Have Fans Gone Too Far?

Posted on June 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Devin Faraci writes that “Fandom is Broken.” He compares today’s tweet-storming fans to the crazed Annie Wilkes of “Misery,” Kathy Bates’ Oscar-winning role, now a Broadway play about a fan so deranged that she holds the author hostage and hobbles him. Faraci writes about the furious fan reaction to changes like portraying Captain America as an undercover Hydra operative and the all-female “Ghostbuster.” And the New York Times has an article about Harry Potter fans who are upset — not thrilled — that author J.K. Rowling is expanding the story with a London theatrical production called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the upcoming prequel film.

Yes, fans go too far. They could remake “Ghostbusters” with a terrible all-male cast (Adam Sandler? Carrot Top?) or with dancing animated asterisks in the lead roles and it would still not affect in any way the original film. Social media makes it easy for trolls (some using multiple accounts) to put a lot of negative commentary online. But “fan” comes from “fanatic.” People spent their food money to buy tickets to hear Jenny Lind and thousands showed up for Rudolph Valentino’s wake. Maybe there is a current trend toward ownership of the object of fandom, and certainly nerd-style fandom is not considered as, well, nerdy anymore, but mostly I think it’s just louder because people have so many ways to spout off publicly.

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