Slashcast Metachat: When Fangirls Get Angry

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Slashcast Metachat: When Fangirls Get Angry
Interviewer: Rachael (chaeche)
Interviewee: Diane Miller, Rose, Nic
Date(s): March 20, 2012
Medium: online transcript, podcast
Fandom(s): focus on Supernatural, Stargate SG-1, Harry Potter
External Links: online transcript; WebCite
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Slashcast Metachat: When Fangirls Get Angry is a chat with Diane Miller, Rose, and Nic. The interviewer is Rachael (chaeche).

It is a podcast at Slashcast and includes an online transcript.

For more in this series, see Slashcast Interview Series.

Intro

"Rachael: So that’s what we’re talking about today. Situations in which the creators, or the producers, the Powers That Be, for the series that drives your fandom make a decision that make you question whether or not it’s your fandom anymore or how you’re going to participate in it. So, um, I just want to ask everyone in the panel. Have you ever been truly irked by a situation in which producers have handled either a particular plot point or character in one your fandoms?"

Excerpts

Nic: In the past, um, I think the first, I tend to use the term “emotional devastation” where I walk away from a fandom because I can’t handle the fandom because its not my show anymore and that happened in the past for me with Stargate SG1 and then these days I’m watching Supernatural because I’m on that point, I’m hovering on the edge of “do I walk away” or “do I stick with it?”
Diane: Well, I’ve got to admit that – after my long stint in the Harry Potter fandom, I try to avoid getting too much into any other fandom because it was so emotional that I don’t know if I want to invest that into something else and so when I see myself getting too close and then getting a little pissed off about something, I tend to back away really quickly now. Its a little sad.
Rose: Well, I’m still all emotionally damaged and rageful about book seven in the Harry Potter series, but you know, when we all get together it sure gives us something to rage in common about.

Diane: Yeah, so this is - I know we’re all, a lot of us are emotionally damaged so this is kinda like a support group. Let’s talk about some movies, kind of famous situations that have brought this up and how fandom is reacted we can also add in other examples of this. Um, in terms of Harry Potter, big one that lots of people complain about is Remus’ whole storyline and this idea that Remus was this great symbolic character with his lycanthropy as a potentially gay character and he and Sirius had the joint Christmas present and then woah all of a sudden he’s with Tonks. So maybe you guys can talk alittle about how you reacted to that personally and how the fandom reacted.

Well for me I was thinking what are you talking, Rowling, because there’s nothing in the story to support Tonks and Remus being in love which is further shown in book seven when he’s all ready to leave Tonks and her baby to go running with Harry so I don’t really believe that they ever were in love that it was just kind of Rowling saying oh I got to make another pairing to make some people in love in my really dark depressing story. That I never took it to heart, I always thought that it was just some sort of you know side remark that she was making just to write some filler…
Rose: I kind of got the feeling that she was reading fanfic on the side and thought that she needed to fix what fans were doing with her characters.
Nic: Okay, the way I see it there were two points of outrage that were turning points of the fandom. The first was when Castiel was introduced and then the most recent one is when he’s been- well there’s no reason answer to that at the moment, “is he in the series anymore? Is he not?” Well, he’s certainly in there a lot less than he was and that’s broken a lot of fans’ hearts. But, what I think is interesting ….what happened at the end of season six because there’d been rumors and they were talking about, sorry, because of the plot you weren’t sure what was happening with the character. Was he going to be redeemed? And then the showrunnesr decided to release casting announcement that said that the actor would be back as regular the next season. So because of that a lot of fans were very relieved in thinking “okay, no matter what happens in this plot, they can fix the next season.” And then right after the season final aired they turned around and said. ”oh yeah, he’s not coming.” You can imagine the outrage in the fandom. We were told he was safe and then, I think it was what, three days later or something, he wasn’t there anymore. And that just- it broke trust between the fandom and the showrunners and that’s why a lot of fans are very hesitant to trust them right now....And I thin kas I was saying before it’s the breaking of trust. Like during season 5 and season 6 the show got really emotional, I still had my faith i the showrunners. But these days it’s just too many things have happened. And it’s got to that point I have to back away for my own emotional sanity.
Nic: I think they go with certain biases. Like they’ll have one small focal area of the fandom that they like to- make a support and then they realize that they’re pissing off the other section of the fandom but its where they see the support and this is where I’m thinking in about my experiences in Stargate because back then it was Sam and Jack versus Jack and Daniel. And I’m sure you can guess which pairing got the support from the showrunners: it was Sam and Jack. That was vaguely similar to what’s happening to Supernatural, there was too much interaction between showrunners and fans. We knew we were reading fanfic. We could see ideas from fic on the screen, not saying they were stolen from fic but everyone writes the same thing. And so in the end you just ended up with a whole lot of Jack/Daniel slashers getting so pissed off that they had to walk away from the show.
Rachael: I think Supernatural plays, I’ll throw out a theory, that they play the nice like vacillating card. Like they’ll have a few episodes where they’re very, and it’s sad that we all fight over who to ship Dean with but it’s like they’ll have a few episodes are very Dean/Cas and they’ll go back, they just sort of just like flip flop. I don’t know they’re very political. They should run for office. So I think we’ve covered a lot of really good examples of these situation where fans get angry and certainly a lot of fans do things like write letters or there was the “Save Castiel” campaign for Supernatural. I’m wondering if any of you guys have written any angry emails to the producers, made angry public posts, or otherwise spoken out about your rage?
Diane: Well I think part of my problem is that I accept that the story is the author’s or its alittle bit harder when you look at a tv show. Because a tv show is many different writers and many different contributions and its much ongoing than a book you know its huge chunk at once where as a tv series you get a whole bunch of little chunks every week. But when I’m looking at it, something that’s written by one author, “well that’s their creation and I’m not going to fault them for what they’re writing.” That’s why there is fandom. That’s why I go into fandom, because “well, that’s a great story. I like the concept. I like your characters. Now I’m gonna play with them on my own and have fun with them.” Especially if it’s a tv series and you know that they’re listening to their fans, then I can see how it would make sense to maybe you know make, put up a protest or write open letters or um, I don’t know, or start up a website where people can come and complain. That might spark some results. I’ve just never personally been into doing that.

Diane: That’s actually a great example of what happened to me in the middle of the Harry Potter series because I started out reading fanfiction in 2002 and that was between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix and I loved my fanfiction. I found this niche where I loved the way fandom was and I loved my characters and I wanted them to be this way and then the stories kept going, you know, the books kept coming and it diverged further and further away from my fandom characters and I eventually got so upset I just stopped reading altogether for over a year before I came back and finally started finding some good AUs again that I could enjoy because all of the new fanfiction that was canon just didn’t feel like fanfiction to me and didn’t resonate with me.

[snipped]

I think that’s what fandom is for, it’s for us to be to gather together and make the story our own so when canon’s not going right we have fandom for that and I always sort of think that girls who get overly emotional and squee about something can be alittle bit silly and I just think “oh, go have some fun in fandom and stop yelling at the canon,” you know. That’s why we’re here.