Real World Events in Fanworks
|Related terms:||Historical AU|
|See also:||Race and Fandom, Social Justice|
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Some fanworks focus on a contemporary or historical real world event, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks or other tragedies. These are typically viewed with near-universal negativity or at least a great deal of controversy.
American Slavery in Fanworks
Hamilton (musical) fandom generated much controversy due to its rewriting of real-world historical figures, which involved changes to represent "American Now." The musical casted people of color to play historical figures who were white, and it was common practice within Hamilton fandom, like any fandom, to have different headcanons about characters' identities, and to diverge further in AUs. Controversy grew over the distinction, and lack thereof, between the canon of the musical and real world history. Specific issues are whether or not fans were properly separating the musical characters from their historical bases, whether or not separating them is truly possible, and if the fandom or the musical romanticized or minimized historical atrocities. See Hamilton Controversy.
This controversy is exemplified by ask-crammaster-ham, a Modern AU ask blog which created character sheets for its reimaginings of the Hamilton characters. The Thomas Jefferson character sheet was spread, mocked, and criticized, becoming known as "weeaboo drug dealer Thomas Jefferson."
Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and WWII in Fanworks
Many pieces of media are canonically set during this period, while others are not but people make Historical AUs about them. The Hetalia fandom is notorious for its Nazi imagery, as one of the main characters is a gijinka of Nazi Germany. Cosplayers have been known to do Nazi salutes for photographs.
One edited photo posted on DeviantArt showing Rainbow Dash, a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic character, during the Holocaust was shown in many cringe compilations and also mocked widely on reddit. The My Little Pony fandom also has a fancharacter called Aryanne with a swastika cutie mark.
An animash screencap posted on Outofcontextanimash depicting edited versions of Kiara from The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride and Bambi from the Disney film in a Holocaust setting caused some outrage and confusion on tumblr.
The AIDs Crisis in Fanworks
9/11 in Fanworks
After 9/11, many young people made "9/11 tributes" with their favorite characters. These were also widely mocked for being insensitive. They were common in the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom and were often parodied. There are also a number of animash videos with 9/11 as a theme.
Some The Hunchback of Notre Dame fans made tributes or spoofs about the church when it was burning.
Examples of controversial fics.
- The J2 Haiti Fic
- Nisay, a 2007 J2 story set in Cambodia, albeit well after the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. ("The Killing Fields story"), which was modified after criticism of the story.
- College Boys and High School Girls
Can fics about real world events be done respectfully?
- tevere's Generation Kill story set in East Timor, Sixteen Days in September. This story was used as an example of how fanfic, even slash fanfic, can be set in these kinds of times and places without the problematic results of the Haiti fic. Tevere posted the meta essay Fanfic as a Vehicle to discuss her story, the Haiti story and the "interesting part of the discussion around this story is the ongoing conversation on whether or not fanfiction -- as opposed to original fiction -- is ever an appropriate vehicle for the exploration of real-life natural or man-made tragedies, particularly in non-white and post-colonial settings."
Charity Zines and Other Fannish Fundraising
- History student is amazed by a holocaust photo with rainbow dash photoshopped into it Discussion on Reddit
- Aryanne on Know Your Meme
- here we go again post by Cambodian fan hesychasm reacting to "Nisay," 21 Oct 2007. (Accessed 4 Jan 2012)
- Comments about Nisay in bossymarmalade's journal, comparing it with the The J2 Haiti Fic: la_vie_noire's comment, June 14, 2010, and skywardprodigal's comment, June 14, 2010, accessed August 9, 2011
- "I tried dealing with the experience of visiting the Killing Fields with respect, I realize now that that wasn't enough, and has totally failed to work for some, especially those with personal connections to it. I'm sorry for that. I took the whole two paragraphs out now. As far as I'm concerned, that's the end of the story for me." From follow-up post by the author of "Nisay," 23 Oct 2007. (Accessed 4 Jan 2012)
- Sixteen Days in September, accessed August 9, 2011