Hannibal Twitter Wars

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Event
Event: The Hannibal Twitter Wars
Participants: fanartist enercarlate, Bryan Fuller, antis, members of Hannibal fandom
Date(s): 6 October 2020 -
Type: Twitter controversy
Fandom: Hannibal
URL:
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On 6 October 2020, Twitter user and fanartist enercarlate posted a NSFW Hannigram fanart of Hannibal giving a blowjob to Will[1]. The same day, Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller liked the tweet and responded with "!!!"[2]. It wasn't new for Fuller to interact with fandom and with fanworks in particular[3], but his short response resulted in a controversy big enough to be noticed by The Mary Sue, who posted a dedicated article about it called Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller Is Done With Your Anti-Ship BS on 13 October 2020.

Things, let’s say, escalated very quickly, with pro-shippers and anti-shippers going at each other over all sorts of nonsense that was obviously a bit hard to follow. Some antis argued that Fuller was wrong to like X-Rated art because minors follow him, and he was thus exposing them to pornography.

(...)

And let us take a moment to step back here and recognize that many of the people attacking Bryan Fuller for being pro-shipping seem to have no problem with the fact he made a show that arguably glorified a man THAT KILLS PEOPLE AND EATS THEM.[4]

The artist who posted the original art replied to Bryan's tweet with an enthusiastic "I FEEL SIMULTANEOUSLY BLESSED AND HORRIFIED"[5]. A multitude of other Hannibal fans of Twitter began responding, with both positive and negative reactions. In general, the Rainbow Meaties, or Hannibal "pro-shippers," were in favor of Bryan's tweet, while the Meat Knives, or Hannibal "anti-shippers," were not.

Positive responses to the initial tweet

Bryan being horny on main again. Love you king[6]
We need more show runners like you, sir!!! Thanks for bringing us Hannibal[7]
Gorgeous art :0 We heart you Bryan! Thank you for supporting your fans' creativity![8]
The entire reason I got into Hannibal? I heard the creators supported the fandom. No regrets! You did great work and I love it![9]
just want to go on record that i wasn't following you before but now i am because you are the only person on twitter to whom the word "legend" has ever or will ever apply im sorry you're getting attacked by homophobic teens who aren't mature enough to watch the show you created.[10]

Negative responses to the initial tweet

Bryan I love u but these are your close coworkers/friends[11]
nsfw....of your coworkers.............can you people be normal for five goddamn seconds[12]

Bryan Fuller's replies to fan tweets

[sickas_fudge]

You aint never gon catch me replying to nsfw fanart of my employees that shit weird as hell lmao

[Bryan Fuller]

I suppose I’m more sick as fudge than you are.

[PANHANNIBAL]

bro wtf. it’s disgusting.

[Bryan Fuller]

I’m not disgusted by Art. I’m disgusted by cruelty. I’m disgusted by hate. I’m disgusted by those who would shame others for expressing themselves creatively.

[PANHANNIBAL]

they’re ur ex employees and friends tho...

[Bryan Fuller]

And they have a sense of humor, something you appear to be lacking.

[C0UCHCHIFFRE]

you seem to be lacking brain cells

[Bryan Fuller]

Hold please. I need to apply some aloe to that sick burn.

Some fans found Bryan's responses hilarious, responding with memes and gifs of enjoyment. Others insisted Bryan shouldn't argue with minors[13].

[uwuhannibal]

Never thought I’d see the writer of Hannibal arguing with a bunch of minors because we think it’s weird that he replies to VERY nsfw art of his coworkers.

[Bryan Fuller]

I never thought I would see America teetering on the edge of fascism, but there you go.

[Bryan Fuller]

A LITTLE REMINDER FOR WHOEVER NEEDS IT [gif of Hannibal Lecter with text saying "It's okay to be weird"]

[aekiv0]

hey bryan, ive watched hannibal ever since the first episode aired, and the first season of american gods b4 you left. im confused as to why you're taking the side of pedophile, incest & zoophile supporters/defenders & really only supporting them? its a really bad look on ya dude

[Bryan Fuller]

They’re not any of those things. You’ve twisted their art/artistic expression into those extremes because you don’t understand art history, Greco Roman mythology, or metaphorical, allegorical, or thematic storytelling. Your narrowmindedness is your own shortcoming, not theirs.

[callfromspace]

Basically my reaction to anything fancop says at this point Brian: [meme of Skelletor with text saying "joke's on you I'm into that shit"]

[Bryan Fuller]

I really am.

[aekiv0]

No actually they are into those things because the person who made the emojis (rainbow emoji)(meat on a bone emoji) did so because they made nsfw art of Will/Winston the Dog. And yes I do know about all of that, and you insinuating I don't is exteremly rude. And you know what Hannibal says?

[milflecter]

bryan theyre literally enjoying and getting off on pedophilia. that makes them pedophiles

[Bryan Fuller]

You’re wrong.

[milflecter]

if they have “(rainbow emoji)(meat on a bone emoji)” on their account it means theyre “pro-ship”, which translates to “i ship minors with adults and also incest”. so theyre pedophiles

[Bryan Fuller]

No, actually, it doesn’t translate to that. You translate it to that. And it speaks much more about your character than any of theirs.

[LECHlFFRE]

lmao okay bryan explain this then buddy boy [screenshots of tweets from user @FannibalJ with underage and incest content]

[Bryan Fuller]

I don't have to explain shit to you. Go on your own journey and stop harassing people.

