One of the biggest effects of the rise of social media was the perceived magnitude of what people feel when they observe somebody follow – or un-follow – others online. The elation from the former and the blowback from the latter can sometimes lead to some surprising amount of drama, not just from the follower/un-follower and the followed/un-followed, but from outside observers too. This could be one explanation for why fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are lately stirring, after actor Robert Downey Jr., aka Tony Stark/Iron Man of the MCU, suddenly made like Thanos blipping his franchise costars from one of his official social media pages.
As Entertainment Weekly tells us, Robert Downey Jr., who has been the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise since starring in “Iron Man” back in 2008, has just un-followed his fellow actors and actresses on his verified Instagram account. That includes some cast-mates that have been known to be his close personal friends like Chris Evans (“Captain America”) and Tom Holland (“Spider-Man”). In addition, the IG photo RDJ had on previously, as Iron Man, was replaced by a photo of him as him.
This was quickly noticed by MCU fans, which was easy enough considering that while Downey has millions of followers on Instagram, he himself only follows less than a hundred on that social media platform. Speculation ran rampant on the implications. A celebrity just un-followed his fellow celebrities? The atmosphere seemed as heavy as when K-Pop group BTS un-followed talk show host Ellen DeGeneres sometime after they guested on her show. One theory put up was that the actor was beginning to move on from his involvement with Marvel Studios and the MCU. After all, his character did die in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.” Maybe it was just over in RDJ’s view?
Of course, in the wake of some rather explosive displays of online emotion on IG following that event, came the voices of reason. They point out that, like with many showbiz personalities, Downey’s official IG page is likely run by his manager who would prioritize more current subject and projects in the posts. And furthermore, his verified Twitter page did not follow suit in the MCU un-following. At present RDJ’s Instagram content seems to focus on his anti-climate change organization, the Footprint Coalition, plus shout-outs to projects his production company is involved in such as the HBO “Perry Mason” reboot.
Image: Yahoo News