Wentworth Miller Shuts Down Fat-Shaming Meme With Powerful Open Letter About Depression And Suicide

Above: Wentworth Miller
Above: Wentworth Miller

Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is sending a powerful message after becoming the subject of a fat-shaming meme.

The 43-year-old actor took to Facebook after a meme posted on the LAD Bible’s Facebook page on Monday, March 28th featured side-by-side photos of him. The first photo was a promotional shot of a shirtless Miller from his Prison Break days, and the other, a photo of Miller wearing a red t-shirt with longer hair and a heavier frame. Miller’s courageous open letter explains that he was once suicidal and addresses the Internet meme that makes fun of his past weight gain.

Wentworth Miller Shuts Down Fat-Shaming Meme With Powerful Open Letter About Depression And Suicide

Below, read Miller’s message in full:

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.
This one, however, stands out from the rest.
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.
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 f–king deal.
One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.
My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
I’m glad.
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. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.
Anyway. Still. Despite.
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.
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. – W.M. ‪#‎koalas ‪#‎inneractivist ‪#‎prisonbroken

The original meme post has been deleted and the team at LAD Bible have now apologized to Miller in another Facebook post, writing “we want to say we’ve got this very, very wrong. Mental health is no joke or laughing matter.”

Wentworth Miller came out as gay in 2013, after declining an invitation to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival because of the country’s anti-gay laws. In a speech the same year, at the Human Rights Campaign Seattle Gala, the actor admitted, “Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there were a thousand ways to fail, a thousand ways to betray yourself, to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted, of what was normal.”

The actor said that he first attempted suicide at the age of 15, adding, “[W]hen someone asks me if that was a cry for help, I’d say, ‘No.’ You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for. And I didn’t need it, I wanted out.”

Christopher Turner

Christopher Turner

AmongMen’s Editor-in-Chief is a well-respected fashion and style writer whose works have appeared in Fashionism, Fashion Television, MSN, DesignLines, the Kaboose Network, the Disney Family Network and Sun Media. He also has a collection of designer kicks that would make Imelda Marcos blush and lives in Toronto’s trendy east end. Follow him at: @Turnstylin.

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