Want to see how the mentally ill-equipped operating under the protection of anonymity act? Take a look at the verbal garbage being hurled at comic Jenny Johnson on Twitter from Chris Brown fans. She’s not just getting heckled by irate fans annoyed that she forced their R&B hero to delete his account because he couldn’t play at her level. No, Johnson has received numerous death threats since she and Brown had their acrimonious exchange on Sunday.
What could possibly have been said that would lead someone’s fans to post death threats? By looking at the back-and-forth, it would appear that it doesn’t take much besides calling a person a derogatory expletive (two forms) and using adjectives like “worthless” and “ignorant.”
But since Brown deleted his account, Johnson has been the recipient of threats of varying magnitude, from stabbing and killing to raping and killing. A few have been posted at Huffington Post and at Billboard.com, some fans attesting that they will carry out the act if they see Johnson, others suggest that Brown do the deed.
One post even suggests that they each kill themselves.
For her own part, Johnson doesn’t appear to be overly worried, posting what she calls the “Best @ replies,” which included a multitude of illiterate suggestions that she be subjected to (or should allow herself to be subjected to) various sexual acts involving the male sex organ. However, the Post did note that the comedienne notified Twitter that she had received an unusual number of death threats “to look through them. Not cool.”
“We are doing a bit of investigating… to see who are writing them and if they should be taken seriously — or just something we need to ignore,” Johnson told Celebuzz on Tuesday.
This, all over Chris Brown posting a tweet and photo, stating that he looked old for 23, and Jenny Johnson (who goes by the handle @JennyJohnsonHi5) posting that “being a worthless piece of s*** can really age a person.”
The discourse that followed, all of which can be read at BuzzFeed, involved Brown suggesting Johnson submit to oral sex and being defecated on. He also called her a b**** and a “HOE,” the latter posting getting him slammed by Johnson as an “ignorant f***.”
It all ended when Brown said it was all an example of society’s immaturity. He then suggested that Rihanna be asked if she was still mad. Shortly afterward, he deactivated his account.
And that’s when Johnson, an Emmy-nominated producer and comic writer, began receiving threatening posts.
To be sure, there is safety in anonymity, which is why most Twitter posters write what they do, making crass, rude, and/or threatening comments from a distance (provided by the Internet). They say what they want without fear of reprisal. They’re fans and their current flavor-of-the-month pop star has been attacked, so they feel some bond of loyalty, an urge to defend them. But then there is also strength in numbers and the pack mentality that plays a factor, with several dodging and circling, nipping and biting at the target, hoping to draw blood. Most are merely worrisome, a bit hurtful, but they would never carry out their vicious threats. Most of them.
And there are those that point out that Johnson has been worrying Brown for nearly a year, constantly sniping at him about his 2009 conviction, where he admitted to assaulting his then-girlfriend, R&B singer Rihanna. Some have referred to Johnson’s constant Twitter jabs as akin to cyber-bullying.
Johnson said in the Celebuzz interview that she was going to let the matter rest awhile, but she was surprised to find out that the Twitter war of words had made CNN and “The View.” But she also said that if she ever met Chris Brown face-to-face, she would “run for the hills.”
She added that in all the time she’s been poking fun at him, Sunday’s heated exchange had been the first time he had responded.
“He replied to a tweet once. I was proud that after six months of harassing the guy, all my hard work paid off.”
And the fact that he deactivated his Twitter account? (Aside from the fact that he’s done it before and returned?) Johnson says she doesn’t know if it is a good thing or not. Time will tell.
In the meantime, the more brazen of Brown’s 11.6 million Twitter followers have felt the need to voice their displeasure over Johnson’s posts and the “Don’t Judge Me” singer’s absence with sexually-charged suggestions and threats of ill intent. It could be pointed out that they were simply playing follow the leader (for the most part, but the singer never threatened Johnson’s life). The problem, though, is that only a few of those avid fanatics have followed him off of Twitter.