Netflix closed out 2018 with a game-changing way to engage with viewers with Black Mirror‘s first interactive movie, titled Bandersnatch.
The meta choose-your-own-adventure style film, in which you control the outcome of a numerous pivotal moments, was unleashed on December 28, 2018, and will undoubtedly spawn a slew of other non-passive viewing shows on Netflix.
Unfortunately, what should have been an exciting career milestone for one of the film’s actors, Will Poulter—who plays an enigmatic game developer Colin Ritman—made him quit social media after incessant online bullying.
And like choosing the right path for your health in Maze Runner or making the right choice in Bandersnatch—which intermittently offers home audiences with two options—Poulter chose a path in real life that is right for him and his mental health.
“In light of my recent experiences I am choosing to take a step back, of sorts, from Twitter,” the 25-year-old British actor told his supportive fans.
He responded to the overwhelming responses about the project Bandersnatch.
“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!”
But Poulter decided to change his relationship with social media after trolls incessantly called the actor “ugly” for his appearance on the show, according to BBC.
“There are positives to enjoy and inevitable negatives that are best avoided. 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.”
The Maze Runner actor assured followers his decision to cut back is not a permanent one, but rather, “an alternative path,” so as not to disrupt his engagement with various anti-bullying groups like @AntiBullyingPro, Leap Confronting Conflict, and MayMeasure.
Thanks for sharing this @PoulterWill and for your bravery in speaking out about the problems surrounding social media as well as your ongoing support for @leap_cc and the young people we work with. Happy New Year!
— Leap Confronting Conflict (@leap_cc) January 3, 2019
“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.”
Loyal friends in the business supported Poulter’s decision to protect his mental health—including actor John Boyega whose Star Wars costar Kelly Marie Tran was also driven from social media by online trolls.
“Best thing you can do mate. Well done.”
Best thing you can do mate ???????? well done
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) January 2, 2019
Nothing but love, brother. 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.
— Ben Barnes (@benbarnes) January 3, 2019
Love to you my man. X
— Tom Davis (@BigTomD) January 3, 2019
One of my favourite actors at the minute, keep up the good work mate ???? All the best.
— Andy Gatenby (@gatenbygas) January 2, 2019
Sending ya ???? and good for you health first … social media ain’t goin nowhere .. do you ???? by the way you were awesome in #BlackMirrorBandersnatch the courage you have in always taking on new challenging roles that aren’t conventional is cool as hell ????????????????
— MAX (@ThisIsMax) January 2, 2019
You’re the fucking man ????????
— Paul Abrahamian (@deadskulltweets) January 4, 2019
— Craig Parkinson (@Cparks1976) January 2, 2019
Poulter’s fans appreciated his fortitude in sharing personal struggles.
I’m so proud of you for absolutely everything, and I hope this “break” is beneficial to you. We all love you and will always support you through every decision ♥️ Thank you for taking the time to write all of this
— ava saw tdc 7x (@newtsrapp) January 2, 2019
I’ve been following your career closely and I have to tell you how much I admire this. You are real and transparent about issues in your life & model how to deal with mental health for young people. I know this is just a message in a sea of ones you’ll recieve but we support you
— Haylee (@Hay_Rufio0) January 2, 2019
Don’t ever let the negative side of social media dictate your happiness/mental health. Your well-being is paramount and your choice to focus on yourself is refreshing ????
We will still support you/your work, regardless ????????❤️☺️ pic.twitter.com/Fud1aq38XL
— ????????????????????♀️????Sarah????????????♀️???????????? (@SazzaBabee) January 2, 2019
Take care of yourself, it’s all that matters
— martina (@capnewt) January 2, 2019
thank you for letting us know will, we’ll always be really supportive of whatever you choose to do, especially when it comes to your mental health! always put yourself first, and take your time. i love you a lot and i hope you’re well ❤
— chan’s gem (@onlyleechan) January 2, 2019
We love you Will. You did an amazing job in and I was really impressed and enyoyed Bandersnatch. You do not deserve the disrespect you received. Take care of you
— pouet (@manon_m2205) January 2, 2019
we love and support you 100%. celebrities are humans too and deserve privacy and respect. if you need a break, then you should definitely take one and not have to apologize. i look forward to seeing more of your activism and future roles! have a wonderful break, will????????????
— kai????|| into the spiderverse (@marvelusholland) January 2, 2019
health always comes first, take care of yourself and remember you’re an amazing wise man, we love you
— sar (@sangsnewt) January 2, 2019
Dude Bandersnatch was tight. All your work has been beyond excellent, I mean for crying out loud DETROIT. I mean holy shit DETROIT. That said, social media breaks are healthy, criticisms will come and go. People will be people. You’re awesome man. Believe it.
— Jared Krichevsky (@Monstermash042) January 3, 2019
Here are the images from the tweet with Poulter’s full statement.
Will, we admire and support your decision and wish you much peace.
We’ll be here for you when you’re ready to come back.