Arts & Entertainment

Ashley Judd takes trolls to task over misogynist tweets, and the Internet reacts

Actress Ashley Judd arrives to The Paley Center for Media presents A Screening of ABC's
Actress Ashley Judd arrives to The Paley Center for Media presents A Screening of ABC's "Missing" at The Paley Center for Media in this April 10, 2012 file photo taken in Beverly Hills, California. The actress said Monday, March 16, 2015, she is pressing charges over a series of abusive and sexually threatening tweets.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Warning: Some of the language in this story may be offensive to some.

Ashley Judd is taking Internet trolls to task over a series of misogynistic tweets directed at her this week, and her actions have sparked a groundswell of support on social media.

The actress, who appears in the upcoming film "Insurgent," told MSNBC on Monday that she would press charges over tweets that contained abusive and sexually threatening language.

"The way things happen on social media is so abusive, and everybody needs to take personal responsibility for what they write, and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist. And by the way, I'm pressing charges," she said in the interview.

The uproar started on Sunday when the actress sent a heated tweet in reaction to a play in the college basketball game between Kentucky and Arkansas (Judd is a Kentucky fan).

That Tweet appears to have been deleted, but it may have been preserved in this retweet from Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones, who also expressed support for Judd:


Judd said that comment triggered a number of threatening, abusive tweets, like this one, which she retweeted as an example:


Her response, also on Twitter, racked up more than 1,000 favorites and nearly 1,000 retweets:


The Washington Post points out Judd is herself a victim of sexual violence.

In another interview with the Today show on Tuesday, Judd addressed the issue of violence against women:

"The amount of gender violence I experience is absolutely extraordinary and a significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that's directed at me on social media."

A number of angry sports fans have taken to Twitter to pile on even more criticism against Judd, some insinuating that her initial tweet also makes her a troll. But many people have jumped to her defense, sparking broader conversations about the sometimes caustic comments people direct at each other online.




Judd seemed surprised at the show of support:


What do you think? Do you agree with Judd's response? Should Internet trolls be prosecuted? How do you handle online abuse? Let us know in the comments, tweet us @kpcc, or hit us up on Facebook.