RPF?! (post)

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Title: RPF?!
Creator: zubird (and commenters)
Date(s): August 11, 2005
Medium: online
Fandom: RPF
External Links: RPF?!, Archived version
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RPF?! is a post by zubird at Fanthropology.

It has 260 comments.

Some Topics Discussed

Excerpt from the Post

for me, the most important and neatest thing about fanfic is how it personalizes mass culture, which i think is very exciting and a very good answer to pompous cynics who say things about brainless television or movies dumbing down civilization. [for instance, i think the fannish interpretation of Harry Potter is much more meaningful, complex, and all-around interesting than a straight reading of the books would allow; and that even though Law & Order SVU is a formulaic, silly show, fanfic has added vast new dimensions to it that simply weren't there before.] ultimately, i think fanfic is a necessary part of any...umm...pop-cultural object, whether it's a television series, a movie, a popular book, etc; not only does it take the original universe, storyline, or whatever places its creators are unable to, but it allows people to interact with mass culture and brings vitality to it.

i get the idea that fanfic writers, and most fans in general [i'm assuming here, correct me if i'm wrong] would say that characters like Harry Potter or Olivia Benson are not solely a product of JK Rowling or NBC, since they are formed just as much by the perceptions of those who consume them as the motives of those who produce them. for instance -- i know a lot of people [myself included] are irritated by Olivia's recent appearances in clothing that's seen as too femme, because that's "not Olivia" -- obviously, if NBC owned her character entirely, it would be Olivia by definition, because NBC says so; but fans don't see her as the sort of woman who wears pink, so it's a betrayal of her character to make her wear a pink blazer.

so, my question/topic is, what do people specifically find unethical about real people fiction? i've never really believed that celebrities are real people as such; there is a real man called Justin Timberlake, but it's entirely different from the character "Justin Timberlake" on the radio and in magazines. so don't Justin Timberlake's fans own this character just as much as i own Olivia?

full disclosure; the only time i've ever written fanfic was when i was ten or eleven, about a certain popular-in-the-late-nineties boyband [no, not Nsync]; it was all truly horrible, mary-sue type stuff that i slapped up on the Angelfire fanpage i ran with a friend. i'm vaguely aware that RPF has a reputation for being awful, but i don't know that that's necessarily an inherent quality.

Excerpts from Comments

  • comment by scififantasy ("[To] fans, to anyone who consumes the image of a famous person, the famous person isn't a real person but a character, just like fictional characters. Except that there is a real person under the character...it's not enough to say "well, I'm not dealing with the real Justin Timberlake, I'm just dealing with the character," because there is a real Justin Timberlake, and to reduce him to the status of "character" is, in some ways, pretty demeaning. It's implying that the real person doesn't exist.")
  • comment by darkrosetiger ("because there is a real Justin Timberlake, and to reduce him to the status of "character" is, in some ways, pretty demeaning. It's implying that the real person doesn't exist. Not really. What RPS is based on is the public image of the celebrity--the image that the celebrity sells to the public. That's not the same as the real person behind the image, because RPS writers--and anyone else who's not personally acquainted with the celebrity--won't see that. I write RPF about Jason Isaacs. In my world, he's funny, self-deprecating, and incredibly charming, because that's the persona that he shows in interviews. He might be like that for real; he might not. What I do know is that most people whose careers depend on their image understand the difference between the face they show to the world and who they really are.")
  • comment by fides ("Doesn't that assume that all RPS is about celebrities with public images? Or even that all actors have public images? This might be the case for a lot of the music based RPS but I am not sure it holds true for the actors. At what point do actors gain this public image/celebrity status? When you do their first interview? By dint of appearing in a public show/broadcast? If you have an actor who actively tries to avoid having a 'public image' does that mean that they should not be written about or does that shyness and avoidance of the lime light become their public image which can then be written about?")
