Beautiful things, terrible things: ugly behavior in a lovely fandom

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I was struck by just how emotional people were talking about the film, talking about anticipating the film. With each question came a preamble about what the previous films have meant in people’s lives. So all cliches aside, it’s a really nice thing to be part of something that actually touches people, genuinely touches people. It’s quite a lovely thing. 

Martin Freeman in the press conference post TH panel at SDCC  Links to the transcripts can be found here:

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/07/19/59431-comic-con-hobbit-press-conference-transcript/

 

 

Richard and Andy Serkis sharing a good laugh at The Hobbit panel at Comic-Con. Photo courtesy of richardarmitagenet

 

 

As a part of the Richard Armitage fandom, Martin’s quote above really struck a chord with me. Because as part of that fandom, as a blogger, a fanfic writer and fanvid maker–and simply as an enthusiastic fangurl–I think it’s really nice to a part of a group that supports an immensely talented and thoroughly nice human being who actually, genuinely touches people. Touches them through his detailed and nuanced performances and by being the kind, gentle, generous, humble, funny, dedicated individual that he is.

There are many, many wonderful people within this fandom, who are also kind, gentle, generous and happy to see good things happen for fellow fans.  I truly treasure many of you as dear friends whom I would never have gotten to know were it not for Mr. Armitage.

Sadly, we aren’t all true friends and fans.  It came to my attention today that one of the most talented, creative and nicest people in the RA fan community has been the victim of attempted sabtotage, with someone contacting her workplace, attempting to cause trouble for her.

It’s one thing if you don’t like someone’s fan fiction, their fan videos or their blog postings  and feel the need to leave hurtful and nasty comments for them to read (under the cowardly cloak of anonymity, of course).

It’s incredibly childish and doesn’t say very flattering things about the individual who engages in such behavior, but we who have been the subjects of such maliciousness can live with that.

HOWEVER— WHEN YOU TAKE STEPS TO CAUSE SOMEONE TO LOSE PAYING WORK AND BLACKEN THEIR NAME AND REPUTATION WHILE YOU ARE AT IT . . . WHEN YOU ATTEMPT TO CAUSE TROUBLE FOR SOMEONE AT THEIR WORKPLACE AND POTENTIALLY ENDANGER THEIR LIVELIHOOD–YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR. 

Most of us are genuinely nice people who do not go looking for trouble.  We want to simply enjoy this fandom and remain positive, upbeat and supportive of one another and Richard Armitage’s career.  But this spitefulness, this envy, out-of-control jealousy and pure, unadulterated malice cannot be allowed to go on unchecked. Those of you who participate in such behavior need to be taught there are consequences for your actions.

I do not know what steps this other individual will choose to take. I do know she now feels she must make her tweets private because she feels too vulnerable to keep them public–and that is a darned shame. I know I shall not be sharing certain things–even really good news– on any public website or blog again. 

  You who are guilty of such contemptible behavior know who you are.  Just know  that some of us whom you have attempted to bully, intimidate, abuse and sabotage aren’t going to “go quietly.”

Frankly, you disgust me.  You are an ugly stain on an otherwise beautiful community in support of a beautiful human being.

 

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

50 responses »

  1. God bless you Angie and the other person who has been so disgustingly treated. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so very angry at the moment I cannot write more.

  2. After reading this I really needed to scroll back up and gaze upon Richard’s face, his beautiful smile, to help alleviate the bad taste in my mouth and the anger that this is happening again.
    Stay strong Angie, you have our support, both of you.

    • Tell me about it. 😦 I keep reminding myself there are still many wonderful folks in the fandom, that there are far more people who support us than who plot against us, but it’s amazing how the poisonous actions of a few individuals can cast a pall over things. If people would only treat others the way they themselves would wish to be treated and be happy for other’s successes, instead of letting jealousy and envy take root and take hold, well–things would be better. Thanks, Mezz.

  3. A great truth that I have learned and proved many times over is that what one puts out into the world whether it is good or bad makes its way right back to its source. When it returns to its source the impact is much greater than when it was sent out. This is a Universal Law that no one can escape. You reap what you sow in life, that is a great truth. There is a karmic debt being built up with each act of horror.

