"You are the audience! I am the author! I outrank you!"For various reasons, the creator of a work has fallen into disfavor with a part of their fandom. Maybe They Changed It, Now It Sucks, or a Creator's Pet has elbowed the Ensemble Darkhorse in the face one too many times, or the next book/film/series/blank is taking too damn long, and the fanbase haven't been shy about expressing their displeasure. But this creator is no one's punching bag, oh no. So up The Rant goes, usually via the creator's blog. Extra bonus points if it's a foreword or afterword for a different book. This very frequently overlaps into Creator Breakdown. Common sentiments include:
— Franz Liebkind, The Producers
- Don't Like, Don't Read
- You're Just Jealous
- Let's See YOU Do Better!
- "Most of my readers are nice, understanding people, but..."
- "The problem is my readers, not my writing."
- As Penny Arcade memorably put it (tongue in cheek), "You can't criticize it. It's not for you."
- The Ray Bradbury Defense; strongly not recommended.
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Anime and Manga
- One of the last episodes of Zan Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has Chiri and Jun breaking the fourth wall and responding to viewers' complaints about the series. All of their answers are to this effect, and the last advises the reader to enjoy Rebuild of Evangelion and other fine series.
- Tite Kubo released a couple of these on his Twitter sometime during early 2010 in response to fan complaints over the Seasonal Rot of Bleach. He even went as far as comparing said fans to children. Since it's a shonen manga, this may or may not have been intended as an insult. Upon being told by a fan that they could draw something better than Bleach:
Kubo: If you can draw something more interesting than Bleach, you should become a manga artist right away! If it is more interesting than Bleach it will definitely sell!
- Done at the beginning of Arkada's review of Neon Genesis Evangelion in reference to its hatedom. But it still didn't stop some Evangelion Fan Haters from commenting.
- Haven Paschall, the English voice actress of Serena in Pokémon, has stated that while she respects that some people prefer the Sub voices and couldn't please everyone, it can be irritating when people review the English cast's work with cruel comments while using anonymous screen names and asked that people considered what they were saying before commenting.
- After fans responded negatively to her run on Runaways and later writers decided to undo the more dramatic changes that she made, Kathryn Immonen responded by having almost the entire team killed during Age of Ultron. Naturally, this all took place in an alternate timeline, and thus after the Age of Ultron was undone, the Runaways were okay, but still...
- Marville: Bill Jemas accused fans of not making his series popular because they didn't buy it and didn't understand it. The fact he was badly losing a bet made with Peter David didn't help his mood.
- Lynn Johnston of For Better or for Worse became known for this in The Comics Curmudgeon fandom, after they started voicing their opinions about Anthony.
- Bruce Tinsley of Mallard Fillmore engages in this from time to time, though it's not clear if he's actually addressing any actual letters or simply people he has invented out of thin air to address criticisms of his strip.
- After Lisa died in Tom Batiuk's Funky Winkerbean, numerous fans issued their displeasure with the long, drawn-out death of one of the main characters, with whom they sympathized despite the fact that she seemed to be the Butt-Monkey of the universe (but then again, that seems to be common in this comic). Following said criticisms, the author has made numerous Take Thats to his disapproving fanbase in his comics, including most making a strawman group out of their ideals and basically telling them where they can stick their opinions.
- Possibly related is a Crankshaft strip where Crankshaft is being a grumpy old man (again) and finishes his rant by saying that "the comics page is supposed to be funny." This is actually kind of a fascinating (not really) look at the mind of the two strips' mutual creator; apparently, he thinks that people ought to think this stuff is funny automatically.
- Gary Larson parodied this phenomenon in The Pre-History of the Far Side:
And, finally, my response to all those who took the time to register their complaints:[drawing of a man stretching his mouth and sticking out his tongue.]
- 9 Chickweed Lane and Pibgorn creator Brooke McEldowny did this via an FAQ section where he insulted both the hypothetical negative reader for daring to interpret his feminist character as a Straw Feminist and the fan who suggested making an FAQ section ("sometimes they have good ideas").
- Comic Strip "Crock" wrote this in response to The Comics Curmudgeon riffing it. Though the insult and Josh's witty comeback becomes Harsher in Hindsight once realizing that Crock's author died five days later.
- Infamously, Scott Adams used a Sock Puppet to post on online forums and engage with critics of his work, arguing that if you didn't understand Scott Adams, it's because you're an idiot and he's a genius. Once he got busted, he claimed a "Just Joking" Justification.
- The "Author's Note" for My Inner Life by "Link’s Queen" is mostly this. It goes on for three pages.
- Any and all authors notes in My Immortal, some of which can get a little on the long side, are full of Tara Gilesbie ranting at the reviewers who are criticizing her story.
- The top fanfic writer for The Lion King, ThatPersonYouMightKnow, hates trolls. If they make him snap, they can expect an angry message.
- Nimbus Llewelyn author of Child of the Storm and The Wizard in the Shadows, is usually fairly polite and more than happy to answer questions, in Author's Notes in the case of anonymous reviewers. However, he sometimes gets snappish, usually at someone demanding an update or someone asking a stupid question. Not merely a question that's already been answered (unless it's been answered several times already), but one that's downright stupid.