  • comment by neadods ("[RPF's] not just pretty demeaning, it is outright denying the humanity of the person beneath the persona. I've said before that I don't mind RPF if it has the person doing their job, is done with the person's permission, or the person plus their friends and family are too dead to care. That allows for historical fiction, and respectful or "in good fun" stuff like Quantum Leap and The Simpsons. My line is drawn when currently living people are reduced to dancing meatpuppets solely for the amusement of the people writing the fiction. The persona that the original poster claims is "theirs" to play with isn't - any persona is the property of the person who created it... and that's assuming that we even know where that line was drawn and what the person would think about us taking it for our own amusement. And in the case of RPS, what of the women who are cut out of their husband's lives? Does the act of marrying or living with a celebrity automatically erase their rights to be treated with dignity? Their friend's rights? Their children's rights?")
  • comment by rosedarktiger ("One of the things that anyone who chooses to live in the public eye understands is that you give up control of your image when you put it on the market. Note the emphasis here: most RPF is about people who have chosen careers which require you to sell yourself and to present yourself as an object of desire. That's why celebrities have PR people. Does that mean that sometimes you may not like the way you're portrayed? Of course it does. I'm sure Jude Law isn't thrilled with the fact that he's being portrayed as sleazy, cheating asshole. But the reason that his sordid personal life is in the papers in the first place is because a large part of his job is for him to look good enough that people will fantasize about him, and therefore, pay lots of money to see him.")
  • comment by darkforsetiger ("Even if you insist that one person is fair game - which I remain unconvinced of - can you also insist that everyone around that person is equally fair game? That's why I don't write about the people around the celebrities, unless they are also celebrities. It's true that my fic is posted online, but it's also true that you would have to go looking for it. I could just as easily post to a fan board about how gorgeous I think Jason is, and how much I'd like to shag him. If his wife Googled for him and went to his fan board, she'd see that post and she'd know that people fantasize about her husband. Of course, since Emma seems to be an intelligent woman, she already knows that, and she wouldn't go chasing down evidence of that if she didn't want to know. That they have no voice compared to your "right" to write as you please about these people? Please don't put words in my mouth. I never described writing RPS as a "right". I am discussing why I, personally, don't have an ethical problem reading or writing it.")
  • comment by zubird ("It's not just pretty demeaning, it is outright denying the humanity of the person beneath the persona. really, i think that's a little much. i think celebrities have made a sort of deal with the devil; they get fame and fortune and love, but they also give up most control over their image and persona. this is exactly the reason i don't have a problem with RPF (whether or not it's icky). My line is drawn when currently living people are reduced to dancing meatpuppets solely for the amusement of the people writing the fiction. so i guess you don't approve of screenwriting, then.")
  • comment by lizbetann ("It is their job to take on different characters: complete with histories different from their own, personalities different from their own, loved ones different from their own, and actions different from their own. Moreover, everyone (most everyone) understands that these separate *characters* are not themselves, and thus they are not held responsible for the actions of said characters (not always true, I grant you, sometimes fans hold the actors responsible for the character's actions). Real People Fic, on the other hand, argues that they are actually doing things in their real life that they have no control over. I know and understand that you don't agree with me, but can you see what I'm trying to say? That it freaks me out that you've taken a real person and ascribed actions and opinions to him/her that they do not hold in real life?")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("Well authorfic is a form of Real Person Fic. And it used to be a bit more popular in terms of community building on-line if I recall. Or at least it seemed to be in the Babylon 5 community. And doesn't bug me... If you want to slash me, so long as all the proper disclaimers are in place and it is put in the context of being a fan fiction archive, no problems. But I can see why people wouldn't necessarily be comfortable with it being written but then assuming that because they feel that way, all people should feel that way annoys me. It isn't true. And when they use that justification and write traditional media based fan fiction, it galls me more because there are a LOT of professional authors who object to people writing fan fiction in their world... and people don't object to the whole concept of traditional media based fan fiction because of that list of authors. And roman a clef is a long literary tradition that seems damned close to RPF... that in a way could be seen as a precursor to RPF and I don't see fandom rejecting that whole sale, or alternative history stories based on real people... or the whole cult of celebrity on which RPF seems, to a certain degree, based. *shrugs* But fandom rarely makes sense.")
