an unfortunate reality particularly for people who live their lives in the public eye. Though social media has been a great way for celebrities to stay connected with fans even before 2020, it’s also given way for the rise of internet backlash — warranted or not — which has sent some in Hollywood running back to the safety of gatekeepers. While it’s true that it seems like some A-Listers’ social media behavior deserved to be checked, others were unfairly bullied into deleting their apps. Hopefully you’ll ‘like’ this rundown of stars who were shamed off of social media. 

Body-shamers sent Lena Dunham packing from Twitter

When Girls premiered back in 2012, one thing Lena Dunham was commended for was her outright denunciation of the existing body standards. It was the first time in a long time that audiences got to see a twenty-something-year-old actress perfectly comfortable showing off her non-sample size body on screen.

On social media, Dunham took the same approach. The actress constantly posted whatever she felt like — as she should have. However, things took a turn when in 2015, Dunham was practically chased away from all platforms by body-shamers. Though she had always gotten flack for her openness, the trolls were especially brutal to her after she posted a picture of herself in a sports bra and her boyfriend’s boxers. The reaction forced her to distance herself from social media entirely.

“It wasn’t a graphic picture,” Dunham stated in an interview with recode (via People), adding, “I was wearing men’s boxers and it turned into the most rabid, disgusting debate about women’s bodies, and my Instagram page was somehow the hub for misogynists for the afternoon.” Despite the reaction on that platform, Dunham kept up with her IG afterwards. Her Twitter was a different story. Saying the microblogging site “wasn’t a safe space for [her]” because it causes “cancerous stuff inside you,” Dunham revealed that she released control of her account to someone else. “I don’t look at Twitter anymore,” she said, adding, “I tweet, but I do it through someone else.”

Did Elon Musk ditch Instagram to dodge Azealia Banks?

Ever the headline maker, billionaire Tesla co-owner and SpaceX founder Elon Musk decided to get away from social media after rapper Azealia Banks lobbed some accusations against him. According to Business Insider, Banks was at a party along with Musk and his girlfriend, singer Grimes when some sort of altercation transpired between them. It’s not exactly clear what happened between the three, but Banks told Business Insider that she saw the SpaceX CEO “scrounging for investors” even though he had tweeted that Tesla had secured funding.

At some point after leaving the party, Banks took to her Instagram Stories and tagged Musk in a post that urged him to get in touch with her, writing, “I need my phone back now.” The rapper alleged that Musk got his attorneys to pay her attorneys off in order to “take her phone and delete evidence from it.” While Musk denied the allegations through his attorneys, saying, “Elon doesn’t know Azealia Banks. He doesn’t have her phone and neither do his lawyers,” he still deactivated his Instagram account, which at the time it was taken down boasted a strong eight million followers.

Azealia Banks quit social media after a slur-filled rant

It seems like Azealia Banks has deactivated and reactivated her social media accounts more times than she’s actually released music. The controversial rapper got on Twitter’s bad side after hurling some homophobic and racial comments towards former One Direction member Zayn Malik. Their social media beef began when Banks alleged in a since deleted, “hours-long rant” that Malik had copied some of her concepts for his “Like I Would” music video, according to Billboard. Banks then traded barbs with Malik’s fans until Malik himself weighed in, which Banks did not take lightly, to say the least.

After hurling a host of racist and homophobic slurs at the “PILLOWTALK” singer, Banks’ Twitter was deactivated, although it’s unclear who initiated that action. Banks’ headlining gig at the Born & Bred Festival in London was swiftly canceled and, months later, she claimed she was leaving the rest of social media, too. Before logging off, Banks had some parting words, none of them close to an apology. “I’m seriously tired of people’s feelings. I’m tired of seeing their overly sensitive reactions and responses to everything,” she wrote on Facebook. “I’m tired of having everything I say or do be monitored and I’m tired of being told how I should be behaving. I’m quitting Facebook, and any other form of social media that allows me to engage with people. My legacy can’t live and die on the Internet.”