- Repeated stupid questions seem to cheese him off even more, as can be observed by the responses to one persistent anon who went by 'newboy', which got steadily more and more irritable. Since this went on for over forty chapters and the anon ignored repeated requests to get an account so the debate could take some place outside of the now rather lengthy Author's Notes, this isn't entirely surprising.
- He also became incredibly irritated when, judging by the A/N, reviewers copy-pasted bits of the Marvel Wiki into reviews. As this is an author who clearly does research into every aspect of his story, it's understandable that reviewers assuming that he wasn't familiar with the canon was a Berserk Button.
- In the Warrior Cats Troll Fic StarKitsProphcy, the author frequently insults her readers for giving her bad reviews.
- In another Warrior Cats Troll Fic called Hidden Prophices, a character named after a frequent negative reviewer randomly was murdered in one chapter. Also, the author insults negative reviewers directly.
- The poorly written author's notes at the beginning of each chapter in My Immortal are quite a treat. Tara will yell at the reader to stop "flaming" in response to the vast number of negative reviews it gets, going so far as to call the reviewers "gay fags" and threatening to slit her wrists if people don't give her "tin god revows"
- The Prayer Warriors has the author bashing his critics, often saying that they will go to Hell for "mocking" him.
(from Chapter 10): Stop reviewing my great story if you hate it. You will burn in hell anyway! There is not point in trying to save you at all for you have ben corrupted by powers of evol, and that is Satan! And no Stan, I have no idea what that is. Only review this story if there is something good to say or that you agree with every I say. All the rest of you are sick! You should not allow such evil things such as gays, women in power, and people that are crippled in the minds.
- One that raised a good point occurs in Total Drama Island fanfic Cheer Up Emo Girl. Bridgette is raped by a female OC named Brittney, and it was intended to be taken as seriously as male-on-female rape. However, most of the reviewers didn't find the scene to be a rape. Every single review that referenced that scene called it hot, and suggested a threesome take place between Bridgette, Brittney, and Bridgette's then-boyfriend. This resulted in a rather scathing author's note at the beginning of the next chapter, lashing out at the people who wrote this commenting that had the OC been a man, they would have called him a monster. To the author's credit, it is also stated that the "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization is not true as well.
- Mercilessly parodied in Supper Smash Bros Mishonh From God. The "author", Sara, frequently rants about the negative reception of her story, at one point threatening that her friend Lauren and brother Josh will physically assault the detractors. However, the fic is in fact a Troll Fic, and Sara is little more than a Straw Character who exists to be loathed and mocked. Unsurprisingly, this means that her rants on her negative readers make her appear even more immature and moronic.
- One such instance occurred in "IYCBEEE" with a reader criticizing the amount of gross humor and Meowth being put into an FiM story. The author's response was a calm, but blunt "Fuck off" and even MORE gross humor, making it also a case of Writer's Revolt.
- The well known Conversion Bureau author, Chatoyance, tended to insult critics and those who don't agree with her fanon.
- The author of In This World and the Next, Knowledge Is Power and many others, has a Dear Negative Reader as one of his rotating pool of predefined author's notes at the beginning of chapters.
- Dakari-King Mykan, author of My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, does have these once in a while, even telegraphing a certain chapter in the fifth season that he went through with Cadence's miscarriage, albeit not in the way Mykan wanted.
- On 1/5/10, George Lucas pulled this on the Star Wars fanbase... on The Daily Show, of all places.
- Kevin Smith famously stated that Jersey Girl wasn't "for critics", inspiring the Penny Arcade webcomic stated above. The odd thing is, he meant that rather differently than it is usually taken: he meant that he made the film upon having something of a personal crisis seeing his daughter grow up, critics be damned. Still counts, but not quite as dickish as some have made it out to be.
- Allegedly he debated fans on the View Askew board who reacted negatively to the news of Clerks II and pointed out that he had once stated that the sequel would never be made.
- He pulled a similar stunt after Cop Out garnered poor reviews. He lashed at critics for daring giving the film bad reviews after he had allowed them to see it for free, as if he expected them to give the movie a review based on how much it cost them rather than the film's actual quality.
- Kirk Cameron was fairly upset at the negative reviews of Saving Christmas and begged fans to improve the fan rating on Rotten Tomatoes to combat the bad critical reviews. Needless to say, this became a disaster, as the Audience Rating score fell from 94% to 63%. In other words, he attracted the attention of the general public, when previously only dyed-in-the-wool fans had been voting. It only got worse from there, it would then lose its 10% critic review bringing it to 0 and the audience rating continued to fall to 32% and it is now the Number 1 worst movie on IMDb, a list that includes many films from The Asylum.
- After Baywatch was released to negative critic reviews, Dwayne Johnson mocked the film's negative reviews in a few tweets.
- Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts isn't fond of CinemaSins, a sentiment best shown when he tweeted about their Critical Research Failure for the film, pointing out that among other things that the film stated that Skull Island can't be access by airplane and was only recently (in the film's universe, the 1970s) found by satellite and that they got a character confused with another. That said, he did also co-write and even appeared in the episode for the film on Honest Trailers.
