The Last of Us Part 2 actor Laura Bailey says fans threatened her newborn son

A new documentary about the making of The Last of Us Part 2 has revealed the impact of fan toxicity.
laura bailey the last of us

Naughty Dog has officially released Grounded 2: Making The Last of Us Part 2, its highly-anticipated documentary going behind-the-scenes on the creation of its acclaimed sequel. There’s a number of cool tidbits in the two-hour showcase – but one particular scene has garnered attention for its horrifying depiction of fan abuse and toxicity.

Laura Bailey, the actress who brought controversial character Abby Anderson to life, has revealed in the documentary that not only did she face abuse and death threats from fans for her role in the game, her newborn son was also the subject of threats.

According to Bailey, some of the threats were so “hardcore” that police had to be involved. “Every time I went online, that’s all I saw,” Bailey said of the months following the release of The Last of Us Part 2. “Death threats and threats of violence. The worst of it – the real hardcore death threats – got passed along. They made sure that they weren’t anyone that lived close by.”

Read: Spider-Man’s Mary Jane model calls out harassing behaviour from fans

“They were threatening my son who was born during all of it and yeah, it was rough. But, you know, more than anything it just kind of taught me to keep a distance.”

The clip of Bailey sharing her experiences has recently gone viral on Twitter / X, with commenters decrying the behaviour shown by some portions of The Last of Us‘ fanbase. Many have questioned how this type of abuse has become normalised, particularly within online fandoms, and encouraged all fans to call out and put a stop to this abuse where possible.

Many have also pointed out this behaviour has run rampant lately, with some drawing comparisons between the abuse suffered by Bailey, and recent harassing behaviour faced by Stephanie Tyler Jones, the face model behind Mary Jane in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Earlier in 2024, Jones was required to draw a line in the sand as fans “crossed boundaries” that made her deeply uncomfortable in her everyday life.

“Over the weekend, some followers crossed boundaries,” Jones wrote in an Instagram story. “One even went to the extent of calling my workplace and leaving multiple voicemails wanting to speak with me and requesting I call back, which is unacceptable and considered stalking … Please respect that I am a human being trying to make a living just like you, and I kindly ask for boundaries to not be crossed.”

As Bailey and Jones have made clear, there are boundaries of decency that should never be crossed, and actors, developers, and other creators don’t deserve abuse or harassment over their work – for any reason. There is no justification for harassing anyone or sending death threats, least of all for disagreeing with a video game storyline or a character’s depiction in media.

It goes without saying – but there are clear lessons to be learned here, the most basic of which is that everyone is human, and harassment and abuse is never permissible. We should all strive to make the gaming community a better, safer, and more understanding space, and call out this behaviour where it arises.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.