As of this writing, Banks is back on Facebook and Instagram. 

Letitia Wright was swiftly shamed for questioning the COVID-19 vaccine

Letitia Wright shined so brightly in Black Panther that when lead actor Chadwick Boseman passed away, people were vying for her to take over the role. Unfortunately, the tide turned for the rising star when Wright posted a video on Twitter that backed anti-vaccine views, much to the chagrin of her hoards of fans.

The 69-minute long YouTube video, which has since been removed from the platform for violating user terms of service, was originally posted by the “On The Table” channel. In it, a host questioned the safety and validity of the COVID-19 vaccine, reports Cinema Blend. With the way the coronavirus has impacted literally the entire planet people, it’s no surprise that Wright received an incredible amount of blowback. Reactions were so intense that fellow Marvel star Don Cheadle came to his 27-year-old costar’s defense, then later retracted, stating he hadn’t watched the entire video.

For her part, Wright tried explaining that sharing the post was just a way to bring another opinion into the mix. “My intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else,” she tweeted (via Variety), before deactivating all her social media accounts.

Iggy Azalea's leaked photos sent the star into hiding

Iggy Azalea took down her social media accounts in protest in May 2019, citing “some really vicious sh*t written in the last 24 hours.” That commentary she referenced was some of the response to the leak of nude images taken for the “Fancy” rapper’s 2016 cover shoot for GQ Australia. Although both the magazine and the photographer on the shoot publicly stated that the material was stolen (via Page Six), that didn’t stop the online hordes from attempting to shame Azalea with allegations that she released the images herself in a ploy to promote her music, per Hollywood Life.

While many other fans were sympathetic, the invasion of privacy and subsequent unfair criticism became too much for the “Black Widow” emcee. In a lengthy statement posted just before she took down her Instagram and Twitter accounts, Azalea said she was “”blindsided, embarrassed, violated, angry, sad, and a million other things.” She likened the leak and subsequent reaction to “a nuclear bomb that explodes and not only destroys you emotionally, but leaves a path of destruction in your personal life.” She concluded the post with: “It is too much negativity for me to handle. For now, it’s best to keep my accounts deactivated.”

Despite that visceral reaction, the Daily Mail reported that just two weeks later, Azalea “quietly return[ed] to social media,” to the delight of her fans.  

Lizzo took a break from the Twitter negativity

Lizzo came onto the scene and immediately stole America’s hearts with her candid persona and promotion of self-love. Unfortunately, the flip side to that self-love is hate from trolls, which the singer/songwriter got sick of by January 2020. “Yeah, I can’t do this Twitter s**t no more … too many trolls … Be back when I feel like it,” she tweeted. Lizzo elaborated on why she bailed on Twitter in an Instagram Story (via People), saying, in part, “I’ve gotten to a point where I’m not just dealing with Internet bullies, I’m dealing with seeing a lot of negativity on the Internet dealing with everyone.” 

While she didn’t specify that negativity, she’d encountered major backlash a few months prior after she publicly accused a Postmates driver of stealing her food. The “Truth Hurts” crooner went as far as posting the girl’s name and picture on her Twitter before getting the full scope of what happened. As it turned out, that driver, Tiffany Wells, simply couldn’t locate Lizzo at her hotel, because she was checked in under a pseudonym.

After the tirade from fans, Lizzo apologized, saying, in part, “Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door.” Wells eventually filed a lawsuit “for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to TMZ. As of this writing, the “Juice” singer’s account remains active, with most tweets posted by her management team. 

Cardi B wants her credit, hassle free

Cardi B is not one to back down from conflict, so even though she opted to deactivate her Instagram account back in February 2019, she did so after saying her piece first. The rapper received a storm of criticism from displeased viewers after making history as the first solo female to win Best Rap Album at the Grammys. To make matters worse, BET decided to add to the conversation, sending out a pro-Cardi B tweet that downed her longtime rival, Nicki Minaj’s own accomplishments. With the Bronx native swarmed with comments about both situations, she addressed the haters in a now deleted Instagram video. 

