OTW Fannews: Downsides

  • A number of media outlets including Vulture discussed casting decisions for a theater production of Harry Potter. “‘Fan service‘ has become more and more predominant in this social-media age, when the feedback loop between creator and audience is so immediate. But rarely does it lead to actual results, like Dumezweni’s casting, beyond the precincts of Tumblr and fan art. This is why Rowling deserves credit for responding to fans who were upset with Dumezweni’s casting, saying that she loves the idea of a black Hermione, if not enough to actually write it herself. (More typical is the response of Tina Fey to criticism of race in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt over the weekend, saying she’s ‘steer[ing] clear’ of the internet’s ‘culture of demanding apologies.’)”
  • BlogHer looked at fandom reactions, considering them predictable. “Y’all, when I say the white tears flowed…you could’ve remade Point Break in my Twitter mentions. Honestly, I avoided Harry Potter fandom from the jump because of the pervasive misogyny and racist foolery. It got worse each time J.K. Rowling said a major character was gay (in her head) or wizarding students might could be Jewish (I guess in her draft notes?). And #neverforget when Lavender Brown got hit with the Caucasia spell, folks found out Cho Chang wasn’t white, and uppity fans had the audacity to imagine Hermione as anything other than a whiter shade of pale…If nothing else, the consistency is remarkable. The train to White Supremacist Hogwarts is never late.”
  • AndPop targeted Demi Lovato fans asking for the end of a meme. “It’s obvious that the #Lovatics that support the Poot movement are not malicious — it shows that they have a sense of humour. However, now that it’s gotten out of hand, it’s time to start thinking about what we’re promoting when we keep the Poot trend alive: an unfair expectation of perfection, undercurrents of bullying, and a culture that only seems to value and celebrate physical attributes.”
  • The Mary Sue talked about the discomfort of fannishness for problematic characters. “But since a Kilgrave fandom still exists – however small, however ashamed – then did Jessica Jones fail in its attempt to de-romanticize stories of abuse? Does the romanticization of Kilgrave, no matter how few people may participate in it, indicate that something is deeply wrong? Does it normalize the troubling idea that abusers can be reformed? I would say yes. But I would also say that it’s important to look at all of the disparate pieces here. There’s a difference between, say, a fan who wants to rewrite a redemption arc for Kilgrave that contradicts everything we actually know about him as a character, versus someone who looks at Kilgrave as he’s depicted in the show and says ‘I can relate to that guy.’ I don’t have much sympathy for the latter — but the former? Well, it’s complicated.”

What troubling aspects of fandom have you come across? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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