Elizabeth Entenman
September 27, 2015 12:13 pm

In the wise words of Taylor Swift, “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Ain’t that the truth—especially on the Internet. In an interview with NME, Robert Pattinson opened up about the haters in his life. He admitted how difficult it can be to read awful racist and sexist comments about his leading lady, FKA twigs. The singer is bi-racial: Her father is Jamaican, and her mother is English and Spanish. In the waking world, her race is a non-issue. But on the Internet it’s a different story, and their relationship is showing him just how bad it can be.

“I was talking to my dad about this and I bet him that if he looked up Nelson Mandela’s funeral on YouTube, the first comment would be a racist one. And it was, with like a million upvotes,” Pattinson said in an interview with NME. “What I don’t get is why.”

Why? Why are people just so hateful on the Internet? That’s the question of the century. On many sites, comment sections are the gathering grounds of the Internet’s mean girls. But why? Don’t we have this discussion all the time? Still, nothing seems to come of it. Because online, it’s so easy to write a mean-spirited comment knowing you can hide behind an anonymous username — and some people find it thrilling and addictive.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it. The best course of action is to avoid comment sections and refrain from feeding these online trolls. But when the story involves you, or the comment thread is personal, how does that change things? Do you read every notification, or just refrain altogether? Google can be your best friend and your worst enemy, and Pattinson tries to restrict how much he searches for himself.

“I go through periods where I don’t do it at all and feel glorious! Then I’ll fall back into this pit,” the actor admits. “[The negativity] really does affect you, and it all comes from some moron sitting on a comment board. It’s always that person who’s needling away at you, who you either want to destroy, or convince them to love you.”

It’s easy for us to say, “Just don’t do it!” Because the media and tabloids are virtually impossible to ignore. And besides, being affected by what other people say about you — especially when it’s so harsh and untrue — doesn’t make you a sissy. It means you’re a normal human being!

“Most normal people are not commenters — I’ve never met anyone who’s left a comment on anything,” Pattinson continued. “It’s just demons who live in basements… You have this weird thing where you end up trying to fight against this faceless blob, where the more you hate it, the bigger it gets, because it’s all in your head.”

There you have it. Even majorly talented and successful celebs like Robert Pattinson get down about the haters every once and a while. But the important lesson is to remember what they say doesn’t matter. And! Don’t forget, for every hateful comment out there, there’s also an admirer showering you with praise.

Featured image via Twitter

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