The Rise of Toxic Fandom (short documentary film)

seven

Sr Member
The actual "Toxic" people probably consists of 1% of entire fandom, and it's the media (with videos such as above) that is exacerbating this to appear to be a bigger problem than it really is. It's a tactic to automatically invalidate the oppositions argument without having to actually address it. Hollywood has been attacked by social media in the past regarding casting choices and how Hollywood depicts a particular culture and women. This is Hollywood (and the entertainment industry as a whole) jumping on the band wagon of the current trend of PC culture to rectify these criticisms. The trend goes like this "you're either for PC Culture, or you're a toxic, sexist, racist bigot" and the media will deliberately mislead everyone to support their character assassination of the fandom. This is happening everywhere, not just with movies and their audience.

Since the large majority of fans do not subscribe to this PC trend (in my opinion), we are blindsided when the (social) media attacks the fan base with these pre-programmed responses such as "Toxic". The media has found that all they have to do is use these trigger words and it automatically generates a response from people to rally behind them with support. We, the fans, need to realize that this attack from the Media on the fans is nothing more than a smear tactic not based on reality. If the media can paint fans with this broad brush as toxic, sexist, and racists then they neutralize valid criticisms from ALL fans automatically. Defending ourselves against these baseless allegations just falls on deaf ears. These attacks will continue to come our way, our best defense is not not buy into it.

RedletterMedia's Scientist Man made a youtube video addressing this very thing of the media vs reality after Ghostbusters was released.
 

DARTH ANIBAL

Sr Member
...I think that the biggest problems, problems that have always existed in fandoms, at least since I got involved in the 70s, is that far too many fans take their fandom way too seriously. Ultimately, the existence of fans with unhealthy obsessions for these properties is what actually causes the problems. And that's something a lot of people just don't want to talk about because they don't want to recognize that they, themselves, are the problem. It's fine to enjoy a particular property, it is not okay to subsume yourself into it to the point that it defines your existence. If that describes you, you have serious psychological problems and need professional help. And yes, that does describe a good portion of a lot of fandoms.

But this is something I recognized a very long time ago and it is one of the serious downsides of the Internet. Back in the old days, the video is right, people thought they were alone. And for some things, that was good. Because you notice that sexual predators and child pornographers really came into their own after the Internet, because all of a sudden, they're not alone, they're part of a thriving community online. Instead of thinking they're a freak that needs help, they now think they're normal because there are other people just like them to talk to. If you think you're really a Klingon and find 20 other people online who think they're Klingons, you're much less likely to seek the help that you desperately need.
So important to note. I agree so much with all of this.
 

oblagon

Sr Member
Never once had a positive experience?

That seems unlikely. Sure we have all had some bad experiences, but we've also had some good ones too, no?
Within the fandom groups nope. Too much politics, backstabbing, etc.
My experience in the 501st was the worst; had people calling saying they were going to rape my girlfriend at the time, screaming at me in public, etc. One guy came up to me and my friends at DragonCon and tried to start a fight out of nowhere.

Individuals are a different story. People I run into at cons to take pictures and the like are great.
 

oblagon

Sr Member
That's horrible, not to mention illegal.
Yup. It's a mob mentality in the local garrison. One of the craziest stories is there's a cop in the midwest garrison; he came up to me at Wizard World and offered a card that had a picture of him on it in costume. I said no thank you and that I don't collect the cards and that he should hold on to it to give to someone who does. His reaction was to threaten to beat the hell out of me and get the mob riled up saying how horrible of a human being I am. The mob in turn harassed me anytime they saw me wear my SW costumes at a con because they felt I shouldn't be allowed to wear them and of course threatened me.
Just another example of my experience with the "fans".
 

Psab keel

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It sounds like his authority as a cop has gone to his head and that in turn has translated into him convincing others he can get them to harass whoever he wants. I;m sorry you had such a horrible experience.

I can assure you that not every group within the fandom is like that. There will always be bad apples in any group, but that doesn't mean that the majority of people within that group are like that.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
Must be a large 1% then, as I've personally never had a positive experience within a fandom. Plus don't even get me started on the 501st.
The actual number of really toxic people are low, but they are the most vocal and most visible within the fandom. They're the ones you remember because they're the ones that are so obnoxious. You don't notice all the people who are just having a good time quietly and unobtrusively. You do notice the idiots screaming obscenities at newcomers.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
It sounds like his authority as a cop has gone to his head and that in turn has translated into him convincing others he can get them to harass whoever he wants. I;m sorry you had such a horrible experience.

