The lavish photos Vogue magazine published on Tuesday of the recent Italian wedding between actor Jay Ellis and Serbian model Nina Senicar were the true definition of awesome with the fashion magazine documenting every aspect of the joyful occasion at Villa Mangiacane, a palatial estate in Tuscany.
The images of the happy couple quickly went viral.
But it was another photo of Ellis and Senicar that quickly elicited a whole different kind of viral reaction across a notoriously opinionated sector of social media: Black Twitter.
The unofficial group of Black-sympathizing Twitter users who wield their strength in numbers (of tweets) to impose their opinions and influence on any particular topic took keen notice of not just Ellis posting a wedding photo to his Instagram account, but also how he posted the single snapshot.
Ellis posted a photo of himself looking deep into his bride’s eyes as they walked hand-in-hand down a picturesque path at Villa Mangiacane. He captioned the photo with the date of the wedding — “July 9th, 2022…” and two other words: “Per sempre,” which is translated from Italian to mean “forever.”
In theory, a popular actor like Ellis posting wedding photos would likely invite a steady stream of commentary from his Hollywood pals as well as friends and family. But conspicuously missing from Ellis’ wedding post on his Instagram was the ability for anybody to comment at all.
It was in that context that Black Twitter jumped to the unproven conclusion that Ellis intentionally deactivated his comments from the post in an effort to deflect any negative messages about his new marriage — especially those having to do with the fact that his wife is a white woman.
After all, some tweets argued, Ellis never seemingly employed the tactic of turning off comments with any of his other Instagram posts. Black Twitter sleuths also noticed that Monday was one of the rare times that Ellis even posted any photos of Senicar to his Instagram even though the two have been pictured together many times before in public and have been engaged to be married since 2019. In fact, the lion’s share of photos on Ellis’ Instagram page with 897,000 followers seems to show Black people.
Ellis, who rose to fame by starring in TV shows and movies that were predominately cast with Black actors, especially gained popularity among Black women during and following his stint on the hit HBO series, “Insecure.” It was in that role as the affable Lawrence that he blossomed into somewhat of a Hollywood heartthrob because of his on-and-off relationship with his girlfriend on screen, Issa Rae.
That fictional truth may help explain why so many tweets flooded timelines across Twitter making a big deal about Ellis turning off the Instagram comments to his wedding photo.
The prevailing sentiment on Black Twitter was a fine blend of sympathy for Ellis that he felt the need to deactivate the comments and suspicion that he did so specifically because his wife is white.
“Jay Ellis’ wife is so beautiful. It sucks that he had to turn off comments cause people are haters,” one tweet read.
At the end of the day, it appeared that Ellis was determined not to let anyone, anything and/or any comment steal the newlyweds’ thunder on Instagram.
There’s no accounting for the rest of social media, though.
This isn’t the first time Ellis has come under social media fire over Senicar.
Last October, Madame Noire reported that the internet thought Ellis was hiding his then-fiancée from the world. Madame Noire wrote at the time that the couple was not “Instagram official,” an unofficial social media rite of passage for any famous couple dating.
From Madame Noire:
Back in 2017, Ellis said that he isn’t worried about any backlash he may get from his Black fanbase about being with a white woman.
“I am in a relationship,” Ellis said on The Breakfast Club. “I’m in a very happy relationship and that’s where I leave it. I don’t really worry about anything else and that’s it. I think for me, we give so much of ourselves in what we do no matter what side of the industry we’re on so for me…a relationship for me is probably the most important thing that I think two people can have.”