Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp recently began his first year at the University of Pennsylvania. Concerning images, including screenshots of what appear to be other students’ private conversations about Schnapp, have surfaced on Twitter. This has caused fans to worry about the actor’s safety.
Since starting school, images of the 17-year-old Canadian actor, best known for playing Will Byers in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, at fraternity parties have circulated online.
In a recent video uploaded to Twitter, Schnapp can be seen jumping off a small bridge into a pool at the Bamboo Bar near the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
While some social media users are happy to see Schnapp appearing to have fun at college, many fans expressed concern. Fans of the Netflix star have also shared screenshots of other University of Pennsylvania students’ supposedly leaked conversations.
Some of the leaked messages seem to reveal that Schnapp’s friends are using him because of his fame and some students have taken pictures of the actor to sell to paparazzi. Other messages indicate much more sinister intentions.
According to anonymous Twitter user @burner4noah, who claims to have a friend who attends the University of Pennsylvania, Schnapp has been pressured to engage in dangerous acts such as using hard drugs. Other messages suggest that other students have discussed committing acts of physical and sexual violence toward Schnapp.
When Schnapp revealed on his Tiktok account last winter that he had been accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, many fans took to social media to share their excitement for the actor.
Schnapp called going to college “the biggest transition [he will] ever make in [his] life, but . . . very exciting.”
While most college students don’t face the same kind of scrutiny as the Netflix star, Schnapp’s situation brings up important questions about the reality of many students’ college experience.
Wiley Delisa (’24) is the president of Phi Mu Alpha at Alma College. Delisa believes that, while Schnapp’s fans may be acting out of concern for the young actor, they should not take to social media to weigh in on his decisions.
“. . . I am very conscious of the fact that having fun also means being responsible. However, I feel that fans are taking way too much active participation in Noah’s life,” said Delisa.
“He’s a 17-year-old college student. He’s allowed to go to parties and enjoy his time, he’s allowed to choose who he hangs out with and, most importantly, he’s allowed to make mistakes,” said Delisa.
While Delisa feels that Schnapp may have behaved recklessly, he also acknowledges that many college students have made similar mistakes and he does not want to see Schnapp penalized on social media.
“Many of us make bad choices, that’s what college is for, but very few of us have to experience those choices being watched by millions of people who think they know what’s best for us,” said Delisa. “. . . It saddens me to see that his teenage choices are being put under a microscope by fans.”
Despite fans’ concerns, Delisa is not convinced that the supposed leaked messages indicate any real threat to Schnapp’s safety. Delisa believes the posts are most likely the work of someone using Schnapp’s fame to gain attention.
“. . . If this anonymous Twitter user was really concerned about his safety, they would have and should have reached out to the proper staff members at their college or the Title XI office,” said Delisa. “Posting something like this on Twitter is clearly just an attempt at clout or an attempt at riling up his fans.”