Dan Levy is opening up about the toxic effects of social media.
On a recent episode of fellow MTV alum Jessi Cruickshank’s podcast, "Phone a Friend," the actor recounted the ways in which social media took a toll on him, eventually leading him to leave his Twitter account for good.
“Getting off Twitter was the best thing I’ve ever done,” Levy admitted. “It was reading one thing that made me realize, oh—I don’t have to be exposed to this.”
He then explained how he felt like the online platform was more of a place “where people go to pick fights.” He added that it felt like the “Olympic games,” where everyone could “one-up” each other on how much they knew.
“The discourse on Twitter is so counterproductive because it’s not rooted in empathy. It’s rooted in catching someone out. Shaming them publicly. And rallying people around that shame,” he voiced.
Levy then recalled a moment when he read a tweet that made him question his entire career.
“I have thousands of letters from people who have come out of the closet. Their parents have accepted them… I know that [Shchitt’s Creek] has done things for people in very meaningful ways. And then I read one stupid thing from someone on Twitter, and it makes me question all the work that I’ve done,” the 39-year-old shared.
“In that moment, it was late at night. I was feeling particularly vulnerable. I read this tweet from someone. I think it said something like 'Can we all admit Schitt’s Creek was overrated?'"
Levy adds that his reaction to the tweet was not about the show at all, but more in reaction to the way our culture has embraced tearing something down publicly “while asking others to join.”
“So, not only is what you’re saying not positive, not constructive, not helping anybody or anything. But you’re also now rallying other people to share in your hatred,” he said.
In an earlier episode of Cruickshank's podcast, Levy opened up about his time at MTV and the homophobia that he encountered.
"I didn't feel particularly free," the 39-year-old said of working for MTV Canada. "It was kind of like, 'conform to the culture of the workplace or sit it out.'"
Levy also opened up to Cruickshank about what it was like to start out his career in the entertainment industry as a gay man who wasn't out yet.
He revealed that there were "bloggers making it their job to out people without their consent like it was some kind of news responsibility," which spurred him to avoid being in the spotlight too much.
"We didn’t have the sensitivity that we do now around people’s coming out and the fact that it’s an incredibly personal experience," he said. "It almost makes you want to hide even more because you don’t want to draw any attention to yourself.”