  4. This is simply horrible. I’m at a loss for words. 😦 My thoughts are with Heather. Hope she will be alright! What can this person possibly accuse her of? Being kind and generous and talented?

  5. I have no words to express adequately mu anger at this latest ‘intervention.’ Yours say it all :

    ” you disgust me. You are an ugly stain on an otherwise beautiful community in support of a beautiful human being.”

    This community, which I have loved since I found it, is indeed populated in the vast majority by wonderful,kind people who- as well as their support of Mr A-support and wish the best for each other. I cannot bear to think that poisonous actions of a a very few people can taint the community as a whole. Quite what is in the mind of the perpetrator[s] of these vile acts is beyond me.

    Heather has shared her talents with us all, how can someone do this to her? I hope she is OK. And you, too, fedora lady.

    I am still shocked at all of this.

    • It’s hard to wrap my head around people behaving in this manner. It is so contradictory to the way I was raised, as it is for Heather. I think we’ll be OK, but let’s say we are sadder but wiser for the experience. The acts of these people–the overwhelming jealousy they must feel, the malice they demonstrate–is very saddening.

  6. My heart goes out to Heather, and to you Angie. I understand, from a very personal perspective, what you are both experiencing. It happened to me in an on-line community that followed a certain musical group. All it takes is one person to believe they deserve more and you don’t deserve anything. (I can provide details, if need be.)

    I know, too, that community is a powerful entity, and can do so much good. If there is anything I can do to help you and Heather (and anyone else being bullied), please let me know. I may be new to RA’s community, but I’d like to do whatever I can.

    {{{hugs}}}

    • Yes, sadly, I think this sort of thing has happened repeatedly in various fandoms. I had hoped we wouldn’t see it here, but the crazies can pop up anywhere and jealousy can run rampant anywhere, I suppose. Thanks for your understanding and support.

  7. I’m anger and disgusted. Today Angie and HeathRA and tomorrow who ????
    What can we concretely do to stop that despicable bully ? Has anyone an idea ?

  8. Oh no, not again! Is it the same loser who did it to you? I hope Heather doesn’t loose her job. Some people have serious problems. This person must be an extremely jealous person. Whoever you are, you need to get some serious counseling. It’s just heartbreaking! My thought are with Heather and you too, Angie.

  9. Some people have serious problems which cause them to make problems for others (I once dated such a man). I hope that those affected will rise above it and remember that the good folks outnumber the bad, and not let their enthusiasm for their work or the fandom be dampened too much. Remember, complete strangers love your work and want you to succeed in all that you do!

  10. Crikey can’t beleive this is happening again and to Heather too. All of you ladies who write these blogs, videos, fanfiction etc are to my mind exceptionale people. You bring joy to us all and from one who hasn’t got the talent to do any of these my thoughts are with you both. Please don’t give up ladies don’t know what I would do without you I have made some really good friends just contecting with these blogs daily. Love to you both xx

    • Thanks, sweetheart. That’s the thing that keeps me going, is knowing you do make a positive impact in people’s lives through your creative efforts in spite of the efforts of certain nasty trolls out there. 😀

  11. I’m here, ready to support you and Heather in whatever way I can. You do so much, give us so much pleasure with all you create and share. This venomous deluded creature needs to be stopped before more damage is done. I hope there is legal recourse.

    • Thanks. I understand from a long talk with Heather that–thank goodness!–her employer was understanding about all this. Still, it NEVER should have happened in the first place.

      • Your right Angie, this never should have happened to either of you. Thank the Lord that Heather’s employer was understanding – and I mean that sincerely. When I think of all the good things you both do for us it makes my blood boil that someone would be so evil (the only word I can find to describe such behaviour) as to attempt to jeopardize someone’s livelihood – and in your case did – they have gone beyond the bounds of what is acceptable behaviour. Like Leigh, I believe these people need to be stopped in their tracks. There HAS to be more than a few laws they have broken.

  12. I am not sure of what exactly happened but I must say that I have no words. I am sorry for all of this negativity and mean-ness that is happening. This is not suppose to be so disheartening. This is suppose to be fun.

