While Millie Bobby Brown couldn't attend last night's MTV Movie and TV Awards, she did make an appearance via video message to accept the award for Best Performance thanks to her role as Eleven on Stranger Things.
In the message, she apologised to fans for missing the awards, explaining that she had been told to rest by her doctor after receiving a small injury. Her speech was filled with gratitude and thanks, both for those who voted for her and those who she works with every day, but she took a moment at the end of the video to address a different issue: bullying.
"Since I know there are many young people watching this — and even for the adults, too — they could probably use the reminder that I was taught: if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it," she said. "There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it, and neither should any of you."
This is an important message regardless of context, but there is a reason that Brown made sure to preach it in her video. The fourteen-year-old recently found herself on the receiving end of online attacks after she inadvertently became the face of a homophobic meme. The memes themselves were an attempt at ironic humour, since no one believes a girl as nice and innocent as Brown would actually be filled with hate, but at the end of the day, the initial intent doesn't matter. The memes, which consisted of photos of Brown underneath fabricated homophobic quotes, spread like wildfire. The nuance of irony is lost when your face becomes closely associated, however jokingly, with hateful opinions. While Brown hasn't addressed the controversy directly, she did delete her Twitter in the height of the memes' popularity.
She seemed to reference this fact during the end of her speech, adding with a wink that if fans "need a reminder of how worthy you are and to rise above the hate, message me on Instagram."
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