  • comment ginalin ("I don't have a problem with RPF, unless it's badly written. Public figures (and yeah, I think they have a public personna that may or may not have a lot to do with the real person, who I don't know from a hole in the ground) have always been the subject of fan speculation, this is just a new version of it.... I've been reading Trek, Muncle, and Starsky and Hutch fanfiction since the 80s, when it was distributed in zines only, and that included some RPF. I was thinking new compared to WWII era to 60s stories about actors and singers, with their names sort of changed to protect the writers from libel suits. ")
  • comment by angrybabble ("I think RPF is different because, regardless of whether or not you happen to see that celebrity as a "real person" (and there's a whole discussion right there), s/he IS a real person. When popular web personalities like Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade or Ed and Dom of Megatokyo see themselves depicted doing things, such as each other, that they would never ever ever do in real life, I think they find it disturbing, and rightly so. I know Dom in real life, and when he happened across some Dom/Ed yaoi, he was a little upset and grossed out, because, you know, he just doesn't see Ed that way thanks.")
  • comment by angrybabble ("... since all my fandoms are actually fictional, to me I guess I don't see the point of writing fanfic when it's actually got to be origfic by definition... I mean, you AREN'T writing about the real person or real happenings in his life, if you see what I mean? It's either all made up, or you're a very creepy stalker, you know? ^^; The thing is, for fictional fandoms, canon is taken by the fandom as "what REALLY happened." Canon is the common ground we all assume is "real" (for the purposes of fandom). " Then fanfiction can either be AU, or fit into the cracks between things described in that "reality", or whatever... fictional reality can have cracks where nothing happens, because it's fiction. Since Mr Timberlake (or whoever) IS real, and you're not really writing about him, and there are no times in his life when there is just an absolute blank that the author didn't fill in, I guess to me it seems like origfic with the proper names and settings dropped into place to get people to read it. XD; I mean, I do understand what you mean, since of course you might as well just write about the real thing as opposed to origfic very obviously based on the real thing, but given the ethical quandary I suppose that's the best solution that comes to me.")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("It is next to impossible to make any sort of absolutist statement about fandom or perception. The view offered at fanthropology is not all encompassing. In fact, it is rather narrow in its scope. RPF and traditional media based fan fiction developed independently of each other. It really wasn't until the Internet, circa 1998, 1999 that the two finally began any sort of blending process... traditional media based fan fiction fen confuse canon and fanon, becry the quality of the canon, claim that fan writer x is writing better than the official product, that fan writer x's material should be officially marketed as canon or licenced by TPTB, when the shows like Law & Order have material that is not much more than Roman A Clef... Fictional realities have cracks because the creators have not filled them in yet. And they have that right... and fans sometimes trample on that right, putting that right at risk through their own actions.")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("I've yet to figure out the justification for some of these moral shades of grey that pop up in fandom. It is okay to steal from the producers. It is okay to plagiarize from professionals. It is OH MY OM! WRONG! to plagiarize from your fellow fan and wrong to write derivative fiction based on their original characters. It is okay to profit from fandom for product. It is not okay to profit from service. It is wrong to archive a person's fiction with out permission but it is perfectly okay for Google and The Internet Archive to archive it, long after they have removed it themselves. It is wrong for a fan fiction archive to claim copyright on your fan fiction but web service providers like MSN, Geocities, Tripod, if they were to claim copyright to everything posted, it is okay. It is okay to threaten other fen with lawsuits but TPTB should realize their greatness and not threaten them.")
  • comment by angrybabble ("the principle of "lawful" is only in reference to canon and fanfic writing, but let me see if I can make some of those other things make more sense... Plagiarizing your fellow fan, posting their work in your archive without permission, and writing derivitive work of their work all fall under the same category, which is "fan credit." See, as you stated, it's wrong to make a monetary profit off your work... but you do make a profit in, as it were, fannish reputation. If google or the net archive archive your work, well, it's still in your name, where you put it, and if someone happens to look at it and like it, it's your credit (though some people don't like their stuff archived and do password protect their archives to stop spidering). If someone else takes your work in order to make themselves or their site look better, they're stealing your fan credit, which is really all the payment you get for all that work. It's especially annoying if you have your own site you'd like people to visit, where you put all the things you personally made. Google doesn't take credit for the creation of your work or even the archive of it really; Google isn't trying to become more popular with your fandom by taking other people's work and archiving it. If you see what I mean? As for the "claiming copyright" thing, that's why anyone with a brain doesn't use those services. And in my opinion, threatening other fen with lawsuits for fannish crap is just stupid. Call down a fan jihad on their heads, but don't get the law involved, since all of fandom is on shaky legal ground (I'm lucky that most of my fandoms are Japanese and they really don't care). I dunno, fandom has loads of confusing things about it, but I guess all you can do is decide what you think is right and go forth in that way.")
