When Fox canceled Lucifer in 2018, diehard fans took to social media to wage an overnight campaign to save the series.
Within hours of the news, Lucifer himself, Tom Ellis took to Twitter, asking the fans of the show to rally together and tweet #SaveLucifer to get the attention of another network.
Lucifans immediately got on board and soon #SaveLucifer was trending worldwide.
The hashtag reached over 9 million tweets in just a month, and Ellis took the cause to BBC Newsnight and KTLA to plead the case.
It worked, and Netflix made a deal for three additional seasons.
Tom took to Twitter to share the news, and gave fans the rightful credit.
“Wow that sounds nice,” he wrote. “You fans made this happen. #LuciFansrock”
— tom ellis (@tomellis17) June 15, 2018
But that was then.
Now, after two years active on Twitter, Ellis has had enough online hate, and he has pulled the plug.
After a warning last month to those who have been tweeting hateful messages to he and his family, Ellis had hoped the negativity would cease.
“Just taking a sec out of spending time with my beautiful family to kindly ask anyone trolling me or my wife and claiming to be a lucifan to Back the fuck off. You are not welcome and never will be. We don’t accept bullies. Laters.”
Just taking a sec out of spending time with my beautiful family to kindly ask anyone trolling me or my wife and claiming to be a #lucifan to Back the fuck off. You are not welcome and never will be. We don’t accept bullies. Laters.
— tom ellis (@tomellis17) August 13, 2020
The aggravation came after nearly a year of hateful Tweets aimed at Ellis and his wife, screenwriter Meaghan Oppenheimer.
“Lucifans helped save the show when it was canceled by Fox, but a few really hateful people emerged in the fandom,” said a spokesman for a Lucifer fan group. “The intensity of bullying really increased after Tom and Meaghan married last summer.”
How does the hate multiply so quickly online?
A common problem on Twitter is when one person opens multiple accounts and begins to attack a celebrity or news organization as if dozens of people are speaking.
Accounts can be reported to Twitter for violating their policies, but only after the bullying has been unleashed.
“It’s like whack-a-mole, where you finally get rid of one hateful account only to watch the same person come after you with another name,” said the supporter of Tom. “It’s spam, but the words can be ugly even if only one person is generating them.”
Ellis has been overwhelmingly popular portraying the devil in the Netflix series.
But just like in Hell, some trolls have been relentless in unleashing their unstable hate.
JimHeath.TV hasn’t been spared the ugliness.
One self-described lucifan has left regular messages of hate on various Lucifer articles.
In one, she suggests Donald Trump’s reelection would result in all his opponents, including a vast majority of the Lucifer cast and crew, being “locked up.”
“Hopefully once Trump is re-elected we can get you nutbags locked up properly where you belong,” wrote the creator of “lucifanstv.”
In another hateful post, she made more threats.
“Yes, I am in charge of 100K fans of Lucifer and can spread the word rather quickly. TRY ME.”
We have identified the person behind the continuing bullying, and have blocked her from posting here.
Tom and Meaghan have also become increasingly political on their social media pages, backing Planned Parenthood, Blacks Lives Matter and Joe Biden.
That has left some right-wing pro-Trump Lucifer fans enraged.
“The fandom has drastically changed in the past year and this person is influencing behaviors that should not be acceptable period,” said another top lucifan supporter. “Angry, volatile people always need a target. It’s all they have.”
But after issuing his warning last month, Tom has decided to pull the plug on Twitter.
“Twitter seems more and more a place where people like to shout horrible things at you and encourage others to do so if they don’t agree with your opinion,” tweeted Tom earlier today. “I think I’m gonna take a little hiatus. Lots of love.”
Twitter seems more and more a place where people like to shout horrible things at you and encourage others to do so if they don’t agree with your opinion. I think I’m gonna take a little hiatus. Lots of love txx😈
— tom ellis (@tomellis17) September 16, 2020
Lucifer’s Rachael Harris quickly jumped on the bandwagon too.
“Agree’d!” she wrote. “I love our fans so just a heads up that I’m scaling back to just an Instagram account.”
