‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Facing Backlash for Fishing Photo

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Children's Diabetes Foundation )

“I can’t even express the beauty everywhere on our planet,” says Happy Days icon Henry Winkler in his latest tweet. Within, Winkler holds a gorgeous cutthroat trout alongside an infectious smile. The internet, however, thinks he’s done some serious wrong by the trout.

Twitter is made of the highest highs and lowest lows of the internet. Take this latest shot of Henry Winkler, for example. The legendary actor is, by all accounts, one of the most beloved people in Hollywood. He’s also an avid fly fisherman and an Outsider, whose latest catch is indeed a thing of “beauty.” So what has Twitter in such a rage Monday?

Apparently, some tweeters are unaware of the age-old practice of fishing. Some fish to feed themselves and others. Some catch for pleasure, like the Happy Days star, then release the fish back into the wild. This is, of course, known as “catch & release.”

Conservation, fishing, and hunting are one and the same when practiced correctly. No matter what an angler does, though, there will always be pushback. Especially for those who fear for the “safety” and “feelings” of said fish.

Henry Winkler has found himself under fire for this exact reason Monday. As soon as he posted his glorious photo, Twitter warriors came to the “defense” of the trout, brandishing the Happy Days icon as everything from “off-brand” to pedaling “animal cruelty”:

Twitter Warriors Come for ‘Happy Days’ Henry Winkler

“And leave it to a human to disrupt that beauty to take a selfie to post on Twitter to get likes,” says top commenter Deborah. “Imagine if that fish held you under water to get a selfie. Please don’t encourage this!”

Okay, well, those are definitely two very separate acts. But Deborah is clearly upset that Winker is, in fact, a fisherman.

“He probably caught it and threw it back, and even if he kept it and ate it, what’s the big deal? Did he disrupt its immortal reign?” asks another tweeter in response to Deborah.

“Somehow a picture of you holding a dead animal you did not have to kill, doesn’t match your sentiments,” lashes Bill in turn… Even though there is zero evidence to support that this trout is, in fact, dead.

“I hope you put that beautiful fish back in the beautiful water to continue to live a beautiful peaceful life. Death to any animal is not beautiful,” echoes Nancy. Points for using Winkler’s own wordage against him, perhaps?

Some People Will Never ‘Get’ Fishing – And That’s Okay, Too

This next gent, who does not use his real name on Twitter, tells the Happy Days legend to “Take a photo. Don’t rip an animal out of its natural environment with a hook through its face so you can feel something.”

“Honestly, fishing is weird man,” The Anti-Cripes responds to Winker. And honestly, Anti-Cripes, it is.

Fishing is an age-old practice that began out of necessity and evolved into a beloved pastime, then professional sport, and back again. It’s not for everyone. And that’s okay! Not everyone is down to fish Earth’s waters for a living animal, hook it, observe, then eat it or return it from whence it came.

The science behind fish species’ pain and stress is murky, but we do know that the majority of species encounter both. Each, however, is experienced in a drastically different form to what us humans feel. If this upsets an individual, then they should not fish – or follow those who do on social media, either.

Through it all, Happy Days‘ Henry Winkler has pulled off two master-strokes. 1.) He’s caught & released himself a gorgeous, sizeable cutthroat trout. And 2.) He’s not engaged a single person on Twitter berating him for enjoying the pastime of his choice.