Fan or Fanatic
Fandoms have crossed a line. Actually I really shouldn’t say fandoms, it’s the fans that have gone too far. Breaking into YouTubers homes, shooting up video game tournaments, bullying celebrities because you hate their characters, casting characters based on antiquated ideals, the list goes on of how fans have crossed the line into crazed fanatics.
None of this is okay. It needs to stop.
There are enough examples of fans going too far to make it an issue. Look at Star Wars fans. It’s one thing to start a campaign to remake a not so great movie. It’s another to cyber bully not one but several different actors from the series, most notably Kelly Tran (Rose Tico), Hayden Frye (Anakin Skywalker), and Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks). I do not fault fans for hating those characters. In many ways they were all annoying and obnoxious. I draw the line when these stars contemplate suicide because of all the hate. Kelly in early 2018 deleted her Instagram because of the abuse. Disliking a character and bullying an actor are completely different things. No person has any right to do that unless the actor is on r/roastme on Reddit. I do not think any Star Wars fan would turn down an opportunity to be in a movie, even if they were ten times as annoying as an Ewok. Bullying anyone is not acceptable for any reason.
Stalking and breaking into celebrities houses definitely crosses that fan to fanatic line. I really do not care if they are a YouTuber or not, fans need to learn restraint. January 26, 2018 Gavin Free of Rooster Teeth and Slow Mo Guys on YouTube, had his house broken into. Gavin and his girlfriend Meg Turney has to hide in the closet from a fan with a gun. The fan had shot the front door open and was looking for the couple. Reports say the intruder had an obsession with Meg and wanted to kill Gavin. The police stopped the fan when they arrived. Once again a fan has taken it too far and become a fanatic.
My last example hits a bit closer to home. It happened on the WetheGeek Facebook page. A long time supporter of WetheGeek content posted some very aggressive and negative comments about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor on the hit show Doctor Who. Disagreeing is fine and we encourage healthy debate on our pages. But the comments and actions that were taken by the fan were sexist and unacceptable. WetheGeek had to change rules and policies because of the interaction. Not because the staff handled it inappropriately but because the reality is it will probably happen again.
These are just a few examples of fans going too far. The list goes on and it hurts knowing fans can become so toxic. People need to realize that change is okay.
I’m even guilty of taking a fandom too far. I was very much opposed to the replacement of Tony Stark in Marvel Comics in 2016 by Iron Heart. But then I read the comics and realized what potential the comics had and hopefully a spot in the MCU.
If we are willing to see change as a positive over a negative it makes things a lot better for fans and creators alike.
Be a fan. Not a fanatic.