Natalia Dyer agrees there’s an issue when it comes to the media’s oversexualization of the young actors on Stranger Things. The 25-year-old actress, who plays Nancy Wheeler on the hit Netflix series, said she feels “protective” over her co-stars.

“There are so many layers going on here,” Dyer “cautiously” told The Independent about how her co-stars are treated by both the media and by fans. “I generally feel like, to me, it’s oversexualizing them.”

Dyer continued, “I feel protective over the younger kids even though they’re not kids anymore, they’re teens. They’re all great people and all having to grow up in very crazy circumstances. As a private person, I just feel like, leave people alone – unless you’re talking about their work or what they want to talk about. It’s a very tricky and complex issue.”

Teenage star Millie Bobby Brown has weighed in on the topic before. Brown, who plays Eleven on the show, opened up about the issue in a candid Instagram post marking her 16th birthday.

“16 has felt like a long time coming. i feel like change needs to happen for not only this generation but the next. our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grow and succeed,” Brown wrote in February. “The last few years haven’t been easy, I’ll admit that. there are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me. but not ever will i be defeated. ill continue doing what i love and spreading the message in order to make change.”

The caption accompanied a two-minute video that featured screenshots of real, negative headlines about the actress, like “Millie Bobby Brown CRITICIZED for Adult Style!” and “When did Millie Bobby Brown go through the change??? (Menopause)” At age 13, Brown was listed as one of the reasons TV is “sexier than ever” by W magazine.

Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, 17, has received inappropriate messages from fans on social media. When he was only 14, a 27-year-old model was slammed for a “disgusting” post asking the actor to “hit me up” when he’s 18. Wolfhard previously opened up about being stalked by adult fans.

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Sexualizing young actors, Dyer added, is “a cultural issue, there must be a bigger concept behind it as to why. Just let people be the people that they are, without any judgment.”

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