A 27-year-old model has come under fire after asking 14-year-old Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard to "hit her up" in four years.
Ali Michael, from Texas, shared an image of the Canadian child star in an Instagram story last week with a caption that has caused an uproar among fans.
According to the Daily Mail, alongside the image she wrote: "Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years @finnwolfhardofficial".
With a 13 year age gap between the pair, the model has been criticized for "sexualising" children, with her message widely panned as "disgusting".
Taking to Twitter, one user wrote: "Ali Michael is literally 27 this whole joking abt children hitting puberty and sexualising them as a way to invoke a funny rhetoric is (sick emoji) (sic)."
Another added: "I thought jokes were supposed to be funny not scary. Such an immature 27 year old."
Fans of Ali have jumped to her defense, describing her comments about the actor as a "joke." However, many remained unconvinced.
Several Twitter users have pointed out that if a man had made a similar comments, he may have been treated differently.
One tweeted: "And if the roles were reversed and a 27y/o man said this about a 14 y/o people would be dragging him, but since she's a girl it's ok? wtf"
Agreeing, another wrote: "If a man messaged a 14 y/o girl with the same message would you be seeing it as a joke? Discuss".
Ali has since responded to the criticism, once again taking to Instagram to apologise for her earlier comment, describing it as "completely absolutely a joke".
She wrote: "Hi, Yesterday I posted a picture of Mike from Stranger Things and wrote 'Call me in 4 years.' It was completely and absolutely a joke but I understand that people have been offended by it.
"It was wrong to joke about and I apologise. I do not want Mike from Stranger Things to call me. I hope this clears things up."
In a statement to Teen Vogue she added: "On October 30th, I posted an Instagram Story with a photo of Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike in Stranger Things asking him to, 'call me in four years.'
"The general nature of my social media platforms is often one of humour, sarcasm and playful self-deprecation. I often quote, post and publicly respond to music videos, films, documentaries and television shows in a frank and candid manner.
"The nature of my posts in response to television and media are always tongue-in-cheek and never intended to mislead or upset anyone. In the past, I have asked fictitious characters of films to call me (namely Edward Scissorhands and Simba from the Lion King).
"In this instance, it has become clear to me that asking a character 'to call in four years' and inappropriately tagging the underage actor who plays the character (Mike) was upsetting, suggestive and concerning for my audience.
"It was never my intention (nor has it ever been) to sexualise a minor in any way shape or form. To those I offended or misled, I apologise for a post made in haste and lacking in sensitivity, particularly considering the landscape of the present culture."
MailOnline has reached out to Ali Michael's management for a comment.