- They've also managed to, according to their sin video against themselves, "piss off Rian Johnson and Damon Lindelof" who both posted angry tweets about their web show. At least Kevin Smith and Dane Cook are both on their side, even if they count THAT as a sin as well.
- Piers Anthony devoted a part of one of his author's notes to calling out a reader who'd made a nasty comment about him. In his defense, the kid had gone so far as to actually visit Anthony's house and trash the way it looked. This is hardly an isolated example; most of his "author's notes" are rather curmudgeonly rants and he freely admits to this (in the notes themselves, no less).
- Ray Bradbury allegedly provided a brief but memorable example:
- Laurell K. Hamilton's rant regarding people who actively state publicly that they hate her work is the Trope Namer.
- Self published author Jacqueline Howett had a spectacular meltdown on "Big Al's Books and Pals" after he criticized the numerous grammatical and spelling errors in his review of her e-book, The Greek Seaman (otherwise he thought it was good). Howett deleted most of her comments after her tantrum went viral, but she obviously never heard of the wayback machine. Observe in all its glory. She later posted an "apology" on her blog in which she rather unconvincingly argued that the whole farce was Big Al's fault for downloading her book in the wrong file format (seriously) and all her outraged comments that there was nothing wrong with her writing somehow related to that.
- N. K. Jemisin, author of the Inheritance Trilogy, posted Dear Fandom, Grow the Fuck Up, although it was aimed at all fandom in general, not just hers, on how to react to negativity against their favorite works.
- George R. R. Martin posted another example. In this case, disgruntled fans of A Song of Ice and Fire were very unhappy about how long the next book was taking, and complaining about how much his blog was dominated by all other subjects, indicating a lack of work on the book in their minds. Some fans were also worried because the next book has, depending on your point of view, been in the works for quite a number of years (having been originally started as half of the fourth book, which began in 2001), and fears of an Author Existence Failure are pretty common after the death of Robert Jordan. His reply? An embed of the song, "Garden Party". "You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself..." Some thought it was hilarious, some got pissed off, nothing was accomplished.
- Neil Gaiman himself added one of these by proxy for Martin with the famous George R. R. Martin is not your bitch post.
- R.R Martin actually made fun of this trope once. In response to people complaining about so many characters being killed off, he joked that his last book will have no characters (having all been killed off) and the entire book will be about describing the weather. At another point, he noted that, in fact, his story is arguably less bloody than Hamlet.
- When he posted on alt.fan.pratchett, Terry Pratchett would sometimes get ironic about some criticism (especially the "You nicked this bit from..." variety), but would mostly ignore it. He also had the message "<annericemode = OFF>" to precede his comments. Everyone winced the day one poster managed to trigger an "<annericemode = ON>" message...
- On another newsgroup, Pratchett responded to a reader who had raved at some length about how one of his books was mostly padding-out of a thin idea that was not very good to begin with, explaining how it SHOULD have been done, who asked (rhetorically, one assumes) "What is wrong with him these days?" Pratchett responded "I suppose it all comes down to you being a better writer than me. Where were you when the paper was blank?"
- In 2005, Anne Rice had an infamous one of these on Amazon.com, claiming that anyone knocking her work was "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective". All one paragraph, too. Very impressive. In a horrible way, mind.
- This really peaked when Rice became the poster girl for Protection from Editors - in a very literal sense - and strangely everyone in the world except for her and her publishers noticed an immediate decline in the quality of her prose.
- Related affair - Rice infamously went to the press before the filming of Interview with the Vampire to tell the world that Tom Cruise would make a horrible Lestat. She did redeem herself in this case by reversing her opinion after the movie came out, even penning a note from Lestat approving of the actor's work.
- Depending on your point of view, she's either calmed down a lot since, or has gotten a lot sneakier about handling negativity. Her latest incident involved a small-time blogger who needed a beat-up book for a craft project, picked up a copy of Pandora, and discovered in the process that she also disliked the book. While Rice didn't respond herself, she did post both a link to the project/review and the blogger's personal information on her facebook, and invited "discussion". Cue the rabid fans on the attack for Rice, and when Rice was called out for this, she gave a condescending response that she was only helping a small blogger get more page views.
- Also depending on your point of view, she might be back on the horse again, as she's currently petitioning Amazon to completely disallow Anonymous reviews, arguing that they're all just bullies and anonymity serves no purpose.
- Candace Sams follows in the footsteps of Anne Rice with a passive-aggressive (and then just plain aggressive) snipe at the author of a one star review on Amazon.com. Rant Cake comes complete with Crazy Icing.
- She has since deleted all of her posts (assuming she was Nightflyr, which appears to be the case), which actually makes the one-sided responses quite hilarious, as you can only guess what horrible things she said. Given that the vast majority of responses are highly logical and carefully-phrased, you have to guess she was frothing and foaming.
- The affair is archived here.
- Patrick Rothfuss subverted this trope nicely in this blog entry.
- Charlotte Temple's author, Susanna Rowson, appears to have anticipated this in her own book. One chapter is actually entitled, "Which Those Devoid of Feeling Need Not Read," which is more accurately "And By This, We Mean Those Who Would Criticize It For the Sentimental and Predictable Melodrama That It Is."
