|Also Known As:|
|Occupation:||video essayist, YouTuber|
|Medium:||Youtube, video essays|
|Official Website(s):||YouTube Channel, Twitter|
|On Fanlore:||Related pages|
Sarah Z is a Canadian video essayist and YouTuber who creates videos focused on media criticism and fandom histories, the latter being tailored for a primarily non-fannish audience. While not all of her videos about fandom are related to her own fandom history, she is herself a fan and has frequently discussed her time in Tumblr-based Supernatural and BBC Sherlock fandom.
Many of Sarah Z's video essays comment on or detail the history of some aspect of fandom, especially (but not exclusively) Tumblr fandom. Some of these essays include:
- Tumblr's Strangest Obsession: A History of the Onceler Fandom, a video which - as the title suggests - details some of the history of Tumblr's Onceler fandom.
- Tumblr's Greatest Conspiracy: The Story of TJLC, an essay on the history of TJLC and some of its biggest proponents. Sarah Z uses fake names for the fans under discussion in order to obscure their fannish (and other) identities.
- Tumblr's Failed Convention: The Story of Dashcon, a history of Dashcon from Sarah Z's perspective as someone who was active in Tumblr fandom at the time of the con.
- The Supernatural Finale Aired, And Tumblr Exploded, a video which attempted to explain the events of Destielgate, despite some of these events unfolding during the episode's scripting or production.
- Two videos related to My Immortal:
- The Mystery Behind The World's Worst Fanfiction, which discusses the fic itself.
- The 'Author' Of My Immortal Emailed Me, And Then It Got Weirder, a deep dive into the fannish history of a person who emailed Sarah Z falsely claiming to have written My Immortal.
- A Brief History of Homestuck, co-written with Lady Emily, a two-hour long retrospective on the Homestuck fandom.
Responses from other fans
- A Brief History of Homestuck
I'm not going to speak to Sarah's character or past videos, but the latter third was a salient indictment of the way people at the top of this fan community have been acting. I agree with basically the whole thing.
Funk McLovin on Twitter.
so Sarah Z's Homestuck video is... really bad? wow that was really bad and extremely disappointing
Callidora on Twitter.
Proshippers vs Antis controversy
When Sarah posted her video Fandom's Biggest Controversy: Proshippers vs Antis in August 2021, some viewers were so outraged that she wound up trending on Twitter. Some commentators felt they already knew Sarah's views on antishippers and proshippers prior to the video; for example, in a few discussions on Fail-Fandomanon in response to the video, anons asserted that Sarah had been involved in wank and subsequently harassed by a group of self-identified proshippers (rainbow meats?), and that she concluded as a result that both sides were equally bad. Sarah herself later said that these assertions (and assumptions) were untrue. While fans on various platforms discussed the merits and shortcomings of the video itself, there were reports that proshippers on Twitter harassed Sarah Z and her editor.
While many people enjoyed the video and defended it as nuanced, others criticized it for bothsidesism and perceived misrepresentation of anti-shipping as just one side in a debate rather than a legacy of harassment:
the difference between proshippers and antis that sarah z fails to see is that proshippers emerged as a result of anti harassment, and are so hostile because they’re traumatized. they are not two equal groups. one came first. but she’s biased because she’s been harassed.
Sarah Z's recent video was a mess. If you're actually involved in that space of fandom and know what's actually going on, its so painfully obvious that she didn't do her research OR is extremely biased. People are not mad at her for "calling them out", they're mad because-She just ignored the abuse people have been facing for years. When this was pointed out, she got mad because the facts didn't point in the direction she wanted.
One side: thinks it's okay to send death threats over fictionBut how, though??
The other: wants people to be free to make art without being harassed or threatened
"Wow, these positions are EQUALLY wrong!"
The video was discussed on fail_fandomanon here. One anon commented, "approaching the anti discourse as if it were a slap fight between antis and proshippers is a mistake. Proshippers rose as a response to antis, a fact that often gets lost in these discussions. While I understand that the conflict may appear to be between two sides, treating it like a ship war is going to erase a lot of nuance and, IMO, miss the whole point of why antis harass people in the first place, as well as how the proshipper's attitudes and behavior developed." warlock4warlock also discussed the video and made similar points. One anon commented, "individual proshippers might be horrible but antis all share a fucked up ideology that promotes bullying".
A smaller group took offense to her "as a tax-paying adult woman" remark when she explained how she responded to people asking if she was a pro-shipper or anti-shipper, citing it as hurtful and ableist towards disabled adults who could not work and thus did not pay taxes.
- Tweet by Sarah Z noting that her video was already out of date only hours after it was posted, thanks to the Italian dub being confirmed as a fake. (accessed January 14, 2021) (archive link)
- tweet thread by birdfvckr, Archived version, 17 Aug 2021.
- As discussed on fail_fandomanon: Re: Social Media - Sarah Z, Archived version, 2021-03-15. Re: Social media - Sarah Z and proshippers vs antis contd., Archived version, 2021-03-16.
- Post by Sarah Z (dingdongyouarewrong) Archived version on Tumblr (Mar 30, 2023).
- Sarah Z made a nuanced and sensible video about the problems with shipping wars so of course both "pro shippers" and "antis" are tearing into her right now., Archived version, tweet by DegenerateThing, Aug 19, 2021.
- tweet by taeilification, Archived version, Aug 19, 2021.
- tweet thread by AriDaSandwich, Archived version, Sep 1, 2021.
- tweet by fatal_drum, Aug 18, 2021.
- Re: Youtube - Sarah Z Anti Video, Archived version, 2021-08-17.
- Re: tw suicide, homophobia, Archived version, 2021-08-17.