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 Dark Horse in the face one too many times, or the next book/film/series/whatever 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, telling the audience why they're wrong, and why they're being unfair, and how they just don't recognize a good work when they see one. Usually, it's distributed via the creator's blog, but the worst cases might involve a foreword or afterword for a different book. It also very frequently overlaps with a Creator Breakdown. Common sentiments include:
- Don't Like, Don't Read
- You're Just Jealous
- Lets 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).
- 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.
- Bleach creator Tite Kubo released a couple of these on his Twitter account sometime during early 2010 in response to fan complaints over Seasonal Rot. He even went as far as comparing said fans to children (which, given that this is a shonen manga, 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!
- Haven Paschall, the English voice actress of Serena in Pokémon, has stated that while she respects that some fans prefer the Japanese voices and they can't please everyone, it can be irritating when they review the English cast's work with cruel comments while using anonymous screen names and asked that fans 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, it's not a good look.
- Marville creator Bill Jemas blamed fans for the series' unpopularity, claiming it was their fault for not buying it and not understanding it. The fact he was badly losing a bet 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. It culminated in a Crankshaft strip where the title character finishes his rant by saying that "the comics page is supposed to be funny," which seems either to liken the audience to unpleasable old men or to imply that anything printed in the comics is automatically funny.
- 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").
- The creator of 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, Dilbert creator 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 "Links Queen" consists mostly of this. It goes on for three pages.
- 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 (even inviting them), in Author's Notes in the case of anonymous reviewers. He also seems to have mellowed out somewhat in the last few years, remarking that he spent his teenage years (when he was writing Shadows) in a state of near-constant rage. However, even post-mellowing out, he's known to get snarky or icily polite if someone particularly annoys him, and he's absolutely not afraid to call a suggestion monumentally stupid if that's the impression he gets.
- 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, the author insults negative reviewers directly, and a character named after a frequent negative reviewer is randomly murdered in one chapter.
- 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.
- 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 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic story. The author's response was a calm, but blunt "Fuck off" and even MORE gross humor, making it also a case of a Writer 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 this 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. He's even made blog posts attacking TV Tropes on more than one occasion for listing trope entries that he doesn't agree with on pages for his works (the contents of which will not be reproduced here, but do include many instances of the words "troll" and "moron").
- Fanfiction writer Worldmaker famously has a section on his Fan Fiction Dot Net profile entitled "Things I Hate to Read in Harry Potter Fan Fiction" that includes such things as an explanation why hatred for the Weasley family is idiotic and why Draco in Leather Pants is a bad thing. A few months after he added that section, he added another section entitled "Fun with Morons", in which he publicly responded to the hate mail he received because of the "Things I Hate to Read" list. His response to one young woman, who had said in her hate mail, "No wonder your wife or whatever left you," is particularly epic:
"I have the right to criticize other people's things and beliefs because I have a right to criticize other people's things and beliefs. Just as other people, including the hypocritical moron who calls herself 'LadyLilyMalfoy', have the right to criticize my things and beliefs. That's the great thing about Freedom of Expression: it cuts both ways.As I say elsewhere in this screed, your right to hold a silly-ass opinion in no way prevents the opinion from being silly. Nor does it protect you from having someone else come up and point out how silly-assed your opinion is.So... to everyone who thinks... or rather doesn't think... just like this LLM person, kiss my wide white ass.And for the record, my wife didn't leave me. She died after a prolonged and extremely painful fight against cancer. But hey, thanks for taking an interest, you insensitive bitch."
- Nathanoraptor, co-author of Prehistoric Earth, is generally a reasonable person, but after a reader complained one time too many about their choice of Gorgonopsid in Passport to Hell, which they viewed as inaccurate (the authors chose Gorgonops, but the reader thought they should go with Inostrancevia, which was native to Siberia, where the story takes place, while Gorgonops is from Africa), he did a very calm example of this trope by deleting all of said reader's reviews (at the request of another reader), and leaving a warning to not do this again.
- Despite his mixed feelings about the film, Home on the Range co-director John Sanford did not like Doug Walker's Disneycember review of the film, seeing it as obnoxious and taking umbrage at the review calling the film a half-assed, uncreative effort said that if he ever saw Doug, hed beat the ever loving shit out of him. Co-director Will Finn, while nowhere as vocal about it as Sanford, likewise disliked the review.
"Yes, I love it when people live stream Home on the Range and tweet comments. Good or bad, its fun. Except you, Nostalgia Critic. You can go fuck yourself you unfunny douche nozzle. My issue was the incredibly abrasive tone of his reviews, and in particular, when he accused the crew of Ho TR of laziness. You can say what you want about the movie, its deeply flawed, but our crew was anything but lazy. I wont stand for that."
- George Lucas has never had a particularly high opinion of the rabid Star Wars fanbase, culminating in a particularly barbed attack on them on The Daily Show in 2010.