- Karen Traviss is a little bit infamous for this in the Star Wars fandom, going so far as to call her critics Talifans, sexist losers, and having no life. Her critics claim it was because they called her out on the ridiculously low clone troop numbers, 3 million for a million star system Republic and she going so far as to make those numbers a bigger part of her stories when they were originally just trivia. Traviss and her supporters claim she only used such vitriolic terminology for a belligerent subgroup of such critics whom she says harassed and threatened her, and that she didn't even come up with the numbers in the first place. Although the clone troop numbers found in the Attack of the Clones movie novelization would support the numbers she's been attributed to, the fact that neither side was aware of it during the apparently months-long arguments reflects poorly on both sides. One of the mods on the old Star Wars.com forums gave his account of the events here.
- Terry Goodkind has nothing good or kind to say about people who don't like his books. When asked what he had to say to or about his readers who complained that he'd gotten too preachy, often sacrificing story and character just to hammer home his message, he said this: "Don't be fooled. The assertion made by these detractors is a note wrapped around a brick thrown through the window. These people are not fans. There are hundreds if not thousands of fantasy books that fulfill their professed taste in books. Why would they continue to read books they claim are bad? Because they hate that my novels exist. Values arouse hatred in these people. Their goal is not to enjoy life, but to destroy that which is good -much like a school child who does not wish to study for a test and instead beats up a classmate who does well. These people hate what is good because it is good. Their lives are limited to loathing and indifference. It isn't that they want to read a good book, what they want is to make sure that you do not. Ignore them."
- Fern Michaels has a website where one of the features involves contacting her and sending an email to her about your opinions. For example, if you send her an email pointing out flaws and questionable values in the Sisterhood series, then you will most likely get the following response, word for word:
To answer your questions>>>>> I write what I do because I can. This is fiction. If you don't like my writing why did you continue to read the series? Oh, that's right, because they were entertaining. I rest my case. Characters are human just like the rest of us mortals. Again, this is fiction. I make it a point to never defend my writing because . . . I write fiction. Fiction is make believe, in other words, it's whatever the author wants to make it. Thank you for taking the time to write and offer your opinions and your insight. FM
- K. A. Applegate infamously gave one to the Animorphs fan-base who criticized the ending as "too sad". That does happen when you kill off most of the cast horribly in the epilogue.
- Masterfully deployed by J. R. R. Tolkien in his introduction to the second edition of The Lord of the Rings:
“Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible, and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer.”
- Nobly averted by John Ringo, who responded to a fairly scathing dissection of his Paladin of Shadows series with a plug for the review and a note that "I agree totally and unashamedly". He then endorsed the sale of T shirts with the slogan 'OH JOHN RINGO NO', raising $700 for the Helen Bamber Foundation.
- Older Than Radio example: When Mark Twain published Huckleberry Finn, this was the preface he attached to it:
NOTICEPERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; personsattempting to find a plot in it will be shot.BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR, Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
- The 19th century poet Julia Moore (sort of the female American counterpart to William MacGonnagall), responded to critics of her poems, some of whom had suggested she was "semi-literate": "The Editors that has spoken in a scandalous manner, have went beyond reason."
- Norman Boutin, author of the self-published novel Empress Theresa, has a habit of responding to every single piece of negative criticism he can find. He tends to call his critics losers, liars and trolls.
- Now we're getting to the saucy stuff. When a reader on Goodreads left a one-star review on indie author Dylan Saccoccio's book ''The Boy and the Peddler of Death, calling it "unnecessarily wordy and pretentious," the author took umbrage and replied with a series of comments that became increasingly, well, wordy and pretentious, claiming that negative reviews only come from horrible psychopaths who are out to destroy his career. The ensuing meltdown led to Saccocio getting banned from Goodreads. Worse, thanks to the Streisand Effect, trolls promptly swamped his books (which had been rather well-reviewed overall before) with even more one-star reviews.
- What sort of published author reacts to online criticism by tracking down an 18-yr-old reader, travelling 500 miles from Bedford (near London) to her place of work, and attacks her with a wine bottle? Why, Richard Brittain, of course. We're not kidding. Try
getting a reservation at Dorsia nowgiving him a one star review now!
- Valhalla author Ari Bach is not afraid to respond to hatemail. In fact, he readily uses haters' comments to promote the books.
- In the time leading up to the publication of The Crippled God, the last book in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, there were voices heard questioning whether he could pull off a satisfactory ending to his epic series and answer all the questions. When the last volume finally did come out, it contained a poem called The Malazan Book Of The Fallen, supposedly written in-universe by the poet Fisher kel Tath, which points out how some people's animosity is utterly misplaced, and that it would've been nice if his readers trusted him to deliver the best story he could the same way he trusted them to understand what there was to understand.
[...] Take what you're given
and turn away the screwed face.
I do not deserve it,
no matter how narrow the strand
of your private shore.
If you will do your best
I'll meet your eye. [...]
