By: Skyler Johnson
On July 12, TikTok user Hunter Echo–AKA Hunter Ecimovic–made a now-deleted livestream where he jokingly claimed he abused and groomed Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown after a picture surfaced of the two kissing. He also went into great detail about their sex life during the course of their alleged eight month relationship when he was 20 and she was 16. While Ecimovic made serious accusations against himself, he still seemed to shrug it off and stated that he didn’t do anything wrong.
To be clear, everything that Ecimovic has said at this time is alleged. We have no clear knowledge of what this relationship might’ve been, and whether or not it even existed in the first place. All we know is what Ecimovic has said and all we’ve seen is one picture that’s surfaced of the two kissing.
There is the question of whether or not the information should have been made public in the first place, looking past who decided to make it that way. After all, the internet has no right to know about Brown’s abuse. Brown shouldn’t be forced to deal the public knowing about her trauma, yet she’s having to deal with people constantly asking if she’s okay. While this is well-intentioned, a lot of survivors don’t want to talk openly about their trauma. This is likely especially for the case for Millie Bobby Brown, who we’re not even sure had any form of relationship with Ecimovic. Yet, people online are treating her like she’s a survivor–which may not be a label she’s comfortable with.
The comments Ecimovic made were obviously gross, but not surprising when directed towards Brown, whose relationships and physicality have constantly been publicized and degraded by the public.
Millie Bobby Brown’s Sexualization
Despite Brown’s young age, because of her popularity and the popularity of Stranger Things, her life and public image have constantly been put into question. This questioning comes from both men who obsess over her physicality and women who have expressed desire for her to be in a relationship with Stranger Things co-star Finn Wolfhard, among others.
She’s gotten attention from people who believe that she’s presented herself, or has been presented, in a sexual way. Critics claim that certain outfit choices she made weren’t “acceptable” because they showed too much of her skin.
Brown’s dating life has long been under a large amount of scrutiny. Everyone knew when she was dating Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius, and Brown recieved backlash. Some begged her to cheat on him with Wolfhard.
Ultimately, this is a problem for many child stars and celebrities–particularly internet celebrities. With cases like Danielle Cohn and Danielle Bregoli being clear examples, albeit they made more extreme choices. Ultimately, all Brown is doing is wearing dresses and dating people which, obviously, a lot of teenage girls do. But because of her fame, she gets criticized for it.
While bragging about alleged sexual abuse and grooming may seem sociopathic, the American public is so in-tune with celebrities and their dating lives. In this way, it’s not unrealistic that someone would talk about Brown in the way that Ecimovic has. To be clear, this is not me defending the actions of Ecimovic in any way. What he said is still horrendous, especially if his accusations hold any merit. Sexual assault is not something to laugh off with your friends. All I’m saying is that because of the way our society treats teenage girls, Ecimovic’s comments make sense.
The Aftermath (What We Know So Far)
While Brown hasn’t said anything about the situation personally (and she doesn’t have to), her team has made a statement suggesting they’re going to take action. What that exactly means, no one is entirely sure. Though the next step most likely won’t be legal action given everything at this point is hear-say. However, the de-platforming of Ecimovic is possible. Ecimovic’s Instagram and Twitter account have both been suspended, and Ecimovic has made an apology for the livestream. Ecimovic has now suggested that his comments about grooming Brown was a fabrication, but again, we don’t yet really know anything.