Wyatt Russell plays John Walker, the U.S. agent who takes on Captain America’s mantle after Sam Wilson (The Falcon) turns down the shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The very first episode of the series turned Russell into a meme overnight. But it didn’t stop there. The actor has since been turned into a punching bag, with some toxic fans even sending him death threats.

Wyatt Russell on the Receiving End of Death Threats

Chris Evans’ portrayal of Steve Rogers was one of the most beloved performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). From being the first Avenger to playing the pivotal role in the MCU for almost a decade, he had garnered many diehard fans.

Evans stepping down from his role as Captain America and John walker (played by Wyatt Russell) taking on the shield wasn’t taken so well by many fans.

Dozens of toxic fans directed death threats towards the actor for simply portraying a character in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That the character is hated is understandable given how he’s shown in the series, but things got out of hand as the hate wasn’t limited for Walker. 

Russell doesn’t have any social media accounts, but that didn’t stop the toxic fans from targeting his fan pages. Various other fans also came to defend the actor, pointing out that his character being so hated just proved how good of a job he did playing Walker.

While Russell has been on the receiving end of such treatment for a while because of his role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he isn’t the first among MCU casts.

Before him, actors like Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., and Brie Larson had also gone through a similar experience.

Even Lexi Rabe, the child actress who played Tony Stark’s daughter in Avengers: Endgame had to ask fans to stop bullying her. The incident came after fans told her mom to train her on how to act in public when she was just 7-years-old.

Russell Says Polarizing People Are Fun to Play

Despite the hate directed at Russell, the actor says that the thing he liked about Walker was that he was polarizing.

Further adding that polarizing people were fun to play, he explained that he or Marvel studios were not trying to replace Chris Evans’ Captain America.

You kind of do your own thing, and I think… It’s really exciting for people to put on the character, ‘well you’re not that guy’, and you’re like, ‘well, that’s kind of the point.

In an interview with Variety, Russell also said that it was fun being the Marvel punching bag for a little while.