- Stephan J Harper responded to a gently critical review of his book Venice Under Glass (a mystery about animate teddy bears in Venice) by replying to the review over 180 times (often to himself as he thought of a new thing to rant about), calling the reviewer an idiot, describing his book as a "lyrical prose poem", and sharing lines that really don't help his case, such as "Roses grew from metal floor stands and stood in cut-crystal on side-tables and window-ledges and overflowed into the dining room, stopping only when the bouquets had covered her kitchen counters, scenting the air throughout like crazy. Some bear had sent her bright yellow and orange dozens, poised next to red, white and pink dozens."
- Older Than Steam: In response to complaints about the blank (non-rhyming) verse in Paradise Lost, Milton prefaced a later edition with a rant condemning rhyming poetry as "no necessary adjunct or true ornament of poem... but the invention of a barbarous age."
- Lost season 6 was criticized for filler, especially in the episode "What Kate Does", prompting Damon Lindelof to tell his Twitter followers that anybody who didn't like it should go watch NCIS. He later apologized for it. Why? He said he went too far... and also some people apparently took his advice, since the ratings kept declining (while the ratings of NCIS increased) and hit several series lows. Though the viewers who ditched did return for the higher rated finale.
- Ian Levine, Doctor Who Big Name Fan and organizer/songwriter of the notorious "Doctor in Distress" charity single, found himself and the song mentioned on the "TARDIS Eruditorum" blog, and was intrigued by what it said. So much so, he personally told the author to go fuck himself. This became a sort of publicity blurb for the blog.
- Danwarp, aka Dan Schneider, the creator of iCarly did the same thing around the same time. He planned with Nick to air an extended version of the heavily Carly/Freddie ship-centric episode "iSaved Your Life", and made some excited blog posts in the week leading up to it being confirmed. Once he announced it, a few Big Name Fan supporters of the Sam/Freddie ship made a variety of rude posts about how the news wasn't exciting at all, and they thought it'd be something bigger. This pissed Dan off, who responded with point by point rebuttals of the two harshest posters, and told people who weren't excited to watch the new episode of Wizards of Waverly Place instead.
- This wasn't the first case of this happening either. He's made several pointed remarks (inside his 'episode fun facts') aimed at the Sam/Freddie fans in general, by pointing out an instance of Carly telling Freddie he was standing too close, with a note saying that some fans could "throw a parade" over it, and a couple of heavily sarcastic remarks about Sam/Freddie fans and how "he loved to hear about how he should write his show."
- In 2000, Aaron Sorkin spent some time on the Internet debating with the forum posters at Television Without Pity. It started with disagreements on how much of a given episode of The West Wing should be credited to Sorkin vs. other writers, but snowballed into Sorkin telling the posters that he basically counted their opinions as worthless. He then inserted strawmen into the "U.S. Poet Laureate" episode, casting TWoP and its posters as the "chain-smoking, mumu-wearing" denizens of "lemonlyman.com," where iron-fisted mods steer the conversations. For the entire history, including timeline, quotes and postmortem, go read this.
- In addition to the attack against TWoP, the episode's titular plot features Toby talking to the U.S. Poet Laureate about her views. In the end, the Laureate says that art isn't about truth and isn't supposed to be about expressing some truth, but just about saying things in a fashion that captivates. The recapper at TWoP was not a fan of this idea.
- A rather classy subversion by Top Gear producer Andy Wilman on his recap of series 14 here.
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion recounts an anecdote where a production assistant took a call complaining about the lesbian kiss between Jadzia Dax and Lenara Kahn in "Rejoined", saying that "you're ruining my kids by making them watch two women kiss like that." The PA asked if he'd be fine with seeing them shoot each other, and when the caller replied in the affirmative the PA snidely remarked that "You should reconsider who's messing up your kids".
- During the Television Critics Association screening of his new show Stalker, creator Kevin Williamson got into a Twitter war with critic Todd VanDerWeff over what the latter saw as an Unfortunate Implications-filled pilot. Some highlights can be seen here.
- True Detective, while praised was also the subject of criticism regarding the lack of presence female characters had in the first season. Creator Nic Pizzolatto responded in a profile by saying: ""When Callie [Khouri], who wrote Thelma & Louise, thinks that that's stupid criticism, I'm inclined to take her opinion over someone with a Wi-Fi connection."
- In regards to accusations of Seasonal Rot for Season 2, Pizzolatto suggested that critics should wait to the end of the series before they pass judgement. However, as many critics noted, the show only seemed to get worse as time went on.
- While Babylon 5 was on the air, J. Michael Straczynski would regularly post on the show's Usenet group. 98% of these interactions were positive, with JMS responding to feedback, answering questions, and generally engaging with fans in a way that wasn't possible before the advent of the Internet. Even negative posts were riposted with snarky wit rather than vitriol. Sometimes, however, someone would say something that would make him get downright nasty. One big example was when a fan unintentionally pushed one of his Berserk Buttons, by claiming that a line in an episode was a reference to another work. JMS's response started "Y'know, if I were to read this group as an outsider, I'd think that this jms person was incapable of coming up with a single line on his own." And it went downhill from there. The full text can be found here, in the "jms speaks" section.
- "Bloody Rotten Audience", a song performed by Scottish-Australian folkie Eric Bogle, is presented as one of these by an embittered folk singer who's failed to win over the titular crowd, listing the different ways in which he's brilliant and how stupid the audience must be not to appreciate him. Performed live, this is both a Funny Moment and Awesome Music.
