In an op-ed posted to the blog The Pool, writer Amy Jones brings a serious issue to the front of our social media feeds: People are overly sexualizing the Stranger Things kids, actors who are still in their early teens.
In the piece, titled “The sexualization of the Stranger Things kids needs to stop,” Jones contends that fans of the series have forgotten that the actors are just kids and are lusting inappropriately over the young stars. This is not only wrong because of their age, but further perpetuates a cycle where people merely see actors as objects, regardless of age.
Jones brings up the “I know Finn Wolfhard is 14, but…” trend on social media, where people pine for the Stranger Things star despite his age. (Wolfhard plays one of the series’ heroes.) She then focuses on the most famous example, a 27-year-old model named Ali Michael who shared a photo of Wolfhard with the caption, “Not to be weird but hit me up in four years.”
She was rightly widely criticized for this, but then, in a video shared by TMZ, a man decided to ambush Wolfhard at the airport and ask him about her comments, not considering that asking a child to comment on adults finding them sexually attractive might also be inappropriate.
finn talking about that 27 year old model who told him to hit her up in 4 years :/ pic.twitter.com/1a3zPX1RsR
— ssant (@castlbylers) November 5, 2017
In fact, adults seem to have totally forgotten what is appropriate to say to a boy of 14. At a panel during San Diego Comic Con, Wolfhard was introduced as as having “the greatest porn name ever”. When appearing on Game Grumps, Finn had to ask people to stop calling him “Daddy.” Even when they’re not sexualizing him, they’re forgetting that he’s only a child and that he doesn’t owe them anything.
In the video above from the web-series Guest Grumps, Wolfhard pleas, “Anyone watching this who is my fan… you’re great. Just please stop calling me daddy because it’s getting a little weird.”
Jones concludes, “This treatment of Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown and the rest of the children of It and Stranger Things is absolutely feeding into that culture of seeing actors as things to be consumed,” she concludes.