Sydney Sweeney has lost jobs because she doesn’t have enough Instagram followers

Between Euphoria and White Lotus and being a cute, young actress, Sydney Sweeney is the latest It Girl, right? Both shows are HBO prestige TV fare and she’s in a bunch of other stuff too. She was also in Sharp Objects. HBO loves her! And it looks like she has some good brand partnerships like Tory Burch, Miu Miu, Armani Beauty, and Langeige, to name a few. But apparently, things were a bit rougher earlier in her career when she was passed over for roles in favor of actresses with higher follower counts.

Sweeney said she grew up confident with her education and being the smartest person in the room, but not so much with social situations. That has improved these days, although social media has proven to be a double-edged sword.

“I have a love/hate relationship with social media,” she said. “I did not grow up with it. I don’t think I had an Instagram until I was 16. I grew up in a beautiful area of the northwest on a lake, so when I came to L.A., people’s values were so vastly different from where I grew up, and having to learn how important social media is, especially in this industry, it’s been a learning curve.”

Sweeney said she “used to lose out on projects because I didn’t have as many followers as somebody else. This is when I just started.”

Asked about her family’s reaction to “Euphoria” and its rather shocking moments, Sweeney admitted it has been a journey. She had actually booked a Netflix project when the “Euphoria” script came her way, but after speaking to series creator Sam Levinson, “I started crying ont he phone because of how beautiful and important this character was going to be to me, and I knew I had to take it.”

[From Variety]

This isn’t totally surprising, but is disappointing. One would hope that talent can stand on its own, but we all know that’s not always how it works. I do wonder what roles Sydney was talking about and which actresses ultimately got them — I wonder if they’re seeing as much success as Sydney is now and whether those casting directors are kicking themselves in retrospect. Probably not, but it’s always interesting to hear about casting shakeups, the roles actors didn’t get, or passed over, etc. It does suck that social media was such a factor for a job she wanted. I am terrible at Twitter so shoutout to Celebitchy for not minding that I don’t have one! What Sydney says about social media and the love/hate relationship is true, but it is such a common talking point among celebs of a certain age these days. They say it’s bad for mental health, they limit their time online, they only do it for work or everything is not what it seems on social media… It’s a relatable talking point for sure, but I do wish they’d change it up a bit.

Photos credit: and via Instagram

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21 Responses to “Sydney Sweeney has lost jobs because she doesn’t have enough Instagram followers”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    Actually, I AM a bit surprised at the extent the entertainment industry is taking social media SO seriously. I always assumed social media was part of a multi-pronged PR/promo strategy. I never thought they were using it to determine casting or whether or not a song can get released (Halsey’s example). Or that they were forcing social media quotas on artists.

    It’s actually kind of horrifying if you think about it. That’s just going to push them to be more outrageous and inauthentic just to drive traffic. And the people that follow them are going to develop unrealistic standards on what they should look like or how they should be living their life.

    It’s toxic all around.

    • Greta_ says:

      This. Same with athletes in a way. Why can’t they just do what they come for, which is acting for actors and train and perform at their sports at highest level. Why does everyone have to be a social media star?!? It’s awful and I hope this stops at some point.
      Also, maybe I don’t want to follow every actor even if I love their movies because it certainly doesn’t make it easier to just immerse into the film and the character they play if they have to be in my face 24/7.

      • SarahCS says:

        A bit of a tangent but we’ve been watching the Formula One series on netflix and I’ve been surprised at how much time the drivers appear to spend doing press, fan events, etc. each race weekend. It must be really tough for more introverted types who just want to get their head down and focus on the race.

      • tealily says:

        I think all the free PR is probably intoxicating to the people paying for promotion, but (like the Halsey TikTok story), that’s a completely different skillset than acting. It’s just more of the same from this capitalist culture wanting to exploit workers, get something for nothing, and dump all responsibility on individuals. I’m so over it.

