Law and Order: SVU fans made actress Isabel Gillies cry this week as she explained in a thoughtful essay published on his Substack page. Gillies has played Elliott Stabler’s (Chris Meloni) wife Kathy Stabler for years, but she’s not used to the intense reactions from fans on social media. His first experience with them was shocking.
Warning: there are spoils for Law and Order: SVU and Law and order: organized crime before! Gillies began her acting career in films in 1990 and landed the role of Kathy Stabler from 1999. She continued to play Kathy until 2011, when Meloni left the franchise. Now that Meloni is back, so is Kathy, but she came to a tragic end in this week’s crossover episode, which kicked off Organized crime leaving Elliott widowed.
– Isabel Gillies (@isabelgillies) October 5, 2021
As Gillies explained, she knew that SVU fans generally didn’t like Kathy, seeing her as a hindrance to the potential romance between Stabler and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). However, after being removed from the acting world for a decade and focusing more on writing and other professional pursuits, she was shocked at how much commentators would spit their hatred for Kathy directly at her like if she was the character.
âWhen I started working on Law and order, social media didn’t exist, “she wrote.” If fans liked what your character did or didn’t do, you were a little in the dark about it. This is not the case today. After last week’s episode, I woke up in the morning, hung out in my dress, said goodbye to my child and my husband, made a cup of tea and had opened Twitter to see what was going on in the world. “
“My flow, which is normally quite sleepy … was a flow of mind-blowing bile messages, to me!” she continued. “My character, the late Kathy Stabler, was all the rage on Twitter. As I slid through links and threads, memes and emojis, I started to cry.” Gillies shared some of the cruelest digs targeting her character, including a viral meme that became the header image for her essay.
âAfter reading a lot – but not all – of the personal attacks, beatings, beatings and just plain meanness, I gave in and called my husband in tears,â Gillies continued. “I’m just human, when you play a character for 23 years (I include reruns) it gets personal!” In shock, Gillies also reflected on what other public figures have to go through – actors, politicians and activists. She wrote: “Lying on the ground (the only place you felt really safe), the weight of hatred that must befall these people daily – they are just people, people – m took off and on my computer.
Gillies called on fans and readers around the world to be more thoughtful in their speech on social media, proposing the acronym âTHINKâ – âIs that thoughtful? Is it honest? Is it interesting? Is it necessary? Is that nice? I’m going there to try to put anything I say or write through this little security system. âGillies’ essay received a surge of support from co-stars, colleagues and fans. Law and Order: SVU Airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.