As the world mourns the passing of actor Angus Cloud, who died on Monday at his family home in Oakland, California, fans are accusing his colleagues of “not mourning enough” because they hadn’t posted anything on their social media.
The news of the actor’s passing only broke last night and fans immediately rushed to social media to post about their initial reactions. Some were quick to notice the absence of comments from a few of his more popular co-stars including Zendaya and took to their Instagram feeds to not-so-subtly remind them to publically react to what is likely a personal loss.
Last year, Angus Cloud rose to fame for his role as Fezco “Fez” O’Neill in HBO’s hit tv show Euphoria. After first airing in June 2019, Euphoria quickly became a hit and by 2022 was the most tweeted-about TV show of the decade in the US. Cloud’s lovable drug dealer served as an anchor for Zendaya’s Rue and her friends, including Lexi (Maude Apatow), who became the character’s love interest. Despite it being his first acting job, Cloud received praise for his ‘natural skills’, quickly becoming a fan favourite. His family revealed in a statement that the 25-year-old actor was struggling to cope with the loss of his father, who died only a week ago.
Sam Levinson, Euphoria’s creator, told the Hollywood Reporter, “There was no one quite like Angus. He was too special, too talented and way too young to leave us so soon. He also struggled, like many of us, with addiction and depression. I hope he knew how many hearts he touched”. While many in the industry expressed their mourning on social media, many of his cast mates from the show, who knew him personally, did not react or comment on the news publically. By morning, social media feeds of all of Cloud’s co-stars and family members were inundated with comments such as “you’ve lost a true fan today” and questions about the cause of his death.
But just because they have not taken to social media to comment on it, does it mean they’re not grieving? Given that celebrities are primarily known for their public personas, it is understandable that their deaths evoke displays of public mourning. Devoted fans, as studies suggest, may even experience celebrity deaths with the same emotional intensity as the loss of a close friend. In an age where parasocial relationships are more common than ever, the only way for fans to express their grief is through social media platforms. But does the same really apply to those who know these people personally?
Social media has no doubt blurred the lines between public and personal. Psychologists also frequently differentiate between grief and mourning: grief pertains to our internal emotions when someone passes away, while mourning involves the public expression of those emotions. Most of the time, it’s fans who mourn – while families and friends grieve, and many believe it’s crucial to understand the difference.