Westallen vs. Snowbarry
|ShipWar:||Westallen vs. Snowbarry|
|Date(s):||October 2014 — present|
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Westallen vs. Snowbarry is a ship war that originated in the Twitter and Tumblr fandoms of the CW series The Flash series between fans of two Barry Allen pairings: Barry Allen/Iris West (Westallen) and Barry Allen/Caitlin Snow (Snowbarry).
As soon as the Arrow spin-off was announced, the (comicsverse canon) Barry Allen/Iris West pairing became popular since it was revealed in one of the episodes that Barry Allen had appeared in on Arrow that he had secretly loved someone, whom fans inferred to be Iris West. It was again hinted who that person might be to Felicity Smoak, who was worried about him because he was in a coma (see Barry/Felicity for more).
However, with the release of the official trailer for the television series in May 2014, the pairing Barry Allen/Caitlin Snow also started to take off. This created tension with some Iris/Barry fans, either because they felt it wrong that people shipped Caitlin with Barry because Caitlin is a white woman and it could potentially erase the importance of the casting of Iris West as a woman of colour for the first time ever; because Caitlin was going to become Killer Frost (a villain in the comics); or because they did not find the ship credible.
There are also Snowbarry fans who like Iris or like the gen relationship between Barry & Iris or even a potential romantic relationship between them. This goes the same for Iris and Barry/Iris fans; some actually do like Caitlin Snow and the gen relationship between Barry & Caitlin. At times this has led to these shippers being accused of being indecisive or "copping out" by failing to pick a favourite ship.
The pairings Caitlin Snow/Ronnie Raymond and Iris West/Eddie Thawne are also sometimes affected by the controversy, since, in Season One, Iris is canonically in a relationship with Eddie Thawne, and Caitlin is still in love with Ronnie (her fiancé whom she believed to have died in the explosion, though later revealed to have become Firestorm).
Ultimately the Westallen vs. Snowbarry situation goes beyond being a simple ship war due to the entrenched racism in fandom, and the microaggressions and racist attitudes from fans, which largely go unacknowledged or are dismissed by white fans.
Racism & Misogynoir towards Iris West
In The Flash TV series, the character of Iris West is racebent from white (in the comics) to a POC, making Iris/Barry an interracial couple. Caitlin Snow, on the other hand was cast as white. After the premiere of the first episode, Snowbarry fans were accused of being racist on Tumblr and Twitter.
Candice Patton, the actress who portrays Iris West, has been subjected to a deluge of hate and racist attacks since her casting was announced (see: Iris_West#Racism), some of which has come from fans of Snowbarry. While many Westallen fans have said that they do not consider Snowbarry shippers (or the ship itself) to be inherently racist, they have criticised Snowbarry fans for tagging hate towards Iris/Candice Patton with #westallen and ignoring the behaviour of Snowbarry fans who have hurled racist attacks at Patton. However, some fans of Westallen have called Snowbarry a "racist ship" and accused Danielle Panabaker (the actress who portrays Caitlin Snow) of baiting it by saying that she would like the relationship to be explored on the show.
On Tumblr, a fan account called 'Flash Confessions' is actually used as a platform for racists to attack Candice Patton and Iris, while praising Panabaker and Caitlin Snow/Frost. The 'confessions' posted even go so far as to claim that Grant Gustin is unhappy with his show because of Patton. One argument that Westallen antishippers use to infer the invalidity of shipping Westallen is that they were raised as de facto siblings from age 10.
- Who Should I Ship? Barry & Iris OR Barry & Caitlin? by jbuffyangel
- Westallen or Snowbarry? by seeyouaroundtiger
- Confessions of a Conflicted Shipper: ‘The Flash’ – WestAllen or SnowBarry? at fangirlish.com
- Shipper Wars: The Flash by Woodley Adams
- Why I prefer olicity and thoughts on snowbarry and westallen by voldeeman
- Can people please stop with the “People who ship Snowbarry over Westallen are universally dirty awful racists” mindset? by rightintohervagenda
- The time where Grant Gustin called out Westallen shippers for sending he and Danielle hate on twitter by anon
Results of the Conflict
- On Tumblr, it was revealed that the user "westallen-bitches" was a troll that sent out hate. 
- Resolution Suggestion: #TheFlashHateReport
- Anon asks forever-erica Do you ship Barry and Iris or Barry and Caitlin more?, Archived version thread reblogged by blackgirlsparadiseNov 16th, 2014. See also So... Snowbarry vs. Westallen, Archived version tumblr post by 1-l-in-olicity on 16 October 2014 (accused of polluting the Westallen tag).
- I hate that people claim that I'm racist, Archived version tumblr post by duaedenateist on 10 October 2014; Snowbarry and Westallen, Archived version tumblr post by pinkmoos on 9 October 2014.
- Tumblr post by stavosacosta, published February 11, 2015. (Dead link) Archived via the Wayback Machine on July 5, 2016.
- Multiple examples can be found in this thread by softxiris: — candice patton deserves better series thread !
- The Flash CW Confessions
- See don't fucking tag your sb with westallen, Archived version tumblr conversation circa 12 January 2015, started with an anon ask answered by snow-bellarke-barry. snow-bellarke-barry revealed the truth about "westallen-bitches" (reblog by iriswest-allenreports, original post deleted, Archived version); some believe & support her and others feel it's a fake cover up.