I’m going to try and say something as fairly and politely as possible.
There is a lot of drama tonight in the tags about a joke a fan made that was not recieved well by Ashley and MK.
First things first, I understand that what was said was not meant to be harmful or mean at all, it was a joke.
However, I want you to also understand that this was a joke based on the assumed fact that Rachel dislikes the Darcy/Pemberly/Gigi storyline, and that the Lydia vlogs are in competition with the Lizzie vlogs.
Which is just Absolutely. Not. True.
And, when you think about it, a very offensive idea to Ashley, Mary Kate, and Rachel.
Ashley and MK are both leading ladies of two separate arcs going on at the same time, they’ve both put a lot of time and thought into this, they are both important for their characters, but they are not in competition at all. They are complementary. And considering that Ashley and MK are both very supportive of each other, and see each other as sisters, I imagine it is very upsetting to see people trying to put them in competition against each other. Also, Rachel gets a lot of crap about hating Darcy or Gigi from a few misunderstood ask replies or something, and she has several times corrected this to not be true and yet several people seem to persist in this idea that because Rachel loves Lydia and commonly writes most for her, she must hate all these other characters. Which is also offensive and tiresome to hear over and over.
So while it might have seemed like a harsh response, I don’t think it was a weird or inappropriate response when you put it into context. The entire joke was based on assumptions that are lies.
Could Ashley or MK have maybe handled their frustration better? They could have ignored it, maybe, but isn’t it natural to defend yourself and your friends, and to want to correct misconceptions when people are believing something that not only isn’t true but is also offensive to you? Could they have sent a private response? Yes, and maybe that would’ve been better, but that also depends on people’s tumblr settings.
Of course, people also didn’t need to screencap those responses and then reblog overanalyzing and overreacting to them without proper context.
The idea floating around that because they are involved with the show means they aren’t allowed to have opinions? Or that we need to judge them by a higher standard of conduct?
Listen, these are people. Normal freaking people like you and me. For all of these people it is their first time ever dealing with this much public observation of their every move. Our fans are crazy. And it’s great, they love it, we love it, to have everyone so involved and engaged. But people are watching every single thing they say or do that is public at all. Things that you or me would do and no one would notice probably— no, nothing they say is private.
Can you imagine that? Just imagine that for a second, that you’re going along in life and bam, suddenly every thing you say is read by people who don’t know you and don’t always have full context and they still jump in and form opinions or judgements about you.
Of course, of course they know that this is what comes with the life they’ve chosen. But remember this is also the first time it has happened for them. They are still learning how to ride these waters. Everyone who achieves “celebrity” status has to learn how to let things roll of their back, and learn where their personal lines are on what they can handle. it’s easier for some people than others, but you can’t avoid the fact that it’s a CRAP THING that people have to deal with, and that our culture makes our celebrities deal with. Just like it’s crap that celebrities have to deal with paparazzi, etc. invading their privacy. And it always leads them pulling back from being seen publicly, because you will always be misunderstood and misinterpreted.
The fact is there is one part of the LBD fandom that LOVES that creative team is actively involved and engaged with the fandom, replying to tweets and liking posts, etc. etc.
And then there is part of the fandom that hates having them in the tags, and feels like it’s not their place, because they think tumblr should be “safe” place to talk about their opinions and ideas about the show and that we the fans are the fandoms and creators don’t have a place.
Of course, this is what fandoms are usually like, because creators usually don’t have the time to be involved, because the fandoms are so big there’s no way to see anything.
However, it’s always drawing from the presumed security that you can say whatever you want about “creators” on the internet and they won’t see. Which stems from this idea that the internet adds a level of anonymity that means you can be an ass and be disrespectful in a way you would never be to someone’s face because it’s the internet and you can.
And it’s just not true. The internet does not mean you don’t have to continue to be respectful people. The internet does not mean that you can say whatever you want and be mean and cruel and hurtful and it’s okay.
Unfortunately, the internet is also a place where it is *very* easy to misread tone and have complete misunderstandings that spin out of control. So people who didn’t mean to offend will sometimes be offense. And people who meant to reply back nicely will be misunderstood. And things will be taken out of context and blown out of proportion.
And of course creators are allowed to have opinions on things. And of course they’re opinion isn’t gospel, but of course their opinion will probably often be better formed than someone else’s because they have more information and have had more time to think about it, because it’s their job.
None of the LBD crew is bullying anyone. I don’t think most of the LBD fandom is trying to be intentionally hurtful to the LBD creators. We need to all just stop and breathe.
And maybe watch this video.
Also, just remember that we are all beautiful people. And all flawed people. And all learning and growing.
Hmm… sounds a bit like a favorite webseries I know….