Evan Rachel Wood calls out Stranger Things 3 for Hopper's "toxic behaviour"
9 July 2019, 15:23
"You should never date a guy like the cop from #StrangerThings. Extreme jealousy and violent rages are not flattering or sexy like TV would have you believe."
Let's talk about Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper for a second, shall we? Stranger Things 3 reunited us with our fave law enforcement dad, who we find struggling to cope with raising a 13-year-old girl...with superpowers...and a boyfriend.
Throughout the season, Hopper finds himself in several high stakes situations, particularly when he ends up on an intense mission with Joyce Byers and Murray Bauman running from a mob of angry Russians. But his general behaviour this season and self destructive path has also received a bit of criticism from fans online– including backlash from Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood.
Wood took to Twitter to voice issue with Hopper's behaviour over the past season, calling out his "extreme jealously" when it comes to Joyce and his "violent rages" throughout the season.
You should never date a guy like the cop from #strangerthings Extreme jealousy and violent rages are not flattering or sexy like TV would have you believe.— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) July 5, 2019
That is all.
Yes I am aware its “just a show” and its set “in the 80s” even though this stuff was unacceptable then too, but thats exactly my point. Its just a show and this is a gentle reminder not to fall for this crap in real life. Red flags galore.— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) July 6, 2019
Wood also went on to comment in detail how much of a red flag his treatment of Joyce was across the season.
Replying to one fan, she wrote: "She rescheduled the date he yelled and got in her face about while policing every guy she spoke to. No thanks. (sic)"
And to another, she said: "She is allowed to stand him up without being screamed at. Especially when she is worried about her children. Priority number 1. He also insisted it wasnt a date and clearly he lied. She shouldnt have rescheduled. He should have gone to therapy. (sic)"
She rescheduled the date he yelled and got in her face about while policing every guy she spoke to. No thanks.— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) July 5, 2019
She is allowed to stand him up without being screamed at. Especially when she is worried about her children. Priority number 1. He also insisted it wasnt a date and clearly he lied. She shouldnt have rescheduled. He should have gone to therapy.— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) July 8, 2019
Some agreed with her while others did not. Several fans replied to Wood and clapped back at her for taking the whole thing out of proportion, defending the character and his flaws in the process.
He's a functioning, chain-smoking alcoholic. He's seen a ton of "crazy" as police chief and as a "Hawkins citizen." Although he's NOT my definition of a great catch, he's a wonderfully complex character aware of his own flaws. These flaws aren't sexy but are presented truthfully.— v.c. rhone (@vcrhone) July 6, 2019
Hopper isn’t toxic, he’s just a mess of a man who’s still trying to figure out himself and his relationships. God forbid character development. And if we’re calling out fictional characters, I guess you shouldn’t date murderous robots either. #StrangerThings https://t.co/lYELoQpzff— Edgar (@edckbar875) July 8, 2019
The most 1980s thing about #StrangersThings3 is how the borderline abusive relationship between an angry dude and his love interest is framed as "sexual tension.” Joyce and Hopper’s relationship is not cute or romantic, it's toxic and very unhealthy.— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) July 8, 2019
so uh, is no one going to bring up that Hopper was actually a really toxic character this season? And didn’t demonstrate any actual growth? #StrangerThings3— shrug emoji (@seanyglatch) July 6, 2019
That whole thing in the beginning where he couldn't understand how to talk to his daughter like a human being was a *huge* toxic masculinity red flag— Joe Lamour ☕❤ (@lamour) July 5, 2019
Wouldn't it be great to have a scene where Hopper joins therapy to work through his issues and feelings?— Bevin Maloney (@Graygrrrl) July 5, 2019
Hopper's behaviour in the third season is messy AF and it's not something that's gone unnoticed by the viewers.
While the season only takes place over a few days, Hopper manages to manipulate Mike, is incredibly over-protective with Eleven, territorial over Joyce who is still working through the death of her boyfriend, Bob Newby, and is very aggressive toward Alexei, the Russian. He also drives homes drunk, while stating he can do what he wants because he's "the chief of police".
That said, Hopper is an incredibly flawed and complex character who has been through it and is still coping with several heartbreaking things within himself. He has moments of softness with Joyce and shows growth within the season, and speaks about how he feels in his letter to Eleven in the finale episode.
That's not an excuse, of course. Here's hoping his character can experience some more positive growth next season... if he's even in it, that is.
David Harbour and the Duffer Brothers have yet to respond to the conversation surrounding Hopper's 'toxic behaviour' in the new season.