Dear fellow fandom fanatics,
We live in a generation where the media has infiltrated our daily lives. From TV shows to YouTube videos to movies, we are living in a time where the media consumes us. It’s only understandable that as most of what we see is the media, sometimes, we may get emotionally involved in what we see.
Whether that be through television shows, movies, magazines or just the daily lives of many Hollywood stars. Some of us fans can get a bit overly involved due to our passion for the shows or our interest in the romantic ‘ships’ within the fandoms.
Yet, when we tend to be a little too invested, the line between fandom and reality starts to blur. It’s great to ship Merder with a passion. It’s not so great to go on Twitter and bombard Shonda Rhimes with tweets full of threats for not making Merder endgame.
I, myself, am part of many different fandoms. One of them include ‘Scandal’, which was created by Shonda Rhimes. Recently on Twitter, I came across a bit of a fandom issue within Scandal. The biggest ship in ‘Scandal’ is Olitz (Olivia Pope portrayed by Kerry Washington and Fitzgerald Grant portrayed by Tony Goldwyn). Many fans ship Olitz. Heck, I do, as well. However, some of the fans also ship the actors Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn off screen.
You can ship whoever you want. I still think Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s breakup was unimaginable. That’s my opinion. So I understood that some people may think that Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn were meant to be.
But, there is a line between shipping and imposing your fantasies onto people who don’t exist the same way that you imagine them to exist in your mind. During the Vulture Festival, which took place on November 18th of 2017, the Scandal cast attended a panel to discuss the ending of Scandal and other pertinent topics.
During and after the panel, many fans of Scandal went on Twitter to complain that certain cast members were in the way of the relationship between Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn. Some fans proceeded to bash on a fellow actress in the show by saying that she was ‘thirsty’ for Tony Goldwyn.
The thing that many fans should have kept in mind is that Kerry Washington is happily married as well as Tony Goldwyn. Yet, not to each other. They have children of their own. Families. They live normal lives other than the fact that their faces are plastered on billboards and revolve around the television screens.
First, we should all entertain respect for the actors. They are not zoo animals to be ogled at. They are just people with jobs. Their acting is their jobs. They get paid to be in the on screen relationship that some fans may passionately ship.
But when the working day is done, they are still people who go home to their families and lead their separate lives. They don’t need our over speculation on their Twitter mentions. They deserve our respect.
Secondly, I was shocked by the mean tweets about the ‘Scandal’ vulture festival regarding the other actress. Primarily because some fans seemed to be blowing things out of proportion and making absurd remarks about a talented actress because she sat in between their main shipped couples.
We watch our favorite fandoms unfold behind a screen. In turn, we communicate with others in the fandoms behind a screen. Those who may take things a wee bit too far threaten actors/directors behind a screen.
Shouldn’t we remember that giving them respect is not a privilege we extend towards them? It’s what they deserve, the same way that we fans deserve respect as well. How can we expect our favorite Hollywood stars to respect us if we can’t extend the same courtesy back to them?
There is a very thin line between fantasy and reality, and I hope that we all beware of crossing that line.