Sebastian Stan is at the top of his career, but his fans may have had enough. Recently, the hashtag #RIPSebastianStan began trending on Twitter. His fans dropped into the trending topic worried about his well-being, only to discover that others had uncovered activity from Stan’s Instagram account that appears to support racism. Worse yet, this isn’t the first time Stan’s behavior has been called into question and earned him a trending hashtag.
The current situation involves Instagram behavior that may in fact be a few years old. Sebastian Stan’s Instagram account “liked” a post. It doesn’t record when that post was liked, and the original post is from 2017. The post is a video with a white man vehemently asserting that white people should be allowed to say the N-word without pushback. Despite how wide and far the action is being discussed, the actor has yet to say anything about his actions in this situation. While some have argued that we don’t know what he was thinking when he liked the post, others are saying that “liking” a post is supporting and approving it, especially in light of the pattern of behavior we’ve seen from the actor online.
Take a look at some of the tweets explaining the current situation with Sebastian Stan below.
The conversation has also moved beyond just this one incident. In 2020, the hashtag #SebastianStanIsOverParty was trending. That time, it was because of his girlfriend’s Instagram posts. His girlfriend is a white woman who posted a photo of herself dressed up to look like she was an Asian woman. When fans started commenting and explaining why the photo was problematic and asked for it to be taken down, those fans were blocked by both her and Sebastian Stan.
Before that, in 2017, there was the “take a knee” meme disaster. Of note, 2017 is also around the time of the Instagram post he liked that currently has him trending on Twitter. During that same time period, he was working to promote his movie I, Tonya. This was during a time when Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback, had just recently taken a knee during the national anthem. There was a nationwide splashback on the athlete as Donald Trump called Colin Kaepernick out and other athletes also took a knee. During all of this, Sebastian Stan posted a photo of Tonya Harding sitting next to Nancy Kerrigan. Harding and Kerrigan were rivals, and Harding was accused of being involved in an incident where an assailant hit Kerrigan in the knee with a baton.
When “taking a knee” was being discussed around Colin Kaepernick, memes featuring Tonya Harding were being spread around. Sebastian Stan posted one that said, “Back when ‘taking a knee’ meant taking a knee.” This did not go over well with fans, who felt that Sebastian Stan was making light of a serious moment in the political conversation. In this instance, the actor apologized, but he did so in a way that also made excuses. He continually repeated that he was simply working to promote a movie, which didn’t feel right to fans. Now, this past incident with the “take a knee” meme, added on to the situation with his girlfriend, and liking this Instagram post, are all coming together in the conversation under the #RIPSebastianStan hashtag.
So now what happens to Sebastian Stan? Will he be fired from Marvel? Not likely at this point. Will his fanbase abandon him? While some may lose their adoration of the star, others will continue on at this point. What we’ve seen so far in these situations often suggests that there is a building over time. Each time Sebastian Stan has questionable social media behavior, it adds to the conversation for the next time it comes up. Eventually, there may be one that goes too far. We saw this with Gina Carano, who was continually warned about her controversial social media behavior before finally being fired from The Mandalorian. Will Sebastian Stan ever address this current situation? That’s an interesting question. We’ll be waiting to see if he ever speaks up on this incident and how his fans react.