Erin Moriarty Says 'The Boys' Trolls Made Her Feel 'Dehumanized' and 'Paralyzed'

·3 min read
Photo credit: Barry Brecheisen - Getty Images
Photo credit: Barry Brecheisen - Getty Images

Let's get right to it. Amazon's The Boys, of course, frames superheroes as corrupt politicians and celebrities as a vehicle to highlight toxic masculinity and abuse of power. The problem? When a certain corner of The Boys fandom thinks that some of the immoral right-wing heroes leading the show are actually cool! These Internet trolls praise Homelander, a Trumpian Superman at the center of the series who rules through fear.

This unsavory crew also ceaselessly comments on Erin Moriarty, the actress playing the superhero Starlight, by over-sexualizing her and downplaying her character’s tough journey throughout the series. Now, posting a screenshot from a Medium post titled, #IStandWithStarlight?: The betrayal of Erin Moriarty by The Boys fans, by blogger @butcherscannery, the actress argued that some of the show’s fans seem to have missed the point of the series entirely. Where The Boys seeks to show how toxic masculinity “crushes and controls women,” a subset of fans are doing the very same thing to her in real life. "It’s a reflection of how misogyny in ‘fandom culture’ is being normalized, which will only worsen if we neglect it," the author said on Twitter. Erin Moriarty is literally empowered in the series, and still, her story is silenced.

“I do feel silenced,” Moriarty wrote on Instagram. “I do feel dehumanized. I do feel paralyzed. I’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into this role (over & over & over again). I’ve grown UP in this character’s shoes (*emphasis on grown up – we change & evolve mentally AND physically). This does break my heart - I’ve opened up a vein for this role and this kind of trolling is exactly what this role (Annie) would speak out against.”

“To anyone who comes at me: I see you, I don’t hate you, I only empathize and forgive,” she added, thanking the author for their kind words about her struggles with fans. The Medium post also brought up a double standard regarding Homelander, pointing out that actor Antony Starr was not criticized for his looks after he revealed that he inserted fake muscles under his suit. Fans of the show even went out of their way to defend him, arguing in Reddit threads that Homelander is "inherently strong and never needed to gain muscle mass."

The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke came to his lead actress's defense after the news broke, telling fans to "be kind" or to watch another show. "Hi trolls! One, this is literally the opposite of the show's fucking message," he wrote on Twitter. "Two, you're causing pain to real people with real feelings. Be kind. If you can't be kind, then eat a bag of dicks, fuck off to the sun & don't watch #TheBoys, we don't want you."

Several of Moriarty's co-stars also showed their support on Instagram following her post, including Chace Crawford, Karen Fukuhara, Jessie T. Usher, Nate Mitchell, and Antony Starr. "Love you Erin. We’re all here for you," said Jack Quaid, who plays her on-screen boyfriend Hughie Cambell. "You’re such an incredible, talented force of nature and I consider myself incredibly lucky to know you. Keep shining bright. Leave the trolls to us. We got your back." The Mandalorian actor Pedro Pascal also commented with the exact The Boys energy we needed to stand up to the haters, writing "Let me at them."

With the way the last season of The Boys commented on current politics, the writers will hopefully add some clap-backs for Starlight in Season Four.

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