I have been an engaged viewer since Hank posted episode one of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on his tumblr. I have not been the most active WITHIN the fandom, so I feel like what I have to say doesn’t hold as much weight as, say, prominent members of The Seahorses. However, I just participated actively in a giant headache of a hangout for three hours, and I’m more frustrated now than I was when I got online.
Should Bernie and the rest of the team listen to their fans? In my opinon, yes. Do they need to make sure they know what they’re doing before they do it to avoid errors in execution? Yes. But they do NOT need to cater to the fans’ every wishes. Particularly because there are a royal crapton of different opinions on what they should or shouldn’t be doing, and they are physically unable to make everyone happy. There’s a lot that I feel should be done differently with Emma Approved, particularly with transmedia, and I know there are people who will agree with me and people who won’t.
LIke I said, there is literally no way for them to make everyone happy. The diversity issue is enough of an indicator of that. There will always be people who will think it’s more fair to do casting calls for all races, and there will always be people who think it’s more fair to cast roles with the aim of a more diverse cast. They can’t make everyone happy, and it’s not black and white. There are pros and cons to every way they could possibly approach the situation.
The PD team is working in VERY new territory - that’s undeniable. The role the audience should play is, to me, still very uncertain. As a result, there are very engaged fans who feel they should be heard more than they currently are and that the fandom should be larger contributors to the universe. There are also fans who feel the creators are already doing more than they need to in regards to reaching out to the fans. I think this is something that will iron itself out as transmedia storytelling evolves. Hopefully.
I personally think there’s a better balance needed. Yes, PD needs to make sure they’re satisfying the people who have been supporting them. But they do nor owe their fans anything aside from Kickstarter perks. Bernie doesn’t have to read anything his fans write or hold any three-hour hangouts to respond to criticism that was often unnecessarily nasty.
Let’s talk about that for a sec. Unnecessary nastiness.
Stop calling someone’s carefully thought-out criticism “unedited snarky” just because you feel differently than they do.
Stop calling someone else’s carefully thought out response letter “ass-kissing” just because you feel differently than they do.
Stop invalidating people’s opinions about open-race casting versus for-race casting because they are or are not people of color.
Stop saying you want to punch people.
Stop calling members of your same fandom “fuckers” or “entitled” or “circle-jerkers”
Stop saying you want to kill people. It doesn’t matter how you meant it, it’s still a dick move. Just stop.
Stop airing private conversations on public social media just to shame someone.
Stop talking shit about someone online when you KNOW they can see what you’re saying.
Stop assuming your opinion is the only valid opinion.
Stop being rude when you don’t need to be.
Everyone was thanking Lauren for staying diplomatic. For not getting offensive and not getting defensive. Because everyone else was doing one of the two, myself included. But Lauren shouldn’t be the norm. We should all be able to voice our opinions without getting passive-agressive or straight-up aggressive or feeling like what we have to say matters more than what anyone else has to say. We all deserve to feel heard. Regardless of what Bernie is or is not covering, it feels really shitty to air something you have to say only to have someone else in the fandom shit all over you. I started commenting less because I was afraid people I don’t know would start ragging on me on their twitter accounts, and the fact that I felt that way really isn’t okay.
Whether or not you’re frustrated with Bernie is one thing. I am too, though probably less so than some other people. But if I were Bernie, I wouldn’t listen to fans who don’t even respect other fans, much less himself.
So go ahead. Be angry. You have every right to that. But you have no right to take that anger out on a fan who cares just as much about the series as you do just because they look through a different lens.