Julie Bowen says Ariel Winter 'does not care' about online criticism: 'God bless her'

The ABC hit series Modern Family is currently in its final season. But the end of the show doesn’t mean goodbye for the cast, according to Julie Bowen.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the actress who plays Claire Dunphy opened up about how close she has become with fellow cast members — including those that she calls her “fake children.” And while she says that Nolan Gould, who plays her son Luke Dunphy, was “instrumental in teaching me how to be a mom to boys” in her real life, her TV daughters, Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter, have left her with a different set of learnings.

“I do feel very protective of my fake children. Especially my fake daughters because I don’t have any daughters in real life,” she explains. “Sarah was 18 when she came to us, [...] she was legally an adult. But Ariel we all watched grow up and go through some personal trauma. I used to think I was giving her guidance, and it became very clear to me that I had more to learn from her.”

Specifically, when faced with criticism from people online, Bowen says that she’s learned a lot from Winter, who is no stranger to social media trolls. In the past, the 21-year-old actress has been body-shamed and accused of having plastic surgery. Despite the criticism, however, Winter continues to post as she pleases.

“She does not care what is said about her online. And that is not a front, that is not a pretend thing. She does not care,” Bowen says of Winter. “She’ll post things that are personal or sexy or something that I don’t know if I could live with the reaction to if that was me. But she doesn’t care, and I realized, God bless her. I have to learn from her.”

Bowen went on to point out that Winter’s grown up with social media as well as under a microscope, which has helped her develop a “very thick skin.”

“I used to think, ‘Oh it’s all gonna live forever, everything you post.’ For some reason, this generation, they’re cool with it!” she says. “They’re good! So I should just shut up and learn.”

Now, Bowen says that she no longer engages with comments on social media, which has come in handy for her latest partnership with Genentech and Xofluza, where she’s openly talked about the misconceptions of the flu and the flu vaccine — something that she has strong feelings about.

“If I post something it’s because I believe it and I’m like, I’m not gonna get in a fight about it. I believe it’s a good thing to get a flu vaccine. That is my belief. I’m not gonna engage with people who don’t believe that. That is their business, but I’m not gonna get in a long Twitter battle over it. I believe in the medical establishment,” Bowen says. “You’re taking care of your community, it’s not just about you.”

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