A week ago, or maybe more I was beyond flabbergasted and gobsmacked, and to top off the list of adjectives-- disgusted. Better yet, I'll use the phrase I came up with a bit ago to express just how massive the amount of disgust I felt (and still kind of feel if I'm honest), it was a Crater Lake of disgust.
Alexander Ludwig; a young fledgling actor I can only describe to resemble Rolf from The Sound of Music, however only if he was 6'2, modeled for Abercrombie, and most definitely wasn't interested in joining the NAZI Jugend-- has a Twitter following. It's not a massive following, but it's sizable (that's what she said) and this following is populated by a majority of teenage girls. Note: Teenage girls who are by my assessment and a few others, mostly underage. Alexander, tall, seemingly naive, 19 year-old Alexander is lapping up the attention that is being poured over him en masse, much like the water must've been doused on him for this photo.
Tweets are part of a public forum; especially if an account is open and not set to private, secure or locked, and I hope you who are are reading this know that it's believable that an exponential amount of the Twitter using population are either blissfully unaware that if their accounts are set up to be viewable to the public, their tweets, private, sexually explicit, mean, petty are otherwise, are there for the world to see, or ignorantly stupid-- take your pick. Twitter's been around for awhile though, so those who flout the evidence of Twitter's public-ness, are simply asking for it. I can't say I'm entirely innocent in this little public forum business though, because even I've said some things in Twitter conversations that can easily be construed and seen as mean spirited or judgmental, but at least I'm owning up to that fact, these girls sadly are not owning up to their deplorable behavior in my opinion. I'll be brief, the gist of the tweets are platitudes of sexual favors, including such lovely gems using phrases such as, "suck you dry." Or this beauty, which I grabbed off of one girls Twitter time line, and blocked out her Twitter handle as to protect her virtue.
I know she means it as a joke, but that's the problem -- it's not a joke, it's just not. I've spent too much time scratching my head, and doing my best to ignore the nagging fear that this entire situation could blow up in their faces, but that's just the tip of it, and not even the base (yeah, yeah, that's what she said). I'm even more disturbed by the fact that some of the time Ludwig himself initiates some of these interactions, but I'll save my self the time and energy of searching out the tweets, 'cause frankly most of the people I've seen participating in these explicit tweet-fests, tweet too damn much (Ludwig is partially exempt, as he doesn't tweet near as much as many of his brethren). I'm serious, it's almost as if they have Twitter OCD and it's focused seemingly entirely around Ludwig, Ludwig, Ludwig, everything Ludwig.
Let me reiterate-- Ludwig is 19, and majority of his followers are underage, and I can't help but judge them especially since I'm not that far removed from these people's ages. However, I just can't stop my brain from jumping to the very loud or mature (whatever), exclamation of "where the hell are your parents!?" And then the just as important, "where the fuck is your publicist, agent, manager, best friend!? Why aren't they stopping you from doing this!?" Obviously if these girls' parents had the sense to check their daughters internet histories, they'd probably rip their Smart Phones out of their hot little pervy hands, and then lock their computers in a trunk later to be tossed into a large body of water. I know that's what I would do, maybe also give them a firm talking to as well. As for Ludwig, I don't know where his people are, but they're obviously not doing a very good job.
Selfishly, as an adamant and involved fan of the book Ludwig is currently taking part in the film adaptation of, I worry-- lots actually.
He can't though, he just cannot say whatever he wants in this situation, because at this time although he's only a minor celebrity; his one liners, his notes and promises of going to some girls prom, homecoming dance, invitations to come to his movie set and hang out, not to mention the tweets that have (and I'm not exaggerating), are out right suggestions that they have sex-- those things can ruin his career. Honestly, I just keep flashing on what happened to Rob Lowe in his early 20s, getting caught having sex with a 16 year-old girl on tape, that destroyed his reputation for years. At least for Lowe that was his rock bottom, and it woke him up to going to rehab and living a sober life. Ludwig though, he's not an addict, he hasn't been caught with his pants around his ankles, but from where I'm sitting, oh man... is he on his way, and I do not want that to happen. I don't want that to happen for him, because he's so damn young, and yes, acting decidedly very stupid, but also because if his internet history becomes tabloid fodder, or a double whammy of him getting caught with a questionable internet history and having sex with a minor or a fan he's met through the internet hits the news-- that information will become synonymous with The Hunger Games. I'm aware that his role is minute in comparison to the story and the subject matter, but scandal bleeds, it stains, it permeates-- and I fucking do not want scandal surrounding this story that so many, including myself, have grown to love and hold in high regard.
Like I said before, I know those participating in the fodder that could become a cash cow for the tabloids, think it's all fun and games when they get that little thrill from getting a tweet back from him, or have video chat sessions, or get a phone call from him, or a promises of more things yet to come -- it's not a joke when lives are ruined and careers are put on hold, because people are in jail developing their yard time social skills. Or they're on probation having to clean up trash on the side of the road in an orange jumpsuit. Having an internet history that's spotty (blemished), can ruin a career, bottom line the internet is not a safe happy playground, and those that are perpetuating this behavior (Ludwig included), need to literally "check them selves before they wreck them selves." If any of those girls, or Alexander Ludwig get wind of these worries, I hope they heed the warnings, because they are serious.
I just got officially old, I think I need cake.
Added on the 14th of August. Let me say this, I hold no ill will towards Alexander Ludwig. I can only hope that at this time while he's making The Hunger Games he's going through a very steep learning process/curve, and as he's not used to this kind of attention, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I just hope beyond anything that as he's going through this he becomes humbled and not corrupted. However, as he's the legal adult in many of the interactions, by law he'd be the one at fault if anything else goes amiss. I hate saying this, but I think his best role model might be Taylor Launter, whose public image remains unblemished even in the face of being lusted after by so many people. The bottom line however, when I step back and examine things, is his acting performance which I have no way of judging at this moment in time.