Comments on the controversy itself

Responses on Twitter

Some fans left comments in the thread on the fandom response itself

The QRts and comments saying shit like "I'm scarred for life!" Bitch if a basic ass BJ scars you for life you might be too young/immature to be watching this show[14]
I hope the haters realize that 1) it's Hannibal and Will not Mads and Hugh 2) M&H both admit to reading NSFW fanfic 3) This is not the first time Bryan has liked/commented on an explicit fanart 4) He hasn't done anything wrong, all the antis are just looking for a fight.[15]

Responses on other platforms

On 8 October 2020, Reddit user jacksstyles posted to the HannibalTV subreddit asking other users What do you think about Bryan Fuller’s controversy?. A lot of the users in the replies kept reminding everybody that Bryan interacted with NSFW fanart in the past, as well as showing it to other people[16]. Some commenters dismissed the controversy as something being caused by new fans only now coming into the fandom[17], in some cases implying the assumed young age of the new fans means they shouldn't be watching the show in the first place[18].

In the comment section to The Mary Sue article on the subject responses touched on many aspects. Some commenters criticized equating actors with their characters, others laughed at the fact the arguments were about gay sex and not the fact the character eats humans. One commenter criticized Bryan Fuller saying "i think he should try to be more professional on his public account. he's thrown a tantrum cause some kids said they didnt want to see porn on their tl. like.. okay.. no one's upset at you for enjoying some smutty ship art, just be more mindful next time."[19]. Other commenters didn't react well to that. Some readers were very confused about pedophila being a part of the conversation/controversy. Comments also appeared drawing similarities between the Hannibal Twitter controversy discussed and the Strikethrough wank[20][21].

On October 21st, 2020 on Fanlore, a user by the name of AbigailHobbs attempted to document this fandom occurrence with an article called The Hannibal Twitter Takedown of 2020. Subsequently, the article was spread through Twitter a few days later by actualadultJD, who was mentioned in the article.[22] Many users were displeased with the article's contents, both on and off of Twitter. ActualadultJD said on their CuriousCat: "The words that best describe this article are “heavily biased,” “unscholarly,” “unprofessional,” and “poorly written.”[23] Some fans on Twitter picked the article's arguments apart and most saw it as biased misinformation, or as an attack on the "Rainbow Meaties."[24][25] Twitter user c_shinn encouraged the Hannibal fandom to continue reporting the article to Fanlore Policy & Admin. Ultimately, the article was deemed a piece of personal meta and the page was blanked and protected so that it could not be edited. Discussion of the article and its contents remain on its talk page, and the meta itself was re-posted by the author on her Tumblr.[26]

References

  1. ^ Just bros bein bros NSFW art by enecarlate, accessed 24 October 2020
  2. ^ !!! tweet from Bryan Fuller, posted on 6 October 2020, accessed 24 October 2020
  3. ^ "Bryan re-posted some explicit fanart several times, got a book with it for himself, Mads, and Hugh, got a shirt with kissing Hannigram, etc." - comment by Reddit user K_S_Morgan, accessed 24 October 2020
  4. ^ Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller Is Done With Your Anti-Ship BS, accessed 24 October 2020
  5. ^ enecarlate's tweet in response to Bryan Fuller, accessed 24 October 2020
  6. ^ tweet by user @thisburie, accessed 24 October 2020
  7. ^ tweet by user @ArdynOuji, accessed 24 October 2020
  8. ^ tweet by user @HRHSherlock, accessed 24 October 2020
  9. ^ tweet by user @decidedlysarah, accessed 24 October 2020
  10. ^ tweet by user @oknolisten, accessed 24 October 2020
  11. ^ tweet by @BIackKaiser_, accessed 24 October 2020
  12. ^ tweet by user @morguebunnie, accessed 24 October 2020
  13. ^ "listen dude i’m not gonna comment on anything but you probably shouldn’t be arguing with minors tweet by @jojochalamet, accessed 24 October 2020
  14. ^ tweet by user @RogueChiroptera, accessed 24 October 2020
  15. ^ tweet by user @cannibal_mads, accessed 24 October 2020
  16. ^ "Bryan had a picture of Will Graham having his penis eaten by Hannibal on his phone that he showed to anyone who would look at it, according to Hugh Dancy. This was in 2017 so it’s unlikely that this is an issue with anyone but the new fans on Twitter. Heck, Bryan ships Madancy too. He’s just like that." - Reddit comment by user Cockwombles, accessed 24 October 2020
  17. ^ Reddit comment by user Pirouette1209, accessed 24 October 2020
  18. ^ Reddit comment by user zoelion, accessed 24 October 2020
  19. ^ comment by CaesBriar, accessed 24 October 2020
  20. ^ comment by user T.B.A., accessed 24 October 2020
  21. ^ comment by user notemily, accessed 24 October 2020
  22. ^ Some anti created a Fanlore page about the Hannibal wank... Twitter, Oct 23, 2020 (Accessed 10/24/2020) (Archived 10/24/2020)
  23. ^ Some anti created a Fanlore page about the Hannibal wank... Curious Cat, Oct 23, 2020. (Accessed 10/24/2020)
  24. ^ Seriously. How does Fanlore not have a way to edit or report blatant misinformation? Twitter, Oct 23, 2020. (Accessed 10/24/2020)
  25. ^ Whoever wrote that fanlore article... Twitter, Oct 23, 2020. (Accessed 10/24/2020)
  26. ^ hi so i wrote this a little over a week ago, Tumblr. Oct 23, 2020. (Accessed 12/5/2020) (Archived 12/5/2020)