Yes, we know this is another “story based on Twitter messages”; yet, we think that this is a good one, and an important one based on the state of social media and in many ways the ‘shipper community, who in select groups have become so passionately about their own chosen interpretation of a show that they choose lash out at others in anger and hate. Note that we say “select groups”; we feel like for the most part about 95% of the fandoms for almost any show or ‘ship are great. The problem is that you have 5% who are probably so vocal and so mean on social media, they tend to sometimes drown out the good.
Everything that “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” showrunner Julie Plec says below about some of the seedy underbelly at times of the ‘shipper community is valid, and anytime that we see fans attacking someone like her or any other showrunner on social media, it does make us wonder a few things:
1. Do they not realize that these characters only exist because of their hard work? You may not like the decision to pair X with Y, but without the content creators, there would be no X or Y. (There would still, however, be a Kyle XY … and yeah, we hate ourselves for making that punny joke.)
2. Do they think that saying “I hate you” or using profanity is going to make what they want happen? We’ve never heard of a single showrunner / writer who has suddenly become inspired to satisfy a fan after they were awful to them on social media.
3. Do they not understand that these people are human? However much you care about a show as a viewer, they care about it just as much if not more. It is their livelihood, and they work tirelessly (often 16-hour days during the season) to make sure that you enjoy the product on the other side. They’re not in this business to anger anyone, so of course comments do eventually hurt even those with thick skin.
We do think to a certain extent that some of the 5% does not really understand the gravity of their words sometimes, but that in no way excuse it. What may be hyperbole to them is hate to others, and someone along the line should be steering them away from this kind of discourse. Unfortunately we don’t see it ending, but maybe we can eventually get to a place where the trolls are blocked out further?
We don’t want to think that we’re preaching to the choir here, since we’ve been a passionate fan of many things. We remember growing up being obsessed with almost anything on Nickelodeon, whether it be “Kenan & Kel” or “Hey Arnold!”. We’ve seen every episode of “Chuck” multiple times, and was in some ways an early adopter to the Olicity ‘ship on “Arrow.” It’s more than okay to love something, as we always root for the unlikely couples; why not channel that love into something that makes fandom an even more positive experience?
We’ll get off our own soapbox now, but since we’ve seen so much of this the past month or so on a few different shows we cover it felt like the right sort of time to discuss it.
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