Since late last year there’s been a new favorite meme among the internet’s more deranged set: photoshopping homophobic quotes onto photos of Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. Despite Brown not being homophobic in real life, these Millie Bobby Brown memes have really taken off. And, though she didn’t reveal why, this Tuesday saw Brown deactivate her Twitter account. Perhaps the oddest thing about these Millie Bobby Brown memes is that they aren’t coming from 4chan or the alt-right — they’re actually coming from gay Twitter.
The Millie Bobby Brown memes began in November 2017 when Twitter user Kelsey Fiona (who it’s worth noting is currently suspended from Twitter), posted a fictional Twitter story about an interaction with Brown where the star ripped off Fiona’s hijab.
Kelsey Fiona later tweeted the hashtag #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown, which took off. The tag is still active, and you can see more Millie Bobby Brown memes using it. A recurring theme is that Brown enjoys running over LGBTQ people with her car. Of course, she’s only 14, meaning she can’t legally drive.
The memes are clearly not intended to be serious. In fact, the vast majority come from LGBT twitter users, and most of the Millie Bobby Brown memes are intentionally over-the-top. For example, this one ends with “then she got in her car and killed me .”
Critics have condemned the meme for both attacking a child celebrity and for the fret they cause in people unaware of the meme’s falsity stumbling on the tweets and thinking Brown is actually homophobic. (While the tweets are over-the-top, remember, we live in a post-Pizzagate world where the dumbest, most easily disproved theories gain traction.)
Though their users intend the Millie Bobby Brown memes as “just fun,” putting horrible words in a celebrity’s mouth, they appear to have now driven the real Millie Bobby Brown off Twitter (though her Instagram is still active).