Vampire Diaries & Originals’ Combat Trolls in Fandom.
The Vampire Diaries & Originals’ fandom has been under the spotlight for some time regarding hate and bullying. Hate extends to fans within the fandom and actors/writers of both shows. The ongoing cycle has prompted fans to come together and stop the trolls from attacking their actors/writers and their fandoms. Leah Pipes and her character (Camille O’Donnell) sparks a vengeful troll, which pitted fandoms against fandoms and attacked other actors/writers of the both shows this weekend. A WetPaint article seems to think the hate is coming from a general sense of all Klaroline and Klayley fans not liking Leah or her character Cami. What the article left out was the coming together of all three fandoms to shut down the trolls. So here is my breakdown, but Frist a little guide to fandoms and shipping.
Actor vs. Character Hate
When you are in a fandom, and you have a passion for a particular TV show, some characters just don’t make the storyline flow or if they do make it flow you begin a love-hate relationship with the character. Game of Thrones is a good example of this; characters get threats/wishes from the fandom each airing of the show. However, what people have to look at is the context of the tweet. So if you have someone saying that they want the character killed, or they only ship them with death, you have to remember this is a story and fictional characters. So wishing death on a character or being pleased by a character’s death is not bullying or sending death threats.
Now if you tweet an actor saying you want them to die, that is a death threat on the actor, which is a real person. This is bullying and sending threats period nothing is an exceptional to this rule, and if you do it, you are wrong.
Know Your Enemy
One of the most common things in fandoms is blaming entire fandoms for the act of a single troll. This only feeds the troll and gives them what they want. So generalizing millions of people over a few is not the way to go. This sparks profiling and attacks on people who have nothing to do with hate or sending actors death threats. What is does is start an uproar within fandoms because let’s face it. If someone is accusing you of something you do not do, you will take that as a personal attack on what you like and what your opinion may be. So I ask that anyone that receives hate, please single out that person, so as a whole we can shut them down. Blaming entire fandoms is not the way to go but only fuels it. Julie Plec brought up this very point this weekend.
Which leads me to all celebrities in Twitterverse, please be mindful of your words. People admire you. So encrypted messages can go either way when it comes to very personal subjects. Not saying you owe the fans anything, but just remember fans that love you will take up for you. Make sure that they are taking up for you towards the right person/subject. Words do matter, and that goes for both actors and their supporters. This does not mean actors/writers have to walk on eggshells or gives anybody the right to criticize them for doing it. It just means these people have a larger voice and fans listen.
One Multiplies to Many
What Leah Pipes experienced is beyond terrifying, I cannot imagine waking up to news like that. However, Leah is not the first actor/writer in the Vampire Diaries/Originals’ fandom that this has happened too. Kat Graham has received numerous racial hate tweets, this, in fact, has been going on for a couple of years now. I find it alarming that none of the show runners have brought this up or addressed it. The Star Wars Franchise had to address racial hate just this week. Joseph Morgan (Klaus Mikaelson) received much hate multiple times throughout his time on both shows. Just recently at EyeCon, the actor stated his opinions on ships and what he thought would be a good endgame. Once Joseph talked about Klaroline twitter lite up with hate towards him. Candice Accola King became involved with hate this weekend, with a troll wishing unnamable horrors towards the actress. Why? The troll announced they did it because of the hate Leah Pipes was receiving. Which this has not been the first time Candice (Caroline Forbes) has received messages of hate. This whole weekend, I witnessed fans from all fandoms: Klaroline, Klayley, Steroline, Delena, Stelena, Haylijah, Bamon and many more band together to report and block these trolls. A big thank you to all the fan sites who banded together to get the messages out. It is hard not to look at the message the troll is sending and even harder not to see what fandom they represent, but we must all remember that this is the purpose of the Troll. By bringing up the other examples of hate in this fandom in no way downplays what happen to Leah but brings up the bigger issues in this fandom and how one troll or many can cause fandoms to attack fandoms and send hate in honor of the other. This cycle as said by Julie Plec fuels everything and accomplishes nothing. So let us stop all the hate towards our fantastic actors/writers. We care for this fandom and in no tolerate hate.
I was also called out for not defending Leah but by protecting all other actors, and hate in general. I was called biased based on of my love for a ship, which was unfair and proof that this is what happens when fandoms blame fandoms. Moreover, it all started over a misinterpreted tweet that I should have clarified better, so this also goes back to being clear about the message you’re sending. Which I learned from my mistake and know see how it starts and could prompt to more hate.
So I fully support all of the actors/writers who get hate and stand up to it, but I also support all of the fandom members that receive hate because of their preference. Hate is hate, defending your favorite by hating on others is hate, sending ugly things about each other because they don’t like what you like is hate. It’s all just hate. So let’s think more about what words we use. Even if it is to defend something we love or somebody we admire, sending hate in a generalized way is wrong. I’ve met and talked with many fans of this fandom and overall they are passionate, talented and respectful people, and I care for all of them.