'The Vampire Diaries' E.P. Julie Plec Reacts To Online Haters And Bullies

The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec might have anticipated backlash to a degree, following Nina Dobrev's departure from The Vampire Diaries, but she couldn't have expected personal attacks of the kind she's received. Ms. Plec says she's been defending herself against internet bullies ever since Dobrev announced her plans to quit The Vampire Diaries.

Julie Plec Defends Herself Against Fat Shaming And Name Calling From Online Haters

Julie Plec, Ian Somerhalder
Julie Plec and Ian Somerhalder at Comic Con. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Six months after Dobrev's announcement to leave The Vampire Diaries, Julie Plec penned an essay for Cosmopolitan in which she described how one actress' decision to take her career in a new step resulted in anger and bullying directed at The Vampire Diaries' showrunner. Julie says that a portion of the fans of The Vampire Diaries had come together to launch a hate campaign at her, because they felt that Plec, herself, was somehow responsible for Nina's departure from the series.

They told Plec that she was fat, that no one could ever possibly love her.

"They renamed me Julie 'Plague' and pasted my head onto the body of the Hulk, tweeting what a disgusting creature I must be... I was sickened and stunned. This character I'd helped create and shaped to be adored was being used against me as proof of why I should 'DIE, B---H.'"
The Vampire Diaries Showrunner Learns The Ugly Truth About All Of Humanity...Including Herself

Julie Plec, bullying, haters
Julie Plec responds to haters and cyber attacks in a unique way. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The experience has taught Julie Plec, executive producer of The Vampire Diaries, that no one is immune from the hate and shaming of online bullies, safe in their anonymity, but Plec says that she's also learned more about herself and about humankind in general. Julie says she felt more ashamed for her own bitter sentiments than for the humiliating insults that created those feelings in the first place.

Plec says that, even though she was hurt by those attacks and had come to see that the internet has become a minefield of violence and hatred, what she really learned from the experience is that anyone, including herself, has the ability to be the bully.

Plec took the advice "don't listen to the haters, they're losers in their moms' basements" to heart and found that their words lost their bite when Julie labeled her haters as losers. Taking this point of view led Plec down a slippery slope, as she suddenly realized she wasn't nearly as nice as she once thought, reports Design & Trend.

"I noticed that I'm quick to make a joke at someone else's expense. I want them to laugh. Share in the private joke. If I win their approval, my self- esteem grows. I judge girls in supertight, short dresses and 4-inch platform heels," The Vampire Diaries showrunner wrote. "I find myself irritated by hipsters with Jesus beards and people who can't spell. I overflow with both silent and expressed judgment, which means I am just as capable of being cruel as those I rage against are."

The experience and the deep inner reflection that ensued caused Plec to re-evaluate how she views others, including the haters, and how she treats those she comes in contact with throughout her daily life. Julie came to realize that those haters might just be so critical, because they, themselves, feel alienated and alone. Looking at herself, The Vampire Diaries executive producer admits that she might be overly critical of the girl in the tight dress, because her own self-image is lacking the confidence to dress similarly.

There aren't many, but there are some like Julie Plec, who fight to control their inner smarta-- and try to keep their mouths shut, when an opportunity to gain popularity or some other advantage at the expense of another arises.

"It's not easy. Hollywood, Twitter, our friends — they all contribute to a community of snark. The more we engage in the way that everyone else engages, the more followers, likes, and RTs we get. But we can't rail against the cyberbullies without acknowledging what we also contribute to a culture of cruelty. As you live your life and accumulate friends, both IRL and on social media, ask yourself: Are you a bully too? If so and the urge to strike out hits, imagine something that makes you smile (punk rock, Popsicles, glitter bombs), and let the snark stop there."
[Featured image courtesy of Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images]