  • comment by pink polarity ("But there *is* "canon" in RPF. (I do wish people would broaden it to RPF, btw, some of us do write real-person het and gen.) I can't speak for other RPF writers, but I do base my fic on what I can see of the person's actual life and actual personality. But it's a characterization to the extent that it's my interpretation of a very limited information set. (Although perhaps less limited in my case than other prolific writers, as I do know people who know President Bush in person.) There are things I think are OOC for the people I write about, and that's what firmly places it in the realm of fanfic. It's also one of the things I rather like about the genre, because those limitations are a nice challenge. But at best, they're broad sketches, based on things that particularly stand out to me.")
  • comment by marythefan ("To say that's a function of FPS but not RPS is a fundamental misunderstanding of what many people in RPS fandom are doing, particularly those who come out of a media FPS tradition. For us, RPS works that way, too. There is a canon to RPS. There is more canon to RPS than to practically any FPS fandom out there. There is, frankly, too much canon to keep up with it all. There are literally days worth of footage from concerts, behind-the-scenes specials, DVD extras, television appearances, videos and more, as well as piles and piles and piles of interviews from magazines. Those are what form the "canon" of an RPS fandom like popfic or lotrips. I don't have to be some scary freaky stalker to see how Justin Timberlake romps like a 5-year-old with his bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick behind the scenes on a video shoot, or to know that he says he likes baths and thinks candles are oh-so-romantic and he makes sure to return the dish to his grandmother after he finishes her peach cobbler which is his favorite dessert, or to know that his mother says he hated to get his tennis shoes dirty from the time he was a toddler. All I have to do is watch MTV and be able to read magazine articles. And then all that and more publicly available information goes into building the "Justin" character in RPS and his dynamic with the other members of NSYNC in all the stories that "fill in the cracks" of the time we don't have that kind of "canon" for - the interminable bus rides while on tour, for instance.")
  • comment by darkrosetiger ("As I mentioned above, RPF is much more likely to be written about people who are, on some level, public figures, simply because otherwise, no one would read it. Sure, I could write about some obscure stage actor, but I'll get a hell of a lot more feedback writing about Orlando Bloom.")
  • comment by telesilla ("It's not just a matter of feedback, but also a matter of certain preconceived notions the majority of fans have about the actors. Granted, canon is more fluid and intersects more with fanon in RPS than it does in FPS, but the more popular a star is, the more information there is about him. So you could write about Joe Obscure Stage Actor, but you wouldn't even have any kind of a handle on how he wants to present himself to the world, whereas with Orlando Bloom, there's a body of information about Orli-as-actor to be used.")
