Bella Thorne Opens Up About Getting Backlash on Social Media: 'You Really Can't Win'
"In this day and age you can not even speak without getting ridiculed and just blasted all over the Internet," said Thorne
Bella Thorne‘s new movie Assassination Nation is a dark comedy that explores privacy and mob mentality in the age of social media — something with which the actress/singer is personally familiar.
She recently caught fire from critics on social media when she wrote on Twitter that a Los Angeles highway was shut down, causing her to miss her boyfriend’s concert. Rob Lowe later called her out for complaining about the relatively minor inconvenience, as the highway was shut down due to the deadly Southern California mudslides.
Thorne deleted her original tweet, apologized and explained, “F—- just caught up on some news had no idea why the 101 was shut down…get home to your family safe,” along with a heart emoji.
Assassination Nation centers on a group of characters whose lives are ruined when their phones are hacked. Speaking to PEOPLE at the Sundance Film Festival about the buzzed-about film alongside costar Colman Domingo, Thorne said, “In this day and age you cannot even speak without getting ridiculed and just blasted all over the Internet.”
The thriller, which Variety compared to a “Molotov cocktail” in its review, takes these themes of internet backlash to the extreme, creating what the actress described as a “plausible” fantasy in which the world violently turns on itself.
Along with promoting her film, Thorne has also attracted attention for partying at the film festival. The actress has been seen hitting the town in Park City with her boyfriend, rapper Mod Sun, and friends.
Asked how she copes with the pressure of social media, Thorne said, “I mean, I guess there really is no dealing with it. It’s just there. All you can do is deal with it. It is what it is at this point. You really can’t win.”
As social media becomes more ubiquitous, Thorne said she’s accepted that there’s no hiding from the scrutiny. “Honestly you can’t escape,” she said. “Whether you want to look at the negativity or not. Negatively is mixed in with positivity.”
She added, “I’m afraid that like one tiny thing I send out or say or the way I say it, or the way I look in a photo [could be misinterpreted].”
Thorne, who recently opened up to fans on social media about being sexually abused as a child, also spoke about #MeToo, praising the movement while noting that there is more work to be done.
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“Do I see that men are gonna be less abusive to women? In that aspect, I don’t know,” she said. “I love the hashtag, I love the fact that all these girls can feel like they have someone else to talk to. I think it’s amazing. But also we need to go one step further than that.”
Thorne also noted that internet movements can be fleeting. “That’s one of those things I don’t love about social media. Something can be a big deal at the time and then nothing happens. Nothing gets done except for the press and the hashtags and some of the comments. And then after that it’s like poof where did that problem go? The problem is still there. There has to be something we can do to make some kind of real difference.”