    • It is supposed to be fun, and most of the time, it is. Or I certainly wouldn’t still be here, not being a particular glutton for punishment. The problem is people are going beyond just being bullies and being negative. They are interfering with people’s lives, their jobs. That is disheartening indeed.

    • That’s it–to what purpose? Why should people behave in this manner except out of pure malice and spite and jealousy? Do they have some hope of running other RA fans out of the fandom so they can be the “queen bees?” Is this some kind of sick power play?

      On top of this horrible tragedy in Colorado—all those people dead and injured when all they were trying to do was enjoy a movie–it makes my outlook on man and womankind just a tad gloomy at present.

      • I just read your post on this Angie and I’m at a loss to know what is going on these days. What has caused people to act this way is beyond my comprehension. What comes next? Will moviegoers end up having to go through scanners like they have at airports?? The mind boggles while my heart aches.

        • It’s heartbreaking. People worry about fires in theatres, they never think about someone with smoke bombs and guns terrorizing them. It’s as if we all need to constantly look over our shoulders. That’s sad.

          • Heartbreaking and deeply disturbing… We are privileged to see some fine examples of humanity, and then this! So sad and so very puzzling to me, despite intellectual knowledge of how disturbed people can be.

            • That’s it for me–intellectually I can understand, I have a pretty extensive knowledge of abnormal pyschology–and yet, it all seems like such foreign behavior. It’s distressing.

  13. This is unbelievably disturbing and it angers me that another so-called fan has acted so maliciously. Do we need to start a legal defense fund to combat the psychos? It also saddens me to think that people will keep a wrap on good news, perhaps sharing only after the event has occurred (but apparently that isn’t even protection in this latest case, from what I can tell by the comments above). It is very upsetting that these attacks should happen within a fandom of a man who appears to be so kind and generous toward his fans and his colleagues, has an amazing work ethic, and who has on more than one occasion urged his fans to treat one another kindly and respectfully, to be peaceful and forgiving.

    • That is what is such bitter irony to me. That people who claim to be dedicated fans of Richard Armitage would behave in a manner so contrary to his own life philosophies, so completely opposite to what he urges us to do.

      • It is a bitter irony, isn’t it? And as much as I try to be extra forgiving, I don’t think that means we should not be looking to defend you, Heather, and other victims of this threat.

  14. @asilomar11 – your last sentence says it all. My thoughts exactly. I would never have believed that such conduct would rear it’s ugly head amongst those who purport to be “fans” of his, but I guess I was sadly very naive.

  15. I am so sorry that you and Heather have been attacked so viciously and unfairly. I am one of the, I am sure, enormous number of fans of RA out there in cyberspace, fans who really love and appreciate first the caring, then the talent, and the work you all do to express yourselves, and to spread the word about RA and his acting. We might not comment or blog or sign up for anything, but we are present and watching. Ever since the day that I so serendipidously stumbled upon North & South, my world, and my perspective, understanding, and appreciation of the world I live in, has changed for the better. You and Heather and the others make this happen for me. I visit daily, always amazed, surprised, touched, tickled, stirred in some way by something new and pleasing.

    However, I have lived long enough to learn that anyone who stands up and openly tells their truth, no matter what form this may take, in an open forum, can expect unfairness, criticism, abuse, or worse. No matter how much good you may be doing. I am reminded of a comment RA made somewhere, saying that he no longer reads what people are saying about him because he forgets all the good, but remembers the bad. This made me feel awful, that such a wonderful person would be pushed to feel this way by others. Let’s hope he’ll hear plenty of good as a result of his performance in The Hobbit.

    Please don’t lose heart or keep quiet because of a few bad apples. You and Heather do have many friends whom you don’t know yet, and we love you!

    • Thanks so much, lynne. I have been touched by the number of people who were out there lurking who came forward to lend their support in all of this. It means a lot to us.

      I know I am very protective of Richard, and obviously everyone is not going to see him in the same light that we do, but it really bothers me when people disparage his talent or his character. He’s so talented, so hard working and such a nice guy, too. I am hoping he will hear “plenty of good,” too. 😀

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