Sorry, Internet trolls, Wentworth Miller is no longer ashamed.
The “Prison Break” and “Legends of Tomorrow” star found himself the target of an Internet meme criticizing the actor for his past weight gain. Instead of lashing out, however, Miller took to social media to pen a powerful open letter about his struggle with depression.
In the meme (pictured below), a promotional photo of Miller from his “Prison Break” heyday is placed alongside a candid picture of the actor, with the caption, “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly…”
But Miller, refusing to play victim to Internet cruelty, used the opportunity to explain the context in which these photos were taken.
“Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the rest,” Miller wrote on his Facebook page. “I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.”
“In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction,” he continued. “And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to.”
The photo of Miller in the red T-shirt was, of course, taken during that time, where deeply painful stories with headlines like “Hunk To Chunk” and “Fit To Flab” were commonplace.
But with some perspective, Miller now looks at the photographs in a different light. “Now, when I see that image of me in my red T-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle,” he wrote. “My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons.”
The Lad Bible, the creator of the meme, later apologized to Miller on Facebook, in a lengthy post reminding all of us that “mental health is no laughing matter.”
“We certainly didn’t want to cause you pain by reminding you of such a low point in your life. Causing distress and upset to innocent or vulnerable people is simply not acceptable,” the post read. “We applaud your raw honesty and promise to now cover such matters in the responsible manner that our audience expects.”
Miller has been incredibly vocal about his experience with depression, as well as advocating for LGBT issues and various mental health initiatives, since he came out as a gay man in 2013. He concluded his message with a powerful plea to all those struggling like he once was.
“If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available,” he ended the post. “Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M. #koalas #inneractivist #prisonbroken.”
By Cole Delbyc