Bandersnatch star Will Poulter says he wasn’t ‘bullied’ off Twitter by Black Mirror fans

The actor explains in more detail why he decided to take a step back from social media – and why he isn’t too happy with how people have interpreted his choice

Black Mirror Bandersnatch

Black Mirror star Will Poulter’s decision to take “a step back” from Twitter made global headlines early in 2019, after the British actor cited the online interest surrounding interactive Netflix movie Bandersnatch as part of the reason why he chose to go offline.

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Accordingly, many reported that Poulter had quit Twitter, ‘bullied’ off the platform by fans who had criticised him for his performance as eccentric games designer Colin Ritman.

However, according to Poulter, the story really isn’t that simple.

“I’ve never experienced such a positive reaction to anything I’ve been a part of,” Poulter told RadioTimes.com.

“From a creative perspective, all the conversations that I’ve been privy to on social media have been really, really positive,” he added.

But despite this, Poulter still decided to withdraw from social media. If the reaction was so positive, why did he make that choice?

“It was a sum of things, informed by lots of different aspects of my experience with social media,” Poulter said carefully.

“There were some unrelated conversations that happened to be happening on social media – unrelated to the project – that were kind of negative and unnecessary.

“I didn’t benefit from reading them and responding to them. And I would like to think no-one really benefits from putting that into the ether, the kind of negativity that I witnessed. So I just thought the best thing to do was take a step back.”

Poulter posted a statement on 2nd January, days after Bandersnatch was released, explaining that, “In light of my recent experiences I am choosing to take a step back, of sorts, from Twitter.”

“Before I do,” he said, “I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everybody who has watched Bandersnatch and for their responses (whatever they may be) to the material we created.”

His statement added, “In the interest of my mental health I feel the time has come to change my relationship with social media.”

The Crown - Matt Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy - Writer/Creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) (Netflix, TL)

The actor told RadioTimes.com however that his statement did not mean he was ‘quitting’ Twitter for good, and that he was taken aback by both the media interest in his decision and the way the story was being told.

“I was slightly disappointed to see how certain news outlets spun it,” Poulter said.

“I say I’m going to take a temporary break,” he said. “I think my statement that I released said I’m going take a step back of sorts from Twitter.

“And then I do specify in the end of the statement that this is not the end, and then I read headlines like I’ve quit Twitter. Or I’ve moved to Mars. It’s quite frustrating, if I’m honest.

“But that only affirmed my decision, I think,” Poulter continued.

Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror Season 5 (Netflix)
Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror Season 5 (Netflix)

“You can’t necessarily rely on the internet for the truth, and so I feel really glad to have moved away – but also, as I said in the statement, I don’t want to appear unappreciative of the support I’ve received online.

“And I don’t want it to be at the expense of the organisations and outfits that I’ve been able to collaborate with in the interests of social action. So I will be back to support them.”

In other words, Poulter didn’t just decide to quit social media because of Black Mirror fans having a go.

Though if we could all just decide to be a little nicer to each other online, it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is available to stream on Netflix now