Entertainment

'Prison Break' Star Wentworth Miller Fires Back at Mean Fat-Shaming Meme

wentworth miller prison break
<strong>Prison Break | </strong>Fox

Cruel memes clog your Facebook feed like spillage from a factory that produces nothing but cute cats, stock photos, and contempt. Maybe they make you laugh, but it's worth remembering that there's a person behind every meme -- a person like Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, who just shut down a particularly jerky meme that recently went viral.

"Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme," wrote the Legends of Tomorrow actor and screenwriter on his Facebook page yesterday. "Not for the first time. This one, however, stands out from the rest."

The meme, shared by the "LAD Bible" Facebook page, contrasts two photos of Miller: one from his buff, shirtless Prison Break days as the tattoo-covered Michael Scofield, and the other from a few years later, when he's a bit heavier. As a meme, it should look familiar if you're still Facebook friends with all the angry people you went to high school with. "When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald's Monopoly..." reads the "joke." Really cutting, sharp stuff, right? 

Wentworth Miller, Meme, Facebook
<a href="https://www.facebook.com/wentworthmilleractorwriter/photos/a.1496071870605750.1073741827.1496070023939268/1713822728830662/?type=3&amp;theater" target="_blank">Facebook</a>

The second photo is a paparazzi shot that ended up in tabloids and magazines. In his revealing Facebook post, which you should read in its entirety, the actor explains that he was actually suicidal at the time it was taken. 

"I've struggled with depression since childhood," explains Miller on Facebook. "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."

Despite the pain the photo caused him, Miller writes that he's glad the photo is still around.

"The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe," he writes. "But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness."

The LAD Bible posted an apology to Miller on their Facebook page today. "We posted two pictures of you last night to our Facebook page, but today we want to say we’ve got this very, very wrong," they wrote. "Mental health is no joke or laughing matter."

Is there a lesson to be learned here? Maybe to think twice before sharing that cruel meme in the future -- you never know the story behind it. 
 
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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.