Public figures in sports, music, movies, television and beyond are responding to several changes made by Twitter’s new owner…
Some celebrities have decided to quit Twitter or take a break from the platform now that Elon Musk has taken over the social media site following his $44 billion acquisition of the company.
Public figures in sports, music, movies, television and beyond are responding to several changes made by Twitter’s new owner, including Musk’s decision to revamp the verification process into a paid model while laying off hundreds of employees and concerns over a rise in hate speech because of Musk’s unfettered definition of “free speech.”
“Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” Shonda Rhimes tweeted to her nearly 2 million Twitter followers Saturday afternoon, two days after Musk closed his deal to purchase the service.
Here’s a running list of other celebrities who are out the door:
The “Love Song” and “Brave” Grammy-winning singer/songwriter tweeted to her nearly 3 million followers on Sunday that she’ll see her fans “on other platforms.”
“It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out,” the singer tweeted. “Sorry, this one’s just not for me.”
Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me. ❤️🙏🏼
— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022
In a tweet to her nearly 2 million followers Friday, R&B singer Toni Braxton said that she is “shocked and appalled at some of the ‘free speech’” she’s seen on Twitter “since its acquisition.”
“Hate speech under the veil of ‘free speech’ is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC,” she wrote.
I’m shocked and appalled at some of the “free speech” I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of “free speech” is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC.
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022
Mick Foley, a retired professional wrestler and actor, said in a post on his public, verified Facebook page that he is “taking a break” from Twitter because of the “new ownership — and the misinformation and hate it seems to be encouraging.”
“I really do enjoy connecting with all of you on social media, but it can get overwhelming sometimes. I think I’ll be back on in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I will continue to post on Facebook and Instagram,” he wrote.
“Please vote if you can too — our democracy seems to be hanging on by a thread,” he added.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid deactivated her Twitter account on Friday, writing in an Instagram post the decision to leave the social media platform was due to concerns over it “becoming more and more of a cesspool of hate & bigotry.”
“I can’t say it’s a safe place for anyone, not a social platform that will do more good than harm,” Hadid wrote on Instagram.
The comic book creator and artist of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” confirmed in an email to NBC News that he is no longer on Twitter.
Back in April, he reportedly tweeted that “the day Elon Musk buys Twitter is the day I delete my account and leave Twitter.”
Larsen’s handle, @ErikJLarsen, appeared to have been deactivated Monday.
“I said I would leave if Musk bought Twitter. Musk bought Twitter,” he told NBC News. “So, I had no choice. The move only emboldened those most toxic users. The racists, ‘patriots’ and creeps are back in full force.”
“I have no regrets,” he added.
Olin, an executive producer of NBC’s “This Is Us” and a former star of the ABC drama series “Thirtysomething,” tweeted to his roughly 293,000 followers that he is “out of here.”
“Let’s keep the faith. Let’s protect our democracy. Let’s try to be kinder. Let’s try to save the planet. Let’s try to be more generous. Let’s look to find peace in the world,” he wrote, ending with a blue heart emoji.
Hey all –
I’m out of here. No judgement.
Let’s keep the faith.
Let’s protect our democracy.
Let’s try to be kinder.
Let’s try to save the planet.
Let’s try to be more generous.
Let’s look to find peace in the world.
— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022
Actor Téa Leoni, best known for her role on on the CBS political drama “Madam Secretary,” tweeted to her roughly 124,000 followers on Saturday about her departure from the app.
“I’m coming off Twitter today — let’s see where we are when the dust settles,” she wrote. “Today the dust has revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction.”
British actor Marina Sirtis, best known for playing Deanna Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” deactivated her account and left the platform after Musk’s takeover, her publicist confirmed in an email to NBC News.
“If I needed confirmation that leaving Twitter was the right move, Musk’s tweet about the attack on Paul Pelosi (which he later deleted) and the avalanche of hate that I received when I announced I was leaving, reinforced my decision,” Sirtis said in a statement.
Her account handle, @marina_sirtis appears to be currently deactivated on Twitter.
Morrison, a comic book artist and illustrator who worked on projects in “The Simpsons” media universe, confirmed in a message to NBC News on LinkedIn that he deactivated his Twitter account because of Musk’s takeover.
“I thought I might wait to see if he reinstated Trump’s account, but decided that there were plenty of reasons to leave even absent of a Trump return,” Morrison said.
Winter, an actor and filmmaker best known for playing Bill in the “Bill & Ted” film series alongside Keanu Reeves, locked his Twitter account. His bio on the site now says “Left here for here” and links to his profile with Mastodon, a global and decentralized social network with features similar to Twitter.
“Elon Musk taking over Twitter and making it a private company with less oversight has immediately made the platform more prone to hate speech, targeted attacks, and the spread of disinformation,” Winter said in an email to NBC News. “If Twitter returns to being a public company run by rational actors, many of us will return.”
Just like Winter, many former Twitter users have been moving on to different social platforms like Mastodon, BlueSky and CounterSocial.
According to CNN, Mastodon gained 230,000 users since October 27, when Musk took over Twitter.