Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Black Mirror's Will Poulter chooses the "alternative path" of not getting bullied on Twitter

Illustration for article titled Black Mirror's Will Poulter chooses the "alternative path" of not getting bullied on Twitter
Photo: Stuart Henry (Netflix)

Black Mirror’s “choose-your-own-adventure” film, Bandersnatch, was, in a word, divisive. While no one can really decry the ingenuity of its format, the thin story and myriad ambiguities left many fans wanting for more. This being the internet, though, the simple, healthy concept of “moving on” bypassed those whose first instinct was to anonymously unload their frustrations on the Twitter handles of the film’s cast. One of the recipients, apparently, is English actor Will Poulter, who delivered the movie’s most memorable performance as weirdo programmer Colin Ritman. As such, the 26-year old performer is following in the footsteps of Millie Bobby Brown and Kelly Marie Tran by dramatically reducing his engagement with social media.

“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!” he wrote. “As we all know there is a balance to be struck in our engagements with social media. 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.”

He’s not wholly bailing on Twitter, as Poulter notes that he’ll use his account to rep his work with organizations like The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign and Leap, a national youth charity providing conflict management programs. “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,” he added.


As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Poulter’s time on Black Mirror may not begin and end with Bandersnatch. In a recent interview with the publication, creator Charlie Brooker said that, due to Colin’s, er, talents, “he could show up anywhere.”

He added, “Colin was one of those where he popped up as a character and then I kept writing more and more for him because I was really enjoying his character. Will, if you compare him in Bandersnatch to him in Detroit where he is terrified, you can see what a versatile actor he is. We loved him.”

Can we expect him in the series’ upcoming fifth season? Maybe alongside Miley Cyrus? We’ll find out when it premieres later this year.


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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