I can assure you that not every group within the fandom is like that. There will always be bad apples in any group, but that doesn't mean that the majority of people within that group are like that.
The problem, and saying this here on the RPF might get some hatred, but the problem is that a lot of people who are hard-core costumers are also hard-core fanatics. It's fanatics that are the real issue and people who spend an inordinate amount of time involved with the fandom, rather than just having the fandom be part of their lives, they tend to be the fanatics. So if you're going to cons, spending lots of time costuming or around people who do, you're more likely to run into a higher percentage of fanatics. That's not to say that all costumers are crazy or even a large percentage, just that they tend to be, in my experience, much more likely to be on the crazed side of things. Just my opinion, of course.
 

DARTH ANIBAL

Sr Member
Yup. It's a mob mentality in the local garrison. One of the craziest stories is there's a cop in the midwest garrison; he came up to me at Wizard World and offered a card that had a picture of him on it in costume. I said no thank you and that I don't collect the cards and that he should hold on to it to give to someone who does. His reaction was to threaten to beat the hell out of me and get the mob riled up saying how horrible of a human being I am. The mob in turn harassed me anytime they saw me wear my SW costumes at a con because they felt I shouldn't be allowed to wear them and of course threatened me.
Just another example of my experience with the "fans".
Yeah, that's an example of someone who has no substantive "real life", outside of what should be just a hobby/pastime. I'm sure that attitude/mentality touches on all aspects of his life and definitely makes him a pretty crappy person, in general.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Master Member
Speaking of fan nuts, I had an ebay auction for SW figures. I think it was for a huge lot of various Battledroids and I threw Dengar in there because he didn't fit any other groups I was selling. I even made a joke about why Dengar was there, and said "Because Dengar goes where he wants!" So anyway some nutjob had to send me a message and rant about Dengar and why I was wrong to put him in there. :lol I mean, I get it, I know waaaaaay too much about SW too, but there's a point where maybe your family should have you checked out.

But hey I remember back when I was 12 and in the Boy Scouts and we had a patrol leader (which was another kid a year or two older) and he went on a power trip. He would call and b*tch you out for missing one meeting or something stupid. That caused the troop to disband because no one was not having fun. So it can happen anywhere.
 

Psab keel

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This year has got to be the worst year to be a Star Wars fan. Hands down. The. Worst. Just call rotten people out for what they are. Don't even acknowledge their fandom. The fact that we there are still articles coming out about these people just gives them the validation they need to keep acting like creeps.

These kinds of people don't want a dialog. They don't want to have their minds opened. They are just doing it to get a rise out of everyone and people keep falling for it like the boy who cried wolf. Eventually you have to just ignore this boy, he will tire of trying to fool people, and everyone moves on with their lives. Just because the internet gives nobodies a platform to shout from doesn't mean that we have to listen. The more people keep trying to call out these kinds of people, the more they will act out like racist, sexist assholes.

I know on the surface it seems counter intuitive, but that's what trolls and bullies do. They keep pushing and pushing because they get off on trying to get reactions out of people. How about WE stop acting so self righteous all the time by having to condemn these idiots and just let them shout until they tire themselves out like the immature little sewer children that they are? Unless there is a threat of physical violence, what happened to just having the quiet dignity to ignore bottom feeders and let them live in their own filth? Don't even give them the satisfaction in thinking their ideas are even worth considering by acknowledging their remarks. Though their words may be vile and evil, in the end they are just that, words.

Movies are supposed to be fun. Whether you love it or hate it, a movie is in the end JUST a movie.
 

Lear60man

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

oblagon

Sr Member
The article posted was just an excuse for a political rant.
With that said; organized SW fandom has always been toxic. The 501st justifies the horrible behavior that’s goes on because charity. Not to mention all the “you don’t know about that particular screw in that prop; you’re so stupid” attitudes in the SW fandoms.
 

alienscollection.com

Master Member
I dont agree with the link that you provided. The writer tried to connect bad writing with a political leanings. In IMHO, the script/Film was weak and boring. The plot was a slow speed chase and predictable. His objections were grabbing at the low hanging fruit. The plot was bad, end of story.

A good story will transcend all boundaries, IE Brokeback Mountain. This pile just sunk.
Totally agree. I added the article only to continue the discussion - there were a lot of points I'm not onboard with. And I don't think it's "Star Wars only" problem, but something that speaks to online behavior as a whole - which can be interesting, if not scary...
 

Cephus

Sr Member
I dont agree with the link that you provided. The writer tried to connect bad writing with a political leanings. In IMHO, the script/Film was weak and boring. The plot was a slow speed chase and predictable. His objections were grabbing at the low hanging fruit. The plot was bad, end of story.

A good story will transcend all boundaries, IE Brokeback Mountain. This pile just sunk.
But the problem is, the people who like the political agenda behind the movie will go to almost any length to defend the movie on that basis. Therefore, it can't be that it's a bad movie, it has to be political. The political polarization in this country has destroyed everything, nobody can talk because everyone is convinced everyone else is a Nazi. It's just pathetic.
 
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