“I work hard for my f*cking album,” Cardi B said (via CNN). “I remember last year when I didn’t win for ‘Bodak Yellow’ and everybody was like, ‘Cardi got snubbed.’ Now this year’s a f*cking a problem?” Cardi also revealed that she wasn’t supportive of BET’s tweet, saying, “It’s not my style for people to put other people down to uplift somebody else. That’s not my style and that’s not what I’m with. I don’t support that.” Soon after the rant, the rapper swiftly deactivated her Instagram account. 

And it wasn’t even the first time Cardi B quit social media — the “WAP” rapper briefly ditched Twitter back in October 2020 after haters came for her husband, Offset. Her IG absence was short-lived, however, as she was back only 48-hours later, promoting her single, “Finesse” featuring Bruno Mars.

Daisy Ridley ditched social media and hasn't looked back

Daisy Ridley quietly left Instagram after accidentally inciting arguments in her comments for a post she created regarding gun violence. While attending the 2016 Teen Choice Awards, the actress was moved by a tribute honoring the families who lost loved ones in the Orlando, Newtown, and San Bernardino mass shootings, according to Vanity Fair. Ridley took to her Instagram to express her sympathy, writing, “Thinking about how lucky I am like … Serious bit: as I sat in the audience yesterday tears were streaming down my face at the tribute to those that have been lost to gun violence. I didn’t get a great picture of the incredible group that came on stage but they were so brave. It was a true moment of togetherness. We must ‪#‎stoptheviolence‬.”

That apparently didn’t sit well with some of her fans and they were not shy about expressing their points of view. Some said her stance showed an “utter lack of research,” while others called her hypocrite because she “kills people with guns in movies,” The Nerdy Bird reported. While some came to her defense, the blowback was enough for the young star to take down her Instagram entirely.

It’s safe to say Ridley will not be coming to social media anytime soon. In a 2019 interview with BuzzFeed’s AM2DM morning show, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi star describes social media as “dangerous,” and said her accounts had been “cut off like a Skywalker limb.”

Millie Bobby Brown stands against bullying

The Millie Bobby Brown slander is actually quite perplexing seeing as though the teen sensation mostly drinks her water and minds her business. That was not enough for internet trolls, however, as they launched a hate campaign against her almost as soon as she hit the scene. According to The Wrap, actress was linked to a viral meme which depicted her as homophobic and racist and even sparked a #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown movement on Twitter. 

While she managed to rise above the fray most of the time, Brown finally had enough by June 2018, when she deactivated her Twitter. Days after she took down the account, Brown spoke out against bullying during her acceptance speech at the MTV Movie and TV Awards saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it. There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it. And neither should any of you. If you need a reminder of how worthy you are, and to rise above the hate, message me on Instagram.”

Though she opted not to deactivate her Instagram as well, she temporarily disabled her comments section, according to Newsweek. At the time of this writing, Brown has yet to reactivate her original Twitter account, though her “love and positivity” anti-bullying page, @milliestopshate is still up with little activity. 

Justin Bieber dropped Instagram for love

Celebrity breakups can be quite tough, especially if the couple in question was extremely public and well loved by fans. Justin Beiber learned this the hard way. Two years after his final breakup with Selena Gomez in 2014, fans were still holding out hope that the pair would get back together. The Biebs promptly dashed that hope by posting a photo with the new lady in his life, Sofia Richie — and his fans they weren’t too happy about it. “I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate this is getting out of hand,” Bieber warned (via the BBC). “If you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.”

Somehow, Gomez felt the need to put her two cents in the matter, responding, “If you can’t handle the hate then, stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before anyone ever did.” The two went on to throw shade at each other, posting cryptic messages signed with “All love” when clearly there was none left between them. 

A few days after the spat, Beliebers around the world were stunned when they woke up and their idol’s Instagram no longer existed. Their drought lasted a strong six months as the “Sorry” singer didn’t come back until February 2017. 

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