You're a bloody rotten audience whilst I am very good
If brains were made of oak and ash then you'd have balsa wood
I'm ethnic and authentic and I'm really full of class
While you're ignorant, you're cultureless, you're philistines en masse.
- One of Catullus's best-known poems is made of this trope. Ironic there in that he reacts to being accused of being gay by his friends by threatening to "bugger them and stuff their gobs." And that's the Bowdlerised translation.
- Not as ironic to a Roman, because only the receiving/submissive partner was considered unmanly. Essentially, they accused him of being a "bottom" and he offered/threatened to "top" them.
- T. S. Eliot had the sense not to publish his version of this in his lifetime, but it got out after his death, and is quite stunning to read. It's a poem, entitled The Triumph of Bullshit, and every stanza ends "For Christ's sake stick it up your ass."
- In 1841, Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland responded to criticism from the newspaper Morgenbladet, particularly their claims that he was a grouchy and unpleasant person, with the poem Mig Selv ("Myself.") In this poem, using a lot of flowery language, he goes from denying being grouchy or unpleasant, to explaining why getting angry with such a pitiful excuse for a newspaper isn't worth his valuable time, to stating that it's their fault he's grouchy in the first place, and finally to claim he's totally above their cruel and unfair mockery of him anyway.
- After his short story collection Men Without Women received negative reviews, Ernest Hemingway wrote an anti-critic poem called Valentine (published in the literary magazine The Little Review). Hemingway accused the critics of hoping that the artist will eventually fail so they can "be the first to hail / any happy weakening or sign of quick decay." He finished it thus:
(All very much alike, weariness too great,
sordid small catastrophes, stack the cards on fate,
very vulgar people, annals of the callous,
dope fiends, soldiers, prostitutes,
men without a gallus.)note
- Mick Foley did this on 411Mania's Wrestling section. It can be read here.
- This was also largely the concept behind the "Right To Censor" group, a humongous Take That! against the Parents Television Council that had been hounding the then-WWF about their use of language, sexuality and over-the-top violence. Ironically, it actually afforded an in-road for WWF to tone down some of its more outrageous characters by "forcing" them to join through complicated schemes, and was one of the early starts towards the current "PG Era".
- Crosses over with Lying Creator at WCW's World War 3 where Hulk Hogan burns a copy of the Wrestling Observer's "Rag Sheet" before mocking it for supposedly false information that it did not actually contain (and in fact would probably just inspire more copies printed to prove Hogan wrong).
- Dixie Carter responded negatively on twitter to a negative review of TNA Impact after a fan of the "Spoony One" sent a link to an episode of Wrestle Wrestle, getting him some traffic he otherwise likely never would have had.
- Shine 12 was a bizarre show. It got its share of criticism but Ringbelles online's Lee Burton went further than what the wrestlers were doing, dragging down the commentary of Amber Gertner and Lenny Leonard too. So Leonard respond to say that he agreed with Burton but defended the wrestlers, who were working in a damaged ring and promised it was just a one time slump.
- Gary Gygax sometimes did this in his From the Sorcerer's Scroll articles in Dragon magazine, but a really obvious example occurred in Dragon #16 (June 1978). Some fans complained about elements of the Dungeons & Dragons game, and he tried to refute them in an overblown manner, making a number of silly and insulting statements while doing so. His rather dismissive analysis of how much The Lord of the Rings influenced Dungeons & Dragons was a classic of this genre.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, upon finding out that people did not like his The Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies, lashed out at his fans. He essentially accused the fans of being so devoted to his first work that they just would not give his sequel a chance. Ironically, the fan devotion to the original is what made the existence of the sequel possible in the first place!
- Famous Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar wrote a response to the fan backlash that came with the decision to add Disney and Pixar characters to It's a Small World at Disneyland, a change that was one of the last projects he worked on for the company before retiring. In the response, he defends the decision and claims that it was being done to make the attraction more relevant for the current generation; and not as a way of commercializing the ride. The way he phrased his response (by seemingly implying that the people against the additions "don't like change") only caused more controversy among the Disney fandom, with many believing that his response was just him towing the company line.
- David Gaider, the lead writer for the Dragon Age series, is known for his snarky counterattacks to complaints about his games. His two most known examples are his response to someone complaining about "straight male gamers" being ignored based on the inclusion of homosexual romances and a list of "definitions" for words that are frequently misused by "fans" on the BioWare Social Network.
- Masahiro Sakurai is definitely starting to exhibit this with regards to the particularly vocal Super Smash Bros. fanbase who like to blame him for everything they perceive wrong with their beloved franchise, ranging from legitimate-if-overblown grievances to petty whining that their favorite character(s) were not included. He expressed this in an interview regarding the Moveset Clone characters in SSB for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U.
- Jonathan Ian Mathers does this frequently with his Foamy Fan Mail segments.
