When Fan Rage Attacks
The harassment of Kelly Marie Tran and her Star Wars character Rose Tico got me thinking about a topic I wanted to talk about. I've noticed this so-called entitlement of fan rage has become so prevalent. When I was younger, we didn't have the Internet. So, if you wanted to get news about anything, you really search or you didn't know. And, if you had pictures, you would have to wait until somebody got their film developed and hoped the pictures came out okay. We're living in a world so fast and that has opened up thanks to the Internet. For that, the Internet is a blessing. We fans can enjoy consuming as much news and information as our minds can handle.
But, there is a bad side to this. Because the world is opened up at our finger tips. some fans can take that too far. While they want to believe that they are the majority, they really are a small, but very vocal minority.
On the Star Wars side, there is this group of so-called fans (and I'm going to call them "so-called" because I don't understand how you can be a fan and just come from a point of hate) that keep calling for the firing of Kathleen Kennedy as the head of Lucasfilm. Why? Because they believe she is changing the heroic landscape of Star Wars from the white male to a more diversified one. The hero of the latest trilogy is **gasp** a woman! The hero of Rogue One was **gasp** a woman! And suddenly there are characters played by Black and Latino and Asian actors in the pilot seat. This group of so-called fans will just spew their hatred online and, many times, target the actor themselves. Kelly Marie Tran wiped her Instagram account because of it, but so had Daisy Ridley as well.
They also say that Kennedy is ruining the saga because it is not turning out the way they had imagined it. There was so much vitriol against The Last Jedi because it wasn't the film some people imagined it to be. Luke would never do that! Who was Snoke? How dare they not give Rey known parents! I get that people have expectations. We all have expectations. But, at one point, we have to realize that these stories are not ours to tell. I, for one, am not particularly fond of the prequel trilogy (and that one was written and directed by George Lucas himself), but I didn't ask for George to be fired or send death threats to Samuel L. Jackson (He'd kick my butt anyway. LOL). I accept it as part of the Saga and I go on with my life. These things are meant for our enjoyment, not for our dictation.
On the Marvel side, I was just recently reading a ridiculous post where this guy was complaining about the placement of Evangeline Lilly's The Wasp in front of Paul Rudd's Ant-Man on an Ant-Man and The Wasp poster. He sees it as a sign of weakness for the white male. He says, "This is the future the liberals are planning for you. Women are men and men are women. #AntManAndTheWasp" WHAT THE WHAT?!?
When Black Panther came out, with all the fantastic support for the film, there was, of course, a vocal minority who pledged to bring down the Rotten Tomatoes score to protest Disney's diversifying its casts throughout Star Wars and Marvel. This group which formed on Facebook was called "Down with Disney's Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys" and was, thankfully, shut down by Facebook for violation of policy.
While the vitriol doesn't tend to be as strong on the Disney side, there are still some arguments that make me a little uneasy. There was lots of grousing when Disney replaced the Red Headed Wench to Redd, the female pirate, in the popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland, The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris. I'm not saying that people can't be upset, but there were some who pointed at women who would find white slavery and the implication of rape offensive. I heard some pretty terrible language that I found unbecoming of a Disney fan. Thankfully, since its opening, it seems most people have come to appreciate her.
And, just today, disneyfilmfacts on Instagram posted an exclusive announcing that Disney was considering actors of color for the live action version of The Little Mermaid. I, of course, took a deep breath and looked at the comments and, of course, true to form, the racism came out. One poster asked if Africa was now underwater. Another, who ironically says in his bio that he looks to God to be a better husband, father and son, commented, "Pus@*fication of America." It appears to me that he's not doing a good job at it.
The great thing about free speech is that everybody has a right to an opinion and to express that opinion, but one would hope that we could express these opinions without resorting to death threats or hateful language.