    • Mia4s says:

      There is far to much focus on it, but the types of jobs she’s talking about aren’t really high-end ones. The old guard could not care less (think Scorsese, Spielberg) or the higher end directors today (Nolan, or a Chloe Zhao). None of them are going to cast/not cast on that basis. Hell I’m pretty sure it is not even a basis for a Marvel/Star Wars casting. But the “teen” targeted projects? The ad campaigns? Anything “new” targeted at the young crowd? Yeah they are leaning into it. And it is not leading to much quality that’s for sure!

      • Normades says:

        Marvel maybe. The rumor was that Sophie Turner got the role of Jane Grey over saoirse ronan because she had more social media presence. Even Sophie admits she got the role over a much better actress.

      • CourtneyB says:

        The Fox and Sony marvel productions maybe. The MCU’s casting director Sarah Finn is an unsung hero in that studios mega success. They’ve rarely bobbled a casting and doubt they’d rely on SM.

  2. Concern Fae says:

    This is what happens when productions hire lazy people with no artistic taste who are obsessed with social media in creative capacities. It’s like a company where I temped who an HR department who only wanted to hire people with a degree in the specific field they were being hire for. So they passed over people who actually knew how to do the work in favor of people who thought it would be cool to be an multi media producer, but didn’t have the talent or the hustle to get hired based on their portfolio of personal work.

  3. Barrett says:

    I think the issue is she blends.

    Looks like other blond stars and that one from the nerd show – kaley Cuoco or something

    Not remarkable in passing

    • tealily says:

      I absolutely disagree with that. I think her face is so striking and different. She’s blond, but she’s a standout.

    • Charfromdarock says:

      I think she looks like a blend of Kaley Cuaco and Jeri Ryan.

    • BlinkB says:

      I agree. She’s also in a very competitive category of actress, and she doesn’t have a huge amount of range. She’s unable to do other TV work as she’ll have the standard 7 year deal with HBO, which also writes her out of certain film franchises. Her work on Euphoria is sexually explicit, so certain family friendly Studios won’t touch her right now as it won’t align with their image. Social media presence is something she tells herself, it’s irrelevant when it comes to the majority of Casting. She’s just in a crowded marketplace right now, and needs to be patient

  4. Eurydice says:

    They do this in publishing, too. You have to have your own marketing in place before they’ll look at you.

    • Normades says:

      Journalism too. I have an over 40 friend with 20 years of experience who kept getting passed up for magazine jobs because she didn’t have enough Twitter followers.

  5. Lens says:

    I don’t follow many actresses/actors because they’re mostly boring – just pictures of themselves posing. I guess social media matters in casting only because that is another way to promote whatever TV or movie they did. But having a greater social media presence over another actor would only matter in a very unsubstantial minor role. I would think acting chops would trump media presence in the more substantial roles. I mean I hope.

  6. girl_ninja says:

    That stinks but I also don’t find her remotely interesting.

  7. margot says:

    She’s pretty but I don’t buy her as an IT girl. I think she will be a flash in the pan.

  8. Susan says:

    That pink outfit she is wearing is what she wore at the MTV awards last night (my kids wanted to watch). I get SERIOUS year 2000 flashbacks from that outfit. Whoa!

  9. Dhavynia says:

    She had a great season in Euphoria and she was ok in WL. I saw her Prime movie The Voyeurs and let’s just say, don’t even bother, there was no chemistry between her and her love interest in the movie and it kinda sucked. Maybe she didn’t have much to chose from at the time this was made, nevertheless, social media should not be an issue when it comes to getting a job

  10. Stef says:

    She is a phenomenal actress with the talent to last a lifetime in Hollywood. Respect to her for not playing the BS and fake IG / FB “persona”. Insta is fake as H and is designed entirely to sell the masses more crap they don’t need under the guise of “influence” and “cute videos” no one needs to see. It’s a well created time and mind vortex and it’s so obvious to me, and some others. Barf and hard pass.

    If you haven’t seen it, “The Voyeurs” on Netflix was a disturbing but fascinating movie she starred in. She has the chops well beyond “Euphoria”. Trust.

    Kudos to Sidney Sweeney for not buying into the garbage. I like her even more now!