  • comment by mad maudlin ("Truthfully? I think much of the kerfluffle over RPF has to do with cultural conceptions about fiction and non-fiction. Someone on my flist recently discussed this in terms of the movie Being John Malkovich, and I'm basically going to repeat what I said to her: we define fiction as writing about characters and nonfiction as writing about real people. We assume that nonfiction involves lots of research and factual information, that there is an ethic behind it--that writers of nonfiction (ie journalists, scholars, historians) wouldn't publish something they couldn't defend as true. Whereas fiction writers get a free ride, except as far as the story is good or bad. The reality, of course, is fuzzier; as you point out, some "real people" have personae as distinct as any character (forget Justin Timberlake, how about Pee-Wee Herman?) and "nonfiction" like unauthorized biographies and tabloids may or may not have any basis in reality. On the other end of the spectrum, there's historical fiction, alternate history, and satire--accepted genera of fiction that incorporate "real people" to a greater or lesser degree. (Although I suspect that within two generations all historical figures become fictional by default.) The movies Being John Malkovich and Adaptation are grand royal mindfucks because of the way they blend factual and fictional. But in general, we maintain the artificial divide between fiction and non-fiction, and treat the two differently: nonfiction, real people and the standards of truth are all intertwined inextricably. Which means, of course, that RPF just makes everyone's logic circuits combust by straddling that boundary. If I wrote a novel about two popular actors concealing a secret love affair from the media, I could market it easily; if I wrote a news article alleging that Elijah Wood and Dominic Moneghan were lovers, I could get sued easily; but a good Domlijah fic falls into a grey area between the two. RPF people treat their work as fiction (applying standards of literary criticism, inasmuch as fandom ever does), anti-RPF people treat it as nonfiction (applying standard of truthfulness inappropriate to a text that's not necessarily presenting itself as truth).")
  • comment by mab browne ("I don't like RPF myself, but morally how is it inherently different (for example) to an explicit piece of fan art? I know in my little head that it's the characters, but the actors and any mundanes on the street might well say, 'hey, you've got dirty pictures of ...' and how are they wrong? I like fanfic where I'm familiar with canon and where there's a background of experience between the characters which can be built on to create stories, and I don't see how RPF offers that (although I understand how things like the LOTR dvds certainly offer opportunities) But in the end, I get squicked because I see 'stalkerish' elements in the idea of continually fantasising and writing about real people. I would like to very strongly emphasise that I DO NOT THINK that RPF writers are stalkers, but simply say that is an element of the squick for me. I prefer a demarcation between fantasy and reality (whatever you perceive that to be *g*)")
  • comment by dinpik ("It's one thing to be a star and have to accept people may, say, fantasize in the privacy of their own head about you being raped, or raping someone else. It's another to see that fantasy put out on the 'Net. Or on paper -- think about the girls who didn't get the "wow, great!" reaction they wanted when they showed the Merry and Pippin actors slash art of the characters from the movies. If someone says, "I don't care about RPS", fine. That's their prerogative. That won't change my opinion that RPF is just flat-out wrong. I don't care if other people don't like my opinion, or think it's unfounded, or find it offensive. It's my opinion. It's not going to change. Moral questions aside with the Internet and the technology to manipulate images leading to changes in intellectual property law and quite possibly libel and slander law as well, I think it's a matter of when RPF gets hauled into court, not if. There was a heads-up about this kind of sea-change for what the rules are with the Accio UK wank: years ago, I don't think WB would have cared what papers on slash were presented at the conference.I don't have a crystal ball, but frankly when the dust is settled I don't think fandom's going to have as much leeway with TPTB as it did.")
  • comment by dinpik (""If it's not a moral right on the part of the author, and we already know it's illegal (so there's a legal right which exists but we're disregarding), what type of right does the author have to control hir work and whether or not fanfiction is written? If it's only a case of appeasing the copyright holder so they won't sue us, when then that's not a right at all--that's merely a matter of pragmatics." I got confused on your "moral right" statement before --thought you meant fanfic writers had a moral right to write fanfiction. Jumping back to that briefly, I don't know if authors can assert a moral right to allow fanfiction. I've only seen it with authors asserting the moral right to be known as the author of a book. Even if moral right did apply to permitting fanfiction, that may not top their legal rights of the copyright holder (e.g., the situation with JKR and WB, frex). In any case, you can't "dilute" a copyright, but you can dilute a trademark. You only "dilute" a trademark if someone uses it or produces a derivative work of it and the trademark holder doesn't challenge it. The longer you let it go, the harder it is to stop the activity -- Kleenex and Xerox found this out the hard way. This does not apply to copyright. If someone is giving permission to let folks write fanfiction of their characters, it doesn't take away their rights. The author is exercising their right to control the derivative works produced from their original creation.")