- Kevin Smith has frequently fallen into this behavior:
- He famously stated that Jersey Girl wasn't "for critics", inspiring Penny Arcade to create a totally nonsensical strip and then preemptively reject criticism of it ("it's not for you"). In Smith's defense, what he meant by that was that he made the film upon having something of a personal crisis, seeing his daughter grow up, and made the film for his own purposes, critics be damned. Not quite as dickish as some have made it out to be, but still this trope.
- He allegedly debated fans on the View Askew board who reacted negatively to the news of Clerks II, particularly the ones who pointed out his own prior statement that there would be no sequel.
- He lashed out at critics for giving poor reviews to Cop Out, particularly at the ones whom he had allowed to see the film for free, implying that he expected a good review in return.
- 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 zero, and the audience rating continued to fall to 32%. It is now has the single worst rating on IMDB, which given its competition is quite a feat.
- After Baywatch (2017) was released to negative critic reviews, Dwayne Johnson mocked the film's negative reviews in a few tweets.
- CinemaSins has garnered much ire from many, many, many filmmakers:
- Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has nothing but utter contempt for the series, a sentiment best shown when he highlighted their review of his own film and nit-picked all the things they got wrong. However, he was perfectly willing to accept what he saw as constructive criticism of the film, even co-writing Kong's Honest Trailers review. His big problem is with the concept of Cinema Sins, deriding their ignorance of Artistic License, labeling them trolls who "contribute to the dumbing-down of cinema", and calling them the "YouTube equivalent of the Seltzer and Friedberg movies".
- James Gunn hasn't seen the video on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but when someone showed him a sin and called the channel a satire, Gunn responded with a polite retort and, based on the sin he was shown, observed that it "should still be accurate about what it's satirizing. Otherwise it's just shitty satire."
- Rian Johnson and Damon Lindelof have both posted angry tweets about the show, something Cinema Sins acknowledged in their sin video against themselves. They also pointed out that Kevin Smith and Dane Cook are on their side, and they called that a sin as well.
- Brad Jones pulled an inversion with Jesus, Bro!: when the Dove Foundation actually asked permission to publish a negative review of the film, he happily gave it and he now includes their rating and an excerpt of their review on the DVD box.
- Roberto Orci's general attitude to articles critical of Star Trek Into Darkness was to dismiss them on perceived stylistic grounds and make snide remarks about how there's a reason he gets paid to make movies and the critics don't. Part 2 of SF Debris' review of the film is indicative.
- When Gotti was brutalized by critics, earning a 0% on RottenTomatoes, MoviePass (which partly funded the film) ran an ad campaign that tried to invoke Critical Dissonance, claiming that audiences "loved" the film while critics "put out the hit", and asked viewers who they trusted more: themselves, or "a troll behind a keyboard"? The fact that MoviePass was accused of running an AstroTurf campaign by artificially inflating the audience scores on RottenTomatoes did them no favors.
- Piers Anthony's author's notes are, by his own admission, mostly curmudgeonly rants, and many are directed at critics, but one long one was directed at a particular fan who not only wrote a nasty comment about him, but went as far as to visit Anthony's house and trash the way it looked.
- Ray Bradbury allegedly provided a brief but memorable example:
- Laurell K Hamilton wrote a long rant about people publicly hating her work which became so seminal as to become 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 (which he otherwise thought 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 were 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 gets a lot of criticism and tends to snarkily ignore it, because he does what he wants and his fandom isn't going to change that:
- One came in response to a frenzy on LiveJournal about how his Schedule Slip was causing real fears of an Author Existence Failure (as had happened to The Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan) and telling him to work on the book rather than blog about things other than his book. His response was an embed of the song "Garden Party", with the line "You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself..."
- He doesn't like people complaining about the high body count in his books and begging him to save at least their favorite character, telling them not to get so attached to people and reminding them that technically, Hamlet has a higher body count. He once jokingly promised that the last book will have no characters killed off at all — because all of them will have died in previous books, and the entire book will be describing the weather.
- Neil Gaiman once defended Martin by proxy with his famous missive entitled "George R. R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch".
- Terry Pratchett, posting on alt.fan.pratchett and other newsgroups back in the day, would mostly ignore fan criticism, but would occasionally get snarky about it (especially the "You nicked this bit from..." variety). He once responded to a fan going on at length at how he could have done it better with "Where were you when the paper was blank?" And he often preceded his responses with the message "<annericemode = OFF>" — until the day someone pissed him off enough to trigger an ""<annericemode = ON>" message", and it wasn't pretty.
