Here’s a roundup of fandom controversy stories that might be of interest to fans:
- Following the shootings at a Batman screening in the U.S., various commentators used the incident to express concern with fannish extremes. The conversation of two journalists in The Sacramento Press took a look at how changing factors in entertainment news has made cult project fandom closer to that of sports fandom. “[N]ow if you’re a big fan of a project for whatever reason, it’s not just about how well it’s produced, it’s about how it stacks up against other projects as measured at the box office. After all, the deep, quality dramas have their awards shows to separate out the wheat from the chaff, but the giant effect-laden comic book and action movies are rated by their fans in the box office competition – and it’s just like a sport with home teams and rivalries.” This means that “[n]ow a bad review might put somebody off seeing a movie and actually hurt your favorite project in terms of long term box office performance, rankings, and subsequently its perceived success and status in the pantheon of movies. And god forbid a bad “The Dark Knight Rises” review helps “The Amazing Spider-man” or “Avengers” look like better movies as a result. Suddenly it’s personal and people care unduly what others think.”
- In some cases it seems that it’s Hollywood creators who don’t consider what people might think. Author Cassandra Clare cared rather a lot that the film version of her Mortal Instruments series might be whitewashed. “I have gotten many letters over the years from readers who are happy that Magnus is not white, that Jem is not white, that Maia is not white, that Aline is not white. The fact is that most parts in books are for straight white folks and even more so in films. There are not that many parts for actors who are not white — even less substantive ones. Taking those things away by casting Magnus as white and talking about him as white does cause actual pain to actual people — and to what end? Why? Why send the message you only want to read about white people and only want to see white people on your screens?” A recent incident involving Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis suggests this doesn’t need to be an intentional message.
- A different Teen Wolf controversy revolved around media choices of who constitutes a couple, leading site After Elton to host its own favorite slash couples contest with the caveat that they could only be fanon couples. An article on what they termed slashwink made it clear that they know their audience.
If you’re a slasher, concerned about fannish extremes, or have something to say about whitewashing, share your experiences on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.
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