Saturday Night Live/YouTube

Aidy Bryant has been making SNL audiences laugh with her hilarious sketches since joining the cast in 2012.

Critics also praised her performance in Hulu's original series, Shrill, in which she plays Portland writer Annie and addresses issues concerning body-positivity.


But after receiving a barrage of negative comments on social media about her portrayals of former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on SNL, it all became too much to bear.

So Bryant announced she was quitting Twitter.

Bryant told Shondaland about the equal-opportunity fat-shaming from both sides of the political spectrum—one aimed towards her, and the other towards the contentious political aide.

"The thing that always blew me away was that when I would play [Sanders] on the show, I would be inundated with tweets saying I was a fat, ugly pig who didn't have the right to play someone as 'brave and smart' as Sarah Huckabee Sanders."
"The other half were tweeting at me saying I was too 'beautiful and good' to play someone as 'vile and fat' as Sarah Huckabee Sanders."

Here is a sample of Bryant's portrayal as Sarah Huckabee Sanders on SNL.

youtu.be

She continued talking about the toxicity prevalent on Twitter.

"It was brutal to me. It made me sad on both sides that she was being reduced to her looks, and so was I. It wasn't good for any reason."
"I have the odd random person calling me a 'fat piece of s**t' or a 'fat pig' or telling me that I 'eat hamburgers' on Instagram, but it feels less targeted."
"I certainly haven't had the targeted harassment that Lindy West or Leslie Jones had. These are people who I know and love. When you see stuff like that, it's pretty revolting."

On quitting Twitter, she has absolutely no regrets.

"I have to say, it just wasn't worth it to me. I do have Instagram. I get feedback about the show there and it means a lot to me."
"But I wasn't finding anything worthwhile on Twitter."

When asked how she would "stay sane" through the upcoming election, she said:

"I try to keep my news sources dry and straight forward. I tend to read a lot more than I watch."
"That helps me — it feels less sensationalized and more straightforward. It's definitely hard."
"A part of Saturday Night Live is engaging with current events on another level, and it's important to represent what's happening in our country and our culture. That changes my relationship to it, rather than just watching the news."

Shrill is based on Lindy West's 2012 titular book of personal essays. West joined forces with Bryant and Ali Rushfield to develop the show into a series.

Bryant's character is a timid journalist who finally becomes empowered to fight off all the negativity towards her body.

When it comes to her work on Shrill, the actress beamed:

"Probably the thing I'm most proud of in my life is my work on Shrill, even just the team we've assembled and how hard we all work to make it."
"And I think it's actually, in a lot of ways, let me enjoy being on SNL more, because I feel like I got to do the thing that I always dreamed of doing."

With social media abuse behind her, the actress is focusing on having fun.

"For me right now, the key is just to have fun. I feel like the audience can always tell when you're having fun."
"It always really translates. I think some of my early years on SNL, I was there, working really hard, but scared. Now, I'm having fun."

The second season of Shrill debuted on January 24, 2020.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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