- Anne Rice has a reputation for this. Her missives against reviewers on Amazon are legendary in certain circles, including a single-paragraph screed packed to the gills with passive-aggressive rage, accusing reviewers of "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective". She went on to petition Amazon to completely disallow anonymous reviews, arguing that it's just a haven for bullies. It peaked when she became the poster girl for Protection from Editors — in a very literal sense — and everybody (except for her and her publishers) noticed an immediate and marked decline in the quality of her prose. She's also been known to mobilize her insane fanbase against reviewers, once posting a blogger's personal information on Facebook and letting her rabid fans take care of the rest — and then condescendingly claiming she was only helping a small blogger get more page views.
- 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. She then deleted all her posts,note leaving only a swathe of befuddled and snarky posts which actually makes it funnier, as it forces you to guess what she said that was so crazy. The affair is archived here.
- The Name of the Wind author 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."
- Star Wars Legends author Karen Traviss is a little bit infamous for this in the Star Wars fandom, going so far as to call her critics sexists, Basement Dwellers, and "Talifans". She later backed up and claimed that she was only using those terms to refer to a particularly belligerent subgroup of critics who harassed and threatened her. Bizarrely, the whole thing seems to have come from a single instance of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale, when she claimed that there were only 3 million clone troopers in a Republic made up of a million star systems, a number she claims she didn't even come up with (and the novelization of Attack of the Clones appears to back her up on that) — it's just that the fans are so obsessive about this sort of thing that they argued about it for months. One of the mods on the old StarWars.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:
Goodkind: 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, through her personal website, lets you email her your opinions. However, 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 fanbase 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:
PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons
attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR, Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.
- 19th-century poet Julia Moore (an American Distaff Counterpart to the famously Giftedly Bad William Topaz McGonagall), some of whose critics suggested that she was "semi-literate", responded thus: "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.
- Indie author Dylan Saccoccio, author of The Boy and the Peddler of Death, faced with a one-star review on Goodreads calling it "unnecessarily wordy and pretentious", 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 Saccoccio 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.
- Richard Brittain, when given a one-star review from an 18-year-old reader, tracked her down, travelled 500 miles to the reviewer's place of work, and attacked her with a wine bottle.
- Valhalla author Ari Bach is not afraid to respond to hatemail. In fact, he readily uses haters' comments to promote the books.
- The Crippled God, the last book in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, contains a poem ostensibly written In-Universe by the poet Fisher kel Tath, which is actually in response to readers' complaints before the book came out questioning whether Erikson was capable of delivering a good ending to the series. He clearly didn't appreciate being doubted like that, or being expected to deliver exactly what the fans were asking for:
[...] 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, John 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."
- YA author Kathleen Hale, upon reading a negative review of her book No One Else Can Have You, responded by asking to be paired with the reviewer for a book event (thus getting the reviewer's address), called the reviewer's place of work, drove to her house, and left a self-help book on the doorstep. Then she wrote an essay about the events, which went viral and sparked a lot of controversy, as well as driving the reviewer out of the book blogging community.
- The protagonist of Caitlin Kiernan's The Red Tree shares a number of biographical details with Kiernan, has written books with the same titles as Kiernan's books, and gets in some snarky comments about critics who have found her books too verbose and too weird.
- 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, claiming he went too far with that one — or perhaps also realizing that the ratings for Lost were declining while those for NCIS were increasing, so apparently his fans took his advice. They did mostly return for the highly anticipated 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 that he personally told the author to go fuck herself. This became a sort of publicity blurb for the blog.
- Danwarp, a.k.a. Dan Schneider, the creator of iCarly, has done this while wading into the fandom's shipping wars. He clearly prefers Carly/Freddie, and he's been known to troll Sam/Freddie shippers about how he "loved to hear about how he should write his show." It culminated in his excitement about the impending airing of an extended version of the heavily Carly/Freddie ship-centric episode "iSaved Your Life", when in response to rude posts from Sam/Freddie shippers, told them they could watch Wizards of Waverly Place instead.
- 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 as opposed to other writers, but snowballed into Sorkin telling the posters that he basically considered their opinions 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. The episode ends with the eponymous U.S. Poet Laureate saying that art isn't about expressing truth, just saying things in a captivating way (an idea with which the recapper at TWoP was not too enamored). For the entire history, including timeline, quotes, and postmortem, go read this.
- 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 the caller said they would. To that, the PA snidely remarked that the caller "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.
- Season 1 of True Detective, while praised in general, was also the subject of criticism regarding the relative lack of female characters 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." Season 2 was then accused of Seasonal Rot, and Pizzolatto suggested that critics wait to the end of the series before passing judgment — but when they did, they noticed the show only seemed to get worse from that point 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.
- Game of Thrones' final season was so critically panned that viewers launched a petition that the season be remade without writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Several cast and crew members lashed back at the fans, mostly feeling insulted that the fans were dismissing their hard work just because they didn't like the ending. Sophie Turner told the New York Times that the petition was "disrespectful", Isaac Hempstead-Wright called the fans' demands "ridiculous", and Jacob Anderson called it "rude" and said that it "trivialise[s] [the crew's] work". But Kit Harington outdid them all by airing his criticisms as soon as the seasons started:
Harrington: Whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgement on it... they can go fuck themselves. 'Cause I know how much work was put into this.
