Will Poulter — who played programmer Colin Ritman in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch — announced Thursday that he was taking a “step back” from Twitter in light of the online abuse he has been subjected to from Internet trolls since the release of the Netflix interactive film last week. Poulter adopted spiky beach-blond hair for Bandersnatch instead of his usual dark-brown crew cut, which drew insensitive comments from social media users.
The 25-year-old English actor thanked everyone who has seen Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and said he accepted “all criticisms” directed his way. Poulter noted that he’s “struggled” to strike a balance with social media and that he’s leaving Twitter in a personal capacity in “the interest of [his] mental health”. He will continue to use Twitter via the charities he works with, including the Anti-Bullying Programme, Leap Confronting Conflict, May Measurement Month, and Blueprint Theatre among others.
Poulter signed off in a cheeky Bandersnatch reference manner, by terming his departure from social media as “not the end” but “an alternative path”. In the Black Mirror film, his character is a hero for the protagonist Stefan Butler, played by Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead. Poulter is a BAFTA winner for his work in We’re the Millers (2013) and has also had roles in Detroit (2017), The Revenant (2015), and Maze Runner (2014).
Here’s the statement in full:
“In light of my recent experiences I am choosing to take a step back, of sorts, from Twitter,” Poulter said in an image attached to his tweet. “Before I do, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has watched ‘Bandersnatch’ and for their responses (whatever they may be) to the material we created. I accept all criticisms and it’s been a delight to learn that so many of you enjoyed what many people worked very hard to produce!”
“As we all know there is a balance to be struck in our engagements with social media. There are positives to enjoy and inevitable negatives that are best avoided. It’s a balance that 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.”
“I don’t want to appear unappreciative of all the amazing support I have received online for which I am genuinely so grateful, nor do I want my disengagement with social media to be at the expense of any of the organisations I am lucky to work with. So I will still be posting occasionally for and with @AntiBullyingPro @leapcc @MayMeasure and @bptcompany among others.”
“I am privileged to have this platform. 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.”
“This is not the end. Consider it an alternative path 🤓 With love, Will”