The Game of Thrones star criticised “fully grown adults” who put undue pressure on the hit show’s young cast.
The actress came to the defence of 14-year-old Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler in the hit Netflix show. Wolfhard had been denounced by some Stranger Things fans online after a video surfaced showing him walking into his hotel, without stopping to take photos with the waiting crowd.
In a long thread on Twitter, 21-year-old Turner criticised adult fans who mob child actors.
“Damn… seeing fully grown adults wait outside the Stranger Things kids hotels etc., and then abuse them when they don’t stop for them is super weird,” she wrote.
“A. What adult in their right mind waits for a CHILD outside their hotel and B is then offended when the CHILD doesn’t stop?”
Turner began acting in Game of Thrones when she was just 13, and was only 15 when the show premiered – meaning that she has first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a world-famous TV star in your teens.
“It doesn’t matter if they are an actor… they are kids first,” she said.
“Give the space they need in order to grow without feeling like they owe anyone anything for the living their childhood dreams.”
Turner also asked adult Stranger Things fans to think about how they would feel if they were the parent of one of the show’s younger cast members, who are aged between 13 and 16.
“Imagine… seeing a fully grown adult pointing their camera phone at your kid,” she said. “You would do anything you could to delete that person’s photograph, and remove your child from that situation as soon as you could.”
Child actors might have consented to appearing on camera in a professional context, Turner added, but that doesn’t mean they “consented to being followed around with a camera in their face”.
“I don’t care if it ‘comes with the job’,” she said. “It doesn’t.”
Turner concluded her thread by calling out the Stranger Things fans who vilified Wolfhard for not stopping for photos, pointing out the strange paradox that applies to how society treats child stars.
We warn non-famous children not to talk to adults they don’t know, she observed – yet slam young actors who don’t go out of their way to talk to strangers.
“Doesn’t that go against everything we teach our children anyway?” she asked.
Shannon Purser, who played Barb in season one of Stranger Things, also spoke out in defence of Wolfhard.
“No actor is under any obligation to stop for anyone,” she wrote on Twitter. “Finn is an incredibly kind human. But he’s human and he needs breaks too.”
“From one big sister to the world, don’t you DARE make young actors feel guilty or indebted to you because they couldn’t say hi.”
This isn’t the first time the Stranger Things kids have faced unsettling attention from adult fans. Model Ali Michael recently posted a photo of Wolfhard on Instagram with the caption: “Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial”.
Michael, 27, later issued an apology to Wolfhard via Teen Vogue, saying that her post had been “tongue-in-cheek”.
“It was never my intention (not has it ever been) to sexualise a minor in any way shape or form,” she said. “To those I offended or misled, I apologise for a post made in haste and lacking in sensitivity, particularly considering the landscape of the present culture.”
When asked about Michael’s apology, Wolfhard said: “That was gross… That’s good that she apologised.”
Images: Rex Features / instagram.com/ali_michael