The Celebrities Boycotting Twitter Are Doing So For Their Own, Very Personal Reasons
There was an understandable uproar online following the news that Twitter had suspended Rose McGowan's account on Wednesday after one of the actors tweets apparently violated their terms of service. Thus, on Friday, celebrities boycotted Twitter — though many of them didn't do it just because of what happened with Rose McGowan. The reasons for the Twitter boycott appear to be far more complicated than simply elevating a cause by using silence as an act of protest. In fact, the reasons are so varied that the meaning of the boycott seem to be what you make of it.
One of the most telling aspects of why the Twitter boycott is happening, for instance, can be seen on McGowan's own Twitter feed. Not long after her account was unlocked, the actor quoted an official tweet explaining why she had been suspended from Twitter. She then responded by asking, "when will nuclear war violate your terms of service?" in an obvious reference to President Donald Trumps own highly criticized and volatile use Twitter.
In response to the protest, a representative of Twitter released a statement to Bustle that read,
"Twitter is proud to empower and support the voices on our platform, especially those that speak truth to power. We stand with the brave women and men who use Twitter to share their stories, and will work hard every day to improve our processes to protect those voices."
The celebrities listed below are certainly empowered in boycotting Twitter on Friday as an intended protest against the silencing of women. However, as some of their tweets suggest, they all have different and personal reasons as to why they're joining, creating their own meaning and making their boycott their own.
1. Rose McGowan
McGowan obviously has an obvious reason as to why she would want to boycott Twitter. However, as this message from late Thursday night suggests, the actor may also be wanting to use the boycott as an opportunity to encourage male allies to use their position of privilege to fight for women in their absence.
2. Chrissy Teigen
At this point, Teigan's social media activity is legendary. That happens to put her in the perfect position to leverage her celebrity in order to make a bold statement about how the social media platform operates. In a series of tweets, the model and TV host made a point that she could easily take her business elsewhere, "These sites only work and are only able to make money when we use it. I will never be silent. I'll be elsewhere."
3. Tara Strong
As a prominent voice actor whose iconic talents you would definitely recognize from shows like The Powerpuff Girls, Rick And Morty, and a bunch of DC comic animations in which she voices Harley Quinn, Strong is powerful, if not instantly recognizable. In highlighting a Twitter user who had repeatedly sent death threats on the platform, Strong questioned why McGowan had been "shut down" while that guy was allowed to remain active.
4. Anna Paquin
While the True Blood star didn't make any major statements regarding the boycott, she did retweet as many supporters of it as possible and encouraged her followers to join her. Amplifying the voices of protestors seems to be her main reason for participating.
5. Kathy Griffin
The comedian pointed out that the boycott wasn't about being silenced, but about engaging in a protest that could damage the social media site financially.
6. Alyssa Milano
Like Twitter queens Teigen and Griffin, Milano used her social media power to encourage her followers to abstain from using the site in solidarity, making the boycott about support.
7. Terry Crews
On Tuesday, Crews revealed on Twitter that the "whole thing with Harvey Weinstein" was giving him "PTSD," because that he had also once been assaulted by an unnamed "Hollywood executive." His solidarity then in boycotting the same site he chose to reveal such a powerful story on speaks volumes.
8. Julianne Moore
The self-proclaimed feminist actor made this simple statement in solidarity to the cause that both appears to suggest she'll be boycotting Twitter, and supporting women, while also urging her followers to do the same.
9. Mark Ruffalo
Ruffalo has long been a staunch political activist and supporter of women's rights, so his support in boycotting Twitter comes as no surprise.
10. John Cusack
Short but sweet, the veteran Hollywood actor provided this positive and simple response to a fan who explained the boycott to him on Twitter.
There are no doubt countless other celebrities who may be boycotting Twitter today but are observing the protest in a private manner. But the fact that no two reasons for vacating the social media site on Friday appear to be the same makes it clear that #WomenBoycottTwitter isn't just a movement for women, and that you can find whatever meaning matters most to you in the protest.