- Cody Matthew Johnson had this reaction during the lead up to the release of Devil May Cry 5, in which Capcom released the individual themes for the individual characters. Neros theme, "Devil Trigger", was received very well, becoming the #1 rock song in the UK iTunes store upon release. Dantes theme "Subhuman", which Johnson composed, was instead received with hostile vitriol — it was considered poorly mixed and unfitting for Dante's character, and its lead singer Eddie Hermana was criticised as impossible to understand (and was later discovered to have been sexually grooming minors). Johnson nevertheless took to Twitter, mocked everyone who criticised the song, and even took pride in the response he got. That just made the situation significantly worse. In the end, Hermana was replaced for the final release, and the original music video and Johnson's tweets were all deleted.
- "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 his 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. He particularly reacts to accusations from his friends that he was gay, which even the Bowdlerised translation renders as threatening to "bugger them and stuff their gobs."note
- 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]]Latin for "cock".
- Mick Foley did this on 411Mania's Wrestling section. It can be read here.
- This was 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 the WWF to tone down some of its more outrageous characters by "forcing" them to join through complicated schemes, and it 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, who until then had been lurking as "Lee Thomas", responded 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 toeing 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 best 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 started 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 complaints that their favorite character(s) were not included. He expressed this in an interview regarding the Moveset Clone characters in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and 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 were tired of the backlash that "Goku vs. Superman" generated. On the Sidescrollers episode "Reactionary Reaction", the two spend at least ten 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 favorite 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 this trope, 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, does this routinely. Several such stunts have become so infamous that he would subsequently ban anyone who mentions them on his forum. One such stunt was an attack on a fan who was defending him — the fan happened to include a piece of fanart, and Buckley (ignoring the I Do Not Own disclaimer) attacked the fan for plagiarism and impliedly threatened legal action. Ironically, the webcomic's most criticized storyline (involving a Convenient Miscarriage) actually led to one of Buckley's more restrained responses.
- The writers of Penny Arcade engaged in an extended bout of this during the "dickwolves" saga, where this strip (referencing being "raped by dickwolves" as shock-value comedy) led to accusations of Gabe and Tycho being rape apologists. Gabe made an angry post in which he claimed not to understand why that crossed 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 of both parties talking past each other and not listening to what the other side was saying. Relevant links here.
- Tarol Hunt, author of Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes, occasionally goes on The Rant to discuss some of the house-ruled Dungeons & Dragons 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."
- Homestuck creator Andrew Hussie does this in a heavy-handed way with his character Caliborn, a personification of his Hatedom who is not only the Big Bad, but also responsible for killing his Author Avatar.
- 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 — in response to complaints about how long the story was "dragging on", he wrote, "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 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 about 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 the sites did comply, the parodies continue elsewhere because they're Fair Use). The whole story is up here.
- Tom Preston, a.k.a. Andrew Dobson, the creator of So... You're A Cartoonist? and the artists behind the Brentalfloss comics, does this routinely, refusing to accept criticism, resorting to insults and bans, frequent use of Straw Critics, blaming his flaws on anime and college, and outright stating that he will never improve. It's earned him a pretty bad reputation on the Internet, to say the least.
- Rain has a lot of LGBTQ characters. Whenever one is revealed to be such, readers complain that it is unrealistic to have so many queer/trans characters. The writer, Jocelyn Samara, now writes a statement with every reveal asking readers to keep it to themselves, because it is not true and she does not appreciate it.
- 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." A later article tackled criticism in a broader sense.
- JesuOtaku at one point released a full-length screed over his Twitter in response to complaints about his Attention Deficit Creator Disorder.
- Noah Antwiler has made a few blog posts along these lines:
- "An Appeal to Manners" is addressed not to people who hate his videos, but rather to 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", and straight up instructing their fans to troll Noah. 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".
- The Spoony Experiment 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 Spoony on Twitter. Noah Antwiler 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 to decide that arguing with a single Internet reviewer was the best use of her time.
- Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation has had to do this a few times:
- After panning Super Smash Bros. Brawl and receiving an unusually large amount of hate mail, he devoted a whole video to snarkily responding to some of the negative comments.
- 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:
Yahtzee: So please, load up your shotguns, join me around this barrel, and let's take it out on some motherfucking fish.
- 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 Lets 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.
- The infamous Encyclopedia Dramatica has this in the form of the "Offended"-page. The less said about it, the better.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino were always befuddled by the show's Ship-to-Ship Combat, one of the most infamous in the Western animation fandom, and they aren't shy about how much they dislike the Fan-Preferred Couple Zuko/Katara, viewing it as particularