Lad Bible apologise after poking fun at actor's 2010 weight gain in online post
Wentworth Miller, the actor best known for his lead role in Prison Break, has hit out at a fat-shaming online meme, also revealing his struggles with depression and other mental health issues in the past.
Miller played Michael Scofield in the US crime drama from 2005 to 2009 and is set to return as the character when the show is revived for a nine-episode season later this year.
The star responded over the weekend to a meme posted by The Lad Bible website, which compared an image of Miller in the show to a photo taken in 2010, in which Miller had gained weight. The caption read: “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly”.
“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 in response.
“In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I was suicidal. This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about. But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.”
He continued: “Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time. 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. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of Top Chef. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be. And I put on weight. Big fucking deal.”
Miller went on to describe how paparazzi photos from the time were published in the press along with headlines such as “Hunk To Chunk” and “Fit To Flab”. “In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed,” he writes.
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Referring to the Lad Bible meme, Miller added: “The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness. Of myself and others.”
He continued to urge his fans to reach out if they are suffering from similar issues: “If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love.”
Lad Bible has since responded to Miller’s post by releasing a statement online. “We want to say we’ve got this very, very wrong. Mental health is no joke or laughing matter,” the statement reads.
It continues: “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.”
“We applaud your raw honesty and promise to now cover such matters in the responsible manner that our audience expects.”
“Responding head-on to our post is something we applaud as it will help others through similar challenges in their lives.”
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or online.