Finn Wolfhard, the 14-year-old star of Stranger Things, has publicly condemned a 27-year-old model who appeared to sexualise him on social media.
American model Ali Michael garnered controversy last week by posting an image of Wolfhard on her Instagram with the caption "not to be weird, but hit me up in four years". She later apologised, claiming "it was never my intention (nor has it ever been) to sexualise a minor in any way shape or form."
But Wolfhard, who portrays Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things and appeared in the recent blockbuster It, told TMZ that Michael's comments were "gross", adding: "That was nuts. That was gross. That's good that she apologised, it's weird but... it's fine."
Inappropriate treatment of the young Stranger Things cast has been a hot topic in recent days, with stars including the Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner condemning an adult fan who took to social media criticising Wolfhard for walking past him while he waited outside of his hotel hoping for a picture.
"Damn, seeing fully grown adults wait outside the Stranger Things kids' hotels etc, and then abuse [sic] them when they don't stop for them is super weird," Turner tweeted. "A) What adult in their right mind waits for a child outside their hotel and B) is then is offended when the child doesn't stop.
"It doesn't matter if they are an actor... they are kids first," she continued. "Give them the space they need in order to grow without feeling like they owe anyone anything for living their childhood dreams."
ABuzzfeed article also explored a disturbing trend across social media in which Stranger Things fans have repeatedly placed Wolfhard in sexual contexts, including desiring for him to be in a relationship with his costars. The process is referred to as "shipping".
Along with fans "shipping" Wolfhard and his 13-year-old costar Millie Bobby Brown, others have begun to obsessively "ship" Wolfhard and his 14-year-old It costar Jack Dylan Grazer, posting photographs which appear to prove the pair are in a gay relationship.
Jack!!! Has!!! Finally!!! Spoken!!!! Stop that, stop assuming the kids sexualities, stop thinking that reddie and fack are the same. pic.twitter.com/6As23p4ewH— mic loves will byers and mike wheeler (@theIostsister) October 6, 2017
Grazer took to social media to address the speculation, writing on YouTube "people need to stop saying that I'm gay and have a crush on Finn. It's getting sort of annoying."
Wolfhard also addressed fan harassment on Twitter this week, tweeting: "I don't wanna ex-communicate anyone from this fandom, but if you are for real you will not harass my friends, or co-workers. Ya'll know who you are."
"Why I even have to tweet that, I don't know. Anyone who calls themselves a 'fan' and actively goes after someone for literally acting and doing their job is ridiculous," he added.
In similar backlash, W Magazine has also been criticised for referring to Millie Bobby Brown as one of the stars making "TV sexier than ever."