  • comment by alixtii ("And when the copyright holders are relatively clear in their official stance they don't allow this, how much of your interpretation is colored by wishful thinking? The fact that FOX doesn't go after Buffy fanfic writers is relevant to whether or not I think I'll get caught, and thus if the risk is worth taking. It has nothing to do with what I do is actually theft under the law.")
  • comment by doll paparazzi ("So I have a question for you...just when DO you tell someone where that line is drawn? When its written about someone under-aged? When it involves rape? When it does it deem important enough to tell someone, "Hey weirdo, STOP writing your sick and twisted fan crap"? There does need to be a time when that line is drawn. If not with celebrities privacy, then whom else. Because if you don't say no to them...you can be easily up for grabs next if that line isn't drawn someplace and quick. In the 30's and 40's celebrities HAD their privacy. I'd really like to go back to that time. I believe these actors deserve it. They don't deserve their lives spread across the internet just like my life shouldn't be slammed across in the same way. We all deserve our privacy. I have a stalker. I think the moment that you experience one you will never quite understand the total lack of privacy and the disgust this makes you feel. You have no control of these sick people. The least we can do is not add to an already sick nation of fan stalkers.")
  • comment by doll paparazzi ("Scott Bakula...of Quantum Leap and Enterprise fame warned people that NO ONE was to write ANY slash about him or else he would sue. I think he has every right. I believe he actually did take someone to court and won. Of course, he's got bigger lawyers than some tiny little fangirl in Des Moines.")
  • comment by speshulduck ("Where's Scott Bakula now? There's massive amounts of Archer/Reed, Archer/Tucker, Archer/Random Male Character fic out there at the moment, and I have yet to hear a single complaint out of him because of it. He's possibly the nicest actor Trek has ever hired, and I have a hard time believe he raised such a shit storm back during Quantum Leap. Is there any documentation I can go read, because I'm genuinely interested in how his personality has changed over the years. Who got sued, when, what was it over, the usual.")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("I'm a fan fiction history buff. I'm a Trekker. I've looked into the Quantum Leap fan fiction history. I collected fan fiction policies at one point. This has NEVER come up that I've heard before. The only Trek actor I've heard who tried or thought about trying anything was Shatner and that was to Trek FICTIONAL slash. The Bakula stuff, based on my own history and research, has no credibility. I can't find any credibility in the Bakula claim worth believing.")
  • comment by doll paprazzi (""Ponder this while you climb that moral high ground: if people weren't allowed to write down stories about immoral acts, most stories would not be committed to text, including The Bible." At least the Bible was trying to teach people. What is this shit trying to teach? How to waste your time reading it? I think I'd rather have my 30 minutes back, thank you very much. And I doubt it if any of this fiction is written even half as well as the bible. The stuff I've read, the people were lucky they spelled their own name correctly.")
  • comment by doll paparazzi ("I live in the US, I assume, so do you. We all have a firm grip on "Freedom of Speech" which is why I believe there is this knee jerk reaction of, "Well, _I_ don't agree with this sort of crap, but I don't want to restrict my OWN freedoms, so let's allow other idiots Freedoms to do whatever the fuck they want to." This is the problem with how society has devolved. If people thought for a moment in their minds that perhaps RAPE was somehow wrong, well, golly gee-whiz, maybe it wouldn't be on the internet. RAPE is against the law, it is a violent act no matter HOW you slice and dice it, is wrong, wouldn't show up anywhere. But people just don't seem to get it.")
  • comment by doll paparazzi ("You seem to be confusing writing about something with actually doing it. I don't. I'm pretty clear on the difference between fantasy and reality, thank you Pardon me. I was giving you the benefit of doubt. Perhaps that's why you do want to allow people to write RAPE so you in turn can do the same thing. Ah. That's different. This ALL makes sense now. No wonder you're afraid of being a hypocrite, because if you stopped them from having their little disgusting rape fantasies, then you would have to do that too. Gosh darn it! I will stop now and allow you to your own little fantasies then. Expect no more responses from me or respect. Again, my apolopies. I thought you were at least someone that had some sort of morals. Clearly I was mistaken.")
