Last week when I posted about Harry Styles and the rumoured conflict between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh, I mentioned that what they have in common is a specific section of their fanbases who are toxically rooting against their partners. As Kayleigh Donaldson said, in Florence’s case, regarding her relationship with Zach Braff:
I wrote about the Pugh/Braff split and how weird is was to see a famous person express repeated discomfort with her fans' own behaviour towards her life, only for said fans to ignore her pleas. https://t.co/xfrI8wjU1p— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) August 17, 2022
Florence spoke out about it in her cover interview with Harper’s Bazaar and now Harry and Olivia are doing the same, very delicately, in his new cover interview with Rolling Stone.
“That obviously doesn’t make me feel good,” [Harry] says, carefully. It’s a tightrope he’s treading in discussing this. He wants to — and does! — see the good in his fans, but there’s no denying that like every large online community, this one has a faction that runs on hate and anonymity.”
“Can you imagine,” he says, “going on a second date with someone and being like, ‘OK, there’s this corner of the thing, and they’re going to say this, and it’s going to be really crazy, and they’re going to be really mean, and it’s not real.… But anyway, what do you want to eat?’ ”
While Styles takes comfort in knowing his whole fandom is not like that, he still wonders about how to respond when the noise gets too loud. “It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something,” he says. “I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”
As for how Olivia feels about it:
“What I don’t understand about the cruelty you’re referencing is that that kind of toxic negativity is the antithesis of Harry, and everything he puts out there. I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness.”
That’s the tricky balance with even addressing the mess in the first place – because you don’t want to make it sound like it’s ALL the fans and you don’t want to give more power to the ones who are behaving this way because when you acknowledge it, even if its an admonition, they do, in a f-cked up way, feel seen.
As for what motivates them – this tweet tries to explain it… a little, maybe:
But then you’ll note, underneath that, there’s this response:
i suppose you know NOTHING about him or anything about body language, plus he's with louis— can we stop this for a minute? Ã—ÍœÃ— | !fan!ðŸ³ï¸â€âš§ï¸ (@bored_cinema) August 20, 2022
Sorry, but I just have to… I can’t help it, I’m laughing. And if you need a translation because you don’t speak that language, it means that Harry and Olivia aren’t real because what’s real is that Harry and Louis Tomlinson have been secretly and lovingly together since One Direction. Just like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have been secretly and lovingly together since Twilight and parenting two children. Speaking of, all that was happening around the same time-ish. Is there something about the culture in the late 2000s and early 2010s that encouraged this kind of fantasy?
Yours in gossip,