- In Death Battle, it's pretty clear that Wiz and Boomstick are tired of the Fan Dumb and Internet Backdraft that "Goku vs. Superman" generated. On the Sidescrollers episode "Reactionary Reaction", the two spend at least 10 minutes commenting on comments and emails sent to them from angry fans. They spend it justifying the research used to come to the result, reminding fans of the rules of Death Battle, explaining that the fight scene at the end of the episode is simply a dramatization to show how they think the fight would go down based on the research, and saying that, no, they are not biased fanboys and that in the past they have killed off their personal favourite characters because the research indicates they would lose. Chad then tells them to just chill out and stop taking the show so seriously.
- Aaron Neathery, creator of Endtown, releases monthly messages to those of his fans who support him on Patreon. His December 2016 Patreon letter reeks of Dear Negative Reader, being largely a loud and strenuous defence of his recent storytelling decisions after apparently getting some amount of negative feedback.
- Tim Buckley, the author of Ctrl+Alt+Del, did this after his storyline about a miscarriage.
- He's kind of gained a reputation for reacting badly to criticism (though he's getting better) . The miscarriage incident was actually fairly restrained, compared to the aftermath of some of his other stunts (several of which have culminated in Buckley banning from his forum anyone who mentions those stunts).
- In one case, Buckley actually berated someone for DEFENDING him. A poster made a paragraph about how much he liked the comic and didn't understand why people who didn't like it didn't simply stop reading. It had a piece of fanart, credited with "I don't own this character, copyright of" yadayada. Buckley apparently either did not read or thought it was sarcastic, because he attacked the man for plagiarism, implying the threat of legal action.
- The writers of Penny Arcade engaged in an extended bout of this during the "dickwolves" brouhaha. Relevant links here. Short version for the lazy: Gabe and Tycho get accused of being rape apologists because of this strip which uses a reference to the torture of being "raped by dickwolves" as shock value humor. Gabe gets mad at the accusation and reacts with a post that professes ignorance about why this is what crosses the line, and he and Tycho released a strip mocking the controversy. This only served to enrage the offended parties further, which further provoked Gabe, all feeding into a vicious cycle stemming from the fact that neither party really got where the other party was coming from, but thought the other party understood them perfectly and just didn't care.
- Tarol Hunt, author of Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes, occasionally goes on The Rant to discuss some of the houseruled D&D mechanics he uses in his webcomic. In this one, he concludes with the classic line, "Hello, my name is Tarol Hunt and I have 24 years of near-constant practice arguing the physics of magic with hundreds of D&D players."
- Andrew Hussie does this in a heavy-handed way with his character Caliborn - a personification of the Hatedom - who is not only the Big Bad, but is responsible for literally killing the author In-Universe.
- Scott Kurtz of PvP is infamous for posting these on his blog. Indeed, a book he co-authored about how to publish your own web-comic basically said that you should ignore all criticism of your work. When one book critic noted this in her review of the book and said that she couldn't believe any professional artist would deny the value of even constructive criticism, Kurtz wrote a blistering response where he expressed the belief that critics should be like The Federation in Star Trek and not interfere.
- Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary produced a fairly mild version a while ago here. Short version: complaints about how long the story was "dragging on" elicited the response "If you're bored, leave. PLEASE. I'm telling the story I want to tell, and I'm telling it the way I want to tell it."
- Krazy Krow wrote one for Spinnerette which can be seen here, in response to negative feedback on chapter seven. However, he seemed to think it was about him using a recurring villain when most of the complaints were about how predictable and cliched the story ended up being.
- Chris Hazelton of Misfile also wrote one after receiving hundreds of emails caused by the backlash of Emily's confession to Ash being unceremoniously swept under the rug.
- The authors of Teahouse released a statement after they received a few complaints how long they were taking to release pages. They also respond to a fair few of the comments with questionable amounts of maturity, both of which can be seen here. When "Faps" did a parody/riff of the comic, they complained to Live Journal and Photobucket (where the pages were hosted) to have the parodies removed due to "copyright" (while LJ and PB did comply, they have no claims due to fair use for parodies, so the parodies continue in another site). The whole story is up here.
- Tom Preston aka Andrew Dobson, the creator of So... You're A Cartoonist? and the artists behind the Brentalfloss comics, does this Every! Freaking! Time! Despite being one of the more well-known webcomic artists, he has NEVER learned to accept critique in any shape of form, always resorting to insults, bans, portraying critics as strawmen, blaming anime and college for his flaws, outright telling people that he refuses to improve, you name it. It has earned him a pretty bad reputation on the internet to say the least.
- Seanbaby's 10 Species of Angry Commenter You Encounter on the Web is a list specifically based on the Fan Dumb responses he got from readers of a previous article (on World of Warcraft) — one example from each category is quoted directly, even. If you're wondering what made the hate mail he got from that particular article so special, he just decided against "ignoring it this time."
- JesuOtaku at one point released a full length one over his Twitter in response to complaints about his ADCD.
- Noah Antwiler made a blog post entitled "An Appeal To Manners", which is a huge one of these. In this case though, it's not about people hating his videos but a genuine complaint directed at the Trolls who did things like calling his then-girlfriend a "fat cow" when she appeared in a thank-you video.
