OTW Fannews: Crossing boundaries

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  • The Daily Dot cited a drawback of the increased communication between fans and creators — the likelihood of direct conflict. The writer of the latest Star Trek film took fans to task for their criticism of the finished work, reducing them to spoiled children in his responses. “Orci’s repeated assertions that he ‘listens’ to fans seem meaningless when the end result is a movie that inspired widespread disappointment among its intended audience. Particularly when ‘listening’ also seems to be accompanied by cursing, insults, and taunts.”
  • The conflicts are not only the result of fans commenting to creators online, but also in how the work of amateurs, fans gone pro, and professional creators overlaps and clashes. Blogger Literary Lottie pointed out the absurd escalation by some science-fiction authors to the suggestion that they should not engage in fan discussions unless explicitly invited. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with authors engaging fans and reviewers on blogs, Twitter, and the like, so long as they recognize that while they have the power to clarify, they don’t have the power to correct, they don’t have the privilege of directing how fans should interpret their work, and, AND, that they should not become angry or argumentative upon being told they do not have that privilege.”
  • Many media outlets connected fans’ objections to the casting of the Fifty Shades of Grey film to the withdrawal of lead Charlie Hunnam from the movie. “If Charlie Hunnam really has backed out of Fifty Shades of Grey because the fans didn’t want him, could it mark a tipping point in the relationship between studio and audience?” asked Karl Quinn at the Sydney Morning Herald. Noting the risk-averse behavior of many film studios, Quinn says “Hollywood has been dabbling at the edges of fan involvement for years but as the response to the casting for Fifty Shades and Batman vs Superman shows all too clearly, it is not a strategy without its risks.”
  • There’s a difference however between casual criticism and activism. Heather Ash wrote at The Learned Fangirl about her successful correspondence with LEGO. “In my previous post, I wrote a letter to Lego taking them to task for requiring that my son identify himself as a girl in their database in order to receive the Lego Friends insert, which was sent only to girls.” Ash used her actions as a teaching moment for her children and concluded, “If Lego follows through, my son will get his Friends insert. Someone else’s son won’t even have to ask…And no one’s daughter will be automatically enrolled based on outdated gender stereotyping. And children with a gender identity that isn’t girl or boy, won’t need to identify as something they aren’t just to get the toys they crave.”

What examples have you seen of fan and creator interaction? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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