  • comment by rosedarktiger ("Engaging in reasoned argument is one thing. Saying that "I don't like green sweaters, therefore green sweaters are bad because I don't like them," is stupid, pointless, and a waste of everyone's time. But yes, she has a right to say it--I'm not arguing that. What I'm saying is that if RPS squicks you and you don't want to read it, I'm not going to argue with you, because that's perfectly fine with me. If you tell me that I'm wrong for doing it, I'm going to get annoyed, and go after you, and I'm probably going to bust out the "Bitch, please" and "What the shit is this?" icons. mercy_asukura certainly has the right to rant. But since this is a public forum, I also have the right to tell her that I think she's full of shit. The right to express your opinion does not come with the right not to be criticized for that opinion--and if that criticism gets heated, well...if you can't take the heat, then get the fuck off the Internet.")
  • comment by almostnever ("This has changed a lot in the last four or five years. Musician RPF reached a high enough profile that when Lord of the Rings came out, RPF about the LOTR actors was able to take off and get big without too many problems. I'm in LOTRIPS fandom myself and while it's less active now that the movies are over, it's still a busy and widely accepted fandom. Actorfic in general is more popular now, and still growing. Especially since traditional media fandom is also expanding in new and different ways. There are more than a few Harry Potter RPGs, for example, in which young fans write about original characters based on particular actors and celebrities, or even write AUs in which real celebrities live in the world of Harry Potter. I think the boundaries are getting very elastic for the current generation of fans.")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("This is true but not everywhere. RPF, ActorFic is still generally frowned upon from what I know in the Star Trek and Blake's 7 communities. It just really depends on the fan space you're in. :/ A lot of RPF is taking off... Actor, Political, Sports, Reality Television, Musician, Celebrity (Fan fiction based on the Pope is out there), historical figures(well as part of the fan fiction culture rather than as a literary genre, literary style)... And there is backlash against it and will continue to be. And people who don't like it just need to define their fan space to not allow it. People need to set their own boundaries. Define what they find acceptable. Then find or CREATE the space that does that.")
  • comment by alixii ("When we attack people merely for making universal ethical statements, something has gone wrong in fandom.")
  • comment by almostnever ("Hey man, you don't know where I'm coming from, so don't pass judgement on my moral relativism. In seriousness, I don't believe it's reasonable to make a universal ethical statement that it's wrong to write fiction about illegal or immoral acts. That's just nonsense. It's fiction. As for RPF, this whole post is full of people recounting reasons why it's not unethical, and there's a previous Fanthropology thread on the same topic, so I won't rehash yet again. Happy reading.")
  • comment by darkrosetiger ("Are you seriously trying to claim that actors have no idea that people fantasize about them? That they go into the business--and it is a business, make no mistake about it--and are shocked to realize that there are places on the Internet where they're being discussed? As an actor, you are selling yourself--or at least, an image of yourself. I find it funny that some fans seem to think that actors are too stupid to realize this....I'm always amused by the idea that the celebrities don't know, and that if they did, they'd surely be outraged. Guess what: they know. These are people whose jobs depend on them being objects of desire. As long as no one shoves it in their faces, however, they don't have to actively think about it or deal with it in any way. ")
  • comment by partly_bouncy ("How about minor league baseball players? Are they celebrities? Is runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, a celebrity? Is Cassandra Claire a celebrity? Is Anne Frank a celebrity? Are George Bush's daughters celebrities? What defines being a celebrity?")
  • comment by alixii ("Legally, most fanficced characters don't belong to their creators. Joss doesn't own Buffy; Fox does. Morally, I don't see why anyone has a right to the characters.")
  • comment by esorlehcar ("What amuses me about this argument is that it works just as well for character ficcers. It's just legimate when they do it, according to the anti-RPFers, because they find character fic perfectly justifiable and RPF abhorrent, therefore this is the only legitimate opinion anyone can have. Any actor who has a problem with character slash can be ignored, because s/he has no right to have a problem, because in the anti-RPSers own morality code, it's not wrong.")
  • comment by redpanda ("I have no problem with RPF. It's not real, it's just words, and anyone who might confuse it with reality is cracked in the head anyway. So no harm no foul. Sorry such a short answer, but there ya go. :)")