Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard responds to model Ali Michael's controversial Instagram post

There has been considerable debate around the sexualisation of the show's younger stars

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 08 November 2017 09:16 GMT

Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard has responded after a 27-year-old model came under fire for making "inappropriate comments" about him.

The 14-year-old actor was the subject of a bizarre Instagram post where Ali Michael tagged him in a story and wrote: "Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial."

Michael was immediately condemned for the post where critics branded the comments "disgusting" and in poor taste given the ongoing scandal of sexual abuse in Hollywood.

Many people on social media also argued that the remark would have been deemed more troubling had the roles been reversed and a 27-year-old man had made the comment about a 14-year-old girl.

Responding to the controversy Michael wrote a lengthy statement where she apologised for the comments and said she understood why people were offended.

"It was never my intention (nor has it ever been) to sexualise a minor in any way shape or form," she wrote. "To those I offended or misled, I apologise for a post made in haste and lacking in sensitivity, particularly considering the landscape of the present culture."

Asked about the comment by TMZ outside an airport, Wolfhard said: "Oh that was nuts. That was gross. That's good that she apologised, it's weird but... it's fine."

Wolfhard is a Canadian actor best-known for his role as Mike in the Netflix hit drama Stranger Things, but also for his role as Richie Tozier in the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's novel It.

Stranger Things star wasn't comfortable with on-screen kiss, but producers 'made her' do it

He recently fired his agent Tyler Grasham over allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour with aspiring young male actors.

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The Hollywood Reporter claimed the agent faces a string of allegations and is currently on leave from agency APA, pending an internal investigation into the allegations.

Fans and co-stars have been compelled to speak out in defence of Wolfhard and other Stranger Things actors around the overwhelming level of attention they receive from the media and online.

Wolfhard's co-star Shannon Purser, who played Barb in the hit show, was praised for defending him after he was branded "rude" for failing to stop for a photo and asking fans to consider how intimidating the level of attention they receive can be.

Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, who has dealt with a similar level attention after first appearing on the HBO series aged 15, also spoke out in support.

"It doesn't matter if they are an actor... they are kids first," she tweeted. "Give them the space they need in order to grow without feeling like they owe anything for living their childhood dreams."

Since the second series of Stranger Things aired there has been considerable debate around the sexualisation of its young stars.

Along with Michael's controversial comments, there was criticism over "sexy" Eleven costumes at Halloween and also over a host at Comic Con who introduced Wolfhard as having the "greatest porn name ever".

The host continued to make jokes despite a visibly uncomfortable Wolfhard asking him to "introduce the next guest".

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