— Rachael Harris (@RachaelEHarris) September 16, 2020
The Lucifer stars abandoning Twitter, an outlet more favorable to Democrats and anti-Trump supporters, for Instagram (owned by Facebook) hit many Lucifans as strange just weeks before the presidential election.
A who’s who of celebrities boycotted Instagram today in an effort to pressure its parent company, Facebook to do a better job of controlling violence, racism, and hate across its services.
The 14 participating celebrities included Kim Kardashian West, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry, Kerry Washington, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Ruffalo, Demi Lovato, and Ashton Kutcher.
They did not post on Instagram today, and plan to follow up over the next week with posts calling for change.
The celebrity boycott was organized by the #StopHateForProfit coalition, including the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, and Common Sense Media.
It’s just the latest in a series of actions by the coalition that has targeted Facebook and Instagram over its lax policing of its service.
In July, it urged Facebook advertisers to temporarily pause their ads on the service.
More than 1,200 advertisers, including some big brands like Verizon and Unilever, participated, but Facebook ultimately made few concessions.
“We could show you thousands of examples of what [Facebook] amplifies, and we’re sick of it,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, speaking about misinformation and hate on the service. “That’s why we went to influencers this time. They have tens of millions of followers.”
The celebrity campaign was brought to life with help from Baron Cohen, who has often been the recipient of anti-Semitic messages and hate for his controversial parodies and comedy skits.
Baron Cohen spoke to Kardashian West and helped attract a number of other celebrities, Steyer said.
The message from the celebrities is expected to reach their hundreds of millions followers.
Kardashian West alone has 188 million followers on Instagram. Meanwhile, Katy Perry has 107 million followers, and Demi Lovato has 93.2 million.
“I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation,” Kardashian West tweeted yesterday announcing that she was joining the campaign. “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy.”
I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook, but I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation – created by groups to sow division and split America apart pic.twitter.com/XkxzABn7qw
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 15, 2020
The coalition is demanding that Facebook take down groups focused on white supremacy, militia, hate, and violent conspiracies.
It also wants Facebook to commit 5% of its annual revenue to an independently administered fund to support groups working on the fight against racism and hate.
The coalition said it wants Facebook to increase the resources for monitoring groups for hate speech and violence and to change its policy to forbid events that involve a call to use weapons.
Recently, Facebook allowed the self-proclaimed militia group Kenosha Guard to organize on its service and create an event that called for people take up arms against protestors in Kenosha, Wis.
Facebook users flagged the event for Facebook to remove, but it remained online until a 17-year-old shot and killed two people and wounded a third at a protest.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later called Facebook’s failure to quickly remove the event an “operational mistake.”
Steyer said while the celebrity campaign has already attracted 14 well-known names, the organizers are still in discussions with others including athletes, who they expect will join.
While this campaign is mostly geared toward informing Instagram users, Steyer said he also hopes the celebrity messages will garner the attention of advertisers.
“We’ve been hammering Facebook for months,” he said. “They just don’t do anything, so this is phase two.”
Meanwhile, Lucifans are mixed on whether leaving Twitter is the best thing for Tom and Rachael to do right before arguably the most important election in our lifetime.
“Aw man, so sorry you guys are having to deal with the bad parts of fandom right now,” tweeted @Jamie_Rose89. “You definitely shouldn’t feel like you can’t voice your own opinion without being attacked for it. Sending you all the love. Know that most of the LuciFans have your back and love you.”
“Again the arrogant toxic trolls win & the fans who respect & support you guys lose out,” wrote @debbbrindley. “Rachael I understand why you are doing this but we are devastated that you, Tom & Lauren have been subjected to the gutter tripe that some think is acceptable. We will miss you.”
Some fans also pointed out the timing of the decision.
“Ok, while I agree with you, you can’t have it both ways,” wrote @KDuckarmie. “While I don’t have much in common with Trump supporters, you are doing exactly what you complained about. You can’t do that and then expect peace and love thrown your way. I do think you’re great, but the irony is real.”
While Ellis and Harris have abandoned Twitter, other top Lucifer stars, including Lesley-Ann Brandt and D.B. Woodside, do not appear to be giving up the fight.