- His commentary for the "Mazes and Monsters" review starts with one about the negative reaction the fans had to that review's title sequence, which replaced his normal theme song by The Irresponsibles with a cover by the band Living Illusion. It's actually quite mature and even somewhat apologetic - he explains why he made the change and defends Living Illusion's cover, and speculates as to why people were so bothered. It helps that you're hearing his thoughts, rather than reading them, so the tone is much easier to interpret. (And, for the record, he went back to a more traditional version of the theme song not too long after.)
- A straighter example came from his review of the Deadliest Warrior Fighting Game. After a five-minute review where Noah railed against every part of the game, the producers themselves issued this kind of response, including saying things like "It's a $10 DLC game by a small publisher, it's not our fault you bought instant ramen and expected it to taste like filet mignon". Noah laid into Spike for this, as well as some of the dumber responses on his comments section, like one person claiming that "You don't auto-turn in a real-life fight".
- They didn't just counterattack the review, they all but instructed their fans to troll him.
- Spoony had a brief online rivalry with TNA President Dixie Carter after one of his fans jokingly posted a link to the first Wrestle! Wrestle! vlog on Dixie's Facebook wall. Dixie, who has demonstrated that she cares a lot more about her personal social media than TNA itself, tried to pick a fight with him on Twitter. Noah briefly ran with it, although he did note how petty and stupid it was for a grown woman who is supposed to be running a company decided that arguing with a single internet reviewer was the best use of her time.
- After panning Super Smash Bros. Brawl and receiving an unusually large amount of hate mail, Yahtzee devoted a whole video to snarkily responding to some of the negative comments.
Yahtzee: So please, load up your shotguns, join me around this barrel, and let's take it out on some motherfucking fish.
- He remained just as unapologetic after his review of The Last of Us, casually reminding viewers that the game was not a beached whale that would die if it wasn't constantly moistened by everybody's tongues. This time around, however, he decided a bonding exercise/hunting expedition was in order, and chose a universally hated game they could make fun of together:
- Jim Sterling, of the Jimquisition, released the video "Weapon Durability, Fanbase Fragility" in response to the vitriol he received in response to his lukewarm (though still positive) review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The video starts with his explaining why he dislikes Breakable Weapons mechanics in games (his main complaint about BotW) before tearing into those who posted hateful comments in response to the review, as well as those who launched a DDOS attack on his website and attempted to hijack his social media accounts.
Jim Sterling: I mean, follow me on this, my little Digital Homicides: if I'd rather harass a writer and his audience on Twitter, if I'd rather DDOS a website, if I'd rather hammer that "dislike" button in fevered outrage...well, it sounds like your game is shit. Certainly, too mediocre to hold your attention more than utterly trivial opinions on the internet! It sucks that you think Breath of the Wild is so boring and crap, I mean, I liked it!
- In a case happening to the reviewer, once The Cinema Snob did a review of the incomplete Grizzly II, the film's producer sent him an e-mail to take the video off his website. (His fans still made sure it survived by uploading it to YouTube. He even implied in a con-exclusive DVD that he was the one who initially uploaded it to YouTube.)
- Popular Let's Player Chuggaaconroy made a video in which he chewed out some of his fans for his massive backdraft against an artwork of Kumatora in an intro of one of his MOTHER 3 videos.
- Doug Walker's The Nostalgia Critic review of The Room wound up getting threatened with a lawsuit by the studio responsible for distributing it. The review briefly disappeared from the site for a time but was soon put back up.
- The infamous Encyclopedia Dramatica has this in the form of the "Offended"-page. The less said about it, the better...
- Book 4: Air is something of a Shipping variety version of this trope from the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender toward the Zutara shippers who were upset that Katara got together with Aang and not Zuko.
- The late Dwayne McDuffie was known for rather hostile reactions toward any fans who criticized him on his work on Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, the controversial sequels to Ben 10, on his forum. Though to his credit, he never made any personal attacks on these fans, and frowned upon any of his supporters that did.
- After being hassled on social media for about three days by an aggressive fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic who believed Fluttershy's Poison Joke afflicted deep voice in Filli Vanilli was an attack against Trans people, and after trying and failing to be civil about it, Amy Keating Rogers (with a bit of help from M.A. Larson) fired a couple◊ of shots◊ back.
- A hilarious in-universe example happened in a skit that you can find in the special features of the Black Books DVD. When Bernard receives a rejection letter for his novel, he sends back a rejection letter for the rejection letter.
Bernard: And yes, I am aware that it is traditionally bad form to respond to any kind of criticism or rejection, but in this as all else I am an innovator, therefore I may freely address you as 'piss-midget'.
- Parodied in a chapter of the original Lupin III manga. A sex scene is interrupted by a fan's letter (complaining about the "bleeps" censoring the dialogue), followed by the author telling them to "Bleep off".
- In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jay does just this upon seeing Internet commenters giving negative feedback on the upcoming Bluntman and Chronic movie. Parodied in which Jay is unknowingly feeding trolls.
All you motherfuckers are gonna pay. You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. We're gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little whiny bitches. Once we get to Hollywood and find those Miramax fucks who are making Bluntman and Chronic, we're gonna make 'em eat our shit, then shit out our shit, and then eat their shit that's made up of our shit that we made 'em eat. And then all you motherfuckers are next. Love, Jay and Silent Bob.