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Toxic Fandom and Anti-Hero Protagonists

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Technology' started by Libertino, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Libertino

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    Are you a fan of a certain TV show, movie, or band that has a subset of fans and followers who are known for being a bit, well, toxic? How do you reconcile your fandom with that of others?

    This article outlines some ways in which fans of Rick & Morty (a show I happen to love) take identification with the show's titular anti-humanist, nihilistic protagonist too far:

    https://www.avclub.com/rick-and-morty-s-worst-fans-don-t-deserve-rick-and-mort-1818667256

    In other words, because Rick has as a nihilistic "I don't give a fuck" attitude toward killing and destroying things and is primarily shown to be an uncaring asshole who looks down on those who show any compassion, fans "mistakenly" put Rick on a pedestal and the result can be toxic (cited with examples of "dudebro" fans condemning the increase in the number of female writers on the show). One comment from the article: "they [these toxic fans] don’t mistakenly valorize assholes; they purposely valorize assholes because they are failed assholes and successful assholes are their icons".

    This issue comes up a lot with shows that have anti-heroes or otherwise awful people as protagonists: Breaking Bad, It's Always Sunny, South Park (Cartman). How do you delineate the difference between condemnation of the protagonist's amoral actions with liking their character? If fans "don't get it" and take things too far, does that ruin the [entertainment] for you?
     
    #1 Libertino, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  2. Connorcode

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    Ultimately, we apply suspension of disbelief to the shows we consume to enjoy them, because they can't happen.

    When people start to forget that the things Rick/Walter White/etc. do can't be allowed to happen, or pretend that it's okay for these things to happen, then the fun goes out of it for me.

    That's the thing with fiction: you can aspire to a character's qualities to an extent, but you can't admire their achievements, good or bad, because they're not real.
     
  3. Blackangel

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    This is like the 2 girls that killed their friend as a sacrifice to slender man. It's like telling ghost stories around a campfire. It's entertaining, but basically pointless. If you're dumb enough to believe in stuff like that, you deserve everything you bring down on yourself.
     
  4. GalleyGirl

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    That happens a bit with the deadpool fanbase. He can be quite rude, and make very lewd comments, which is funny. But deadpool's comments are never disrespectful towards women, or anything like that, and some members of the fanbase I'm told don't seem to quite get that. Thinking of deadpool as someone who's only interested in sex, which isn't true in both the comics and movie, deadpool only goes out with people he's serious about and is very considerate of their feelings. Moreover, the movie starts with him helping a girl get rid of her stalker for free because he feels sorry for her, in the comics he marries the queen of the dead (awesome), and has close female friends he trusts, is pansexual, and speaks fluent sign language (which he often uses for a clint's benefit- he was deaf in the comics). So I think it's fair to say people will often look for excuses to continue to be the way they are, and using their own interpretation of popular figures is just another excuse.
     
  5. anonym00se

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    I'm not an asshole per se, but I'm definitely the cancerous part of the Rick and Morty fandom now >.>

    I don't do musical.lys tho so I'm not THAAAAAT cancerous >.>
     
  6. Jinkies

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    Well, I'm a homestuck. Sooo...
     
  7. 18breanna

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    Steven Universe got really bad. Like driving a little girl to attempt suicide. Because of an SU drawing. Not even exaggerating here. That actually happened. And they call themselves fans of a show that promotes love and acceptance?

    Also, Supernatural. Back when it was good I loved it, but people I guess thought it was a good idea to write fanfiction of the two actual, biological brothers in sexual situations.

    Pyrocynical covered that in one of his vids :frowning2: why does musical.ly exist?

    Also why...WHY do some sick people ship Rick x Morty...just thinking about that ship gives me hives.
     
  8. anonym00se

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    Oh GOD I hate that ship ;-;


    ps. I mean cancerous as in drawing fanart and (please don't judge me ;-; )... (please please please don't judge me ;----; )......



    god..

    please please PLEASE don't judge me I don't want to get shit for this I've already gotten so much shit for it I don't want any more shit


    ...i rp as rick or morty sometimes

    Welp, now you know. I'm pretty damn cancerous.
    i apologize for subjecting you to my cancerous ways ;<
     
  9. Creativemind

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    It depends on how far they go. I personally see nothing wrong with liking anti-heroes or straight out villains. The villain is always my favorite character, but I'm a sucker for anti-heroes too. Where I draw the line is when people start copying these acts in real life, as in throwing out violent or rape threats, cheering when real life people are dead in the news, etc.

    If that is the case, then it ruins entertainment for me.

    But....I think It's fine if it stays fantasy. I don't get offended if someone idolizes bad fictional characters, and even their bad actions, as long as you know It's a fantasy and that these acts should NEVER be repeated in real life. Sometimes it even helps people cope. For example, I became obsessed with my own villains during a time that I was going through horrible emotional abuse and developing violent urges toward others. Actually writing about fake violence and anger on paper is what prevented me from hurting a real person. It can be taken too far if you forget this is fictional, but for me, villains and anti-heroes are free therapy
     
    #9 Creativemind, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  10. Deinna

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    Most of the fandoms I'm in are awesome and people are kind towards each other, but man, the fandom of The 100 has gone downhill, since a lesbian character was killed one and a half years ago. (I admit, the death could have been handled better, but still.) I didn't like that character, so it didn't bother me, but a lot of people got upset and they still are. These people send death threats to the producer and everyone, who even tries to defend him or who say that Lexa (the character) wasn't that great in their opinion, are automatically homophobes and idiots. Nowadays I just keep my mouth shut, since every time I express my opinion about this subject, I get so much crap for it that I don't see the point anymore.

    Another thing about the same fandom is the ship wars. People are at each others throats just because they have different opinions on who should be with who. It's so annoying.
     
  11. Jinkies

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    I'll actually contribute to this topic for once.

    Yeah, it's actually a pet peeve of mine when people take a character who makes the same arguments as them, no matter the position, and they go "SEE? SEE? THAT'S WHAT I SAID. EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG" when they don't realize that said argument in a villain or anti-hero's perspective is supposed to be the argument being rebutted.

    The point of characters like Deadpool, Bojack, Rick, are that yes, you can be flawed in a great many ways, but there really are some things that fall past the point of any excuse. Even Stan Marsh is like this from time to time, and Kyle has to point that out.

    And then it comes to the point when it translates entirely into real life and it's not about the creation anymore.

    Before the Steven Universe fiasco, it was Homestuck that got the brunt of fandom hate because of some things that people did. For example, stealing entire bottles of Faygo. And yeah, I kinda get why. You want to be *in* that universe from time to time, and that's why we cosplay. But when play turns to crossing a legal line, that's when it needs to be dropped.
     
  12. Aussie792

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    I know it's not meant to be very deep (not every comedy cartoon can be Bojack Horseman) but Rick's character in Rick and Morty isn't totally developed; each episode feels like a reversion to a fairly blank slate. Because character development is minimal, his dickhead behaviour isn't really based on the (later-introduced) backstory of trauma so much as it's just a running joke without true cause or consequence and without representing anything meaningful. Because he's more or less just a really shitty person without much vulnerability for most of the show, that attracts a likewise shitty fan base, whose insecurities are assuaged by that depiction of a powerful, self-possessed cockhead.

    Part of the point of the show is that Rick is self-destructive and he's meant to be pitied. But it's not depicted in a way that always makes that clear. That's probably why Rick and Morty has a more vulgar fanbase than Bojack Horseman, another black comedy, but one whose characters have real, heartbreaking consequences for funny (and sometimes really unfunny) bad behaviour.

    The fan base kind of put me off, because I began to see more of what they liked in the show and less of what I enjoyed. So yeah, toxic fanbases can really make a show less fun to watch.
     
  13. kibou97

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    When it comes to toxic fan bases of games I either do like (ex: Kingdom Hearts) or games I used to like (ex: Sonic), I normally don't spend much time with the core fandom specifically because of how obnoxious and toxic the fans can get (passion is a very good thing to have about what you like, it's just important to not let that passion become too much and take you too far). Instead, I normally talk about it with other people I find online outside of where the core fanbase of something congregates and, if someone happens to like that something, I'll try and talk with those people about it since, for the most part, those people seem to be more tolerant of other people's viewpoints.
     
    #13 kibou97, Dec 20, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017