The Real Reason Millie Bobby Brown Skipped the MTV Awards

Millie Bobby Brown smiling while on a red carpet.

Millie Bobby Brown | Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

The 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards were great if you’re a fan of Stranger Things. The series picked up the Best Show and Best Musical Moment popcorn trophies. Noah Schnapp was there in person to accept his award for Best Scared Performance. His costars Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, Gaten Matarazzo and Dacre Montgomery helped carry home the rest of their honors. But Millie Bobby Brown was notably absent from the ceremony — even though she scored a coveted win for Best Performance in a Show.

The 14-year-old actress did thank her fans via a video acceptance speech, though. She explained why she couldn’t be there in person. And she also addressed some behind-the-scenes drama that’s surrounded her in recent weeks.

In early June, Brown was the target of online bullying in Twitter. Users widely shared memes claiming that the actress was homophobic on the social media platform.

Brown didn’t comment on the memes at the time. And fans know that she’s a devoted ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. At the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, she donned a GLAAD pin on the red carpet. On June 14, 2018, in a move many assumed was a response to the memes, she deleted her Twitter account without warning.

The harassment and her subsequent exit from Twitter made headlines around the world. So, some may have wondered if it affected Brown’s decision to skip the MTV Awards. But even before the ceremony, she made it clear that it was something else entirely that had kept her from celebrating with her costars.

On June 15, Brown shared on Instagram that she injured her kneecap. That meant she wouldn’t be able to travel from Atlanta, where they’re filming Season 3 of Stranger Things, to Los Angeles for the MTV Awards.

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She reiterated that fact when she accepted her popcorn trophy via video during the ceremony, telling fans she was merely following doctors’ orders to rest up. Brown first made it clear that she was grateful for not only the honor, but the role that helped her shoot to stardom. She said, “It’s no secret that landing the role of Eleven in Stranger Things has changed my life in the most incredible ways.”

The nastiness Brown faced online doesn’t appear to have influenced her decision not to attend the awards. But she did address it directly during her speech. She said: “Since I know there are many young people watching this, and even to the adults too, they could probably use the reminder that I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it.”

Brown then made it clear where she stands on not only her bullies, but on all targeted harassment. “There should be no space in this world for bullying it,” she declared. “I’m not going to tolerate it, and neither should any of you.” Finally, she threw in a not-so-vague reference to the exact kind of bullying she herself had faced. “If you need a reminder of how worthy you are, and to rise above the hate, message me on Instagram,” she offered with a wink.

The remarks drew cheers from the MTV Awards audience. Her Stranger Things castmates didn’t address Brown’s exit from Twitter. But they did offer their support to her while she recovers from her injury. On the red carpet, Schnapp said the Stranger Things crew is rallying behind Brown. He told Entertainment Tonight, “We’ve sent her a lot of videos and cards and stuff.”

And Wolfhard revealed that she split her kneecap in half. “It’s a gnarly picture,” he reported, though he made sure to let fans know she’s in high spirits.

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