The last two people you might expect to be involved in a social media flame war would be esteemed Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart and star of HBO’s Silicon Valley Thomas Middleditch. And yet, here we are. For the past week, the two have been going at it on Instagram, mocking each other in short, filter-heavy videos and photoshopping each other into ridiculous scenes.
It all started a couple weeks ago when Middleditch threw down the gauntlet with a video captioned, “P-Stew thinks he’s all that? Well NOT ANYMORE. Line in the sand, DRAWN.”
It took the X-Men star a little while to respond to the provocation, but he eventually did with his own disturbingly high-pitched video, saying, “The ONLY line in the sand YOU’VE drawn is the one that dribbled down your leg as I chased you off my beach.”
Middleditch came back with an impression of Stewart describing his favorite—uh, meal.
Since then, things have gone quickly from silly to absurd, with each actor flexing his Photoshop skills to take pot shots at the other. P-Stew chose to depict Middleditch as his inept man servant, obsequiously attending to his duties around the estate. Middleditch played into that imagined relationship by portraying Stewart as a doddering senior citizen being helped around his house out of pity.
The thing that makes this “feud” so enjoyable, besides the detailed world the two actors have created, is the fact that it’s all in good fun. Both Middleditch and Stewart have spoken publicly in the past about their friendship and the shows they’ve performed together as part of the Improvised Shakespeare Company, so you know that even their most brutal attacks are meant with love. Though, as of this morning, Middleditch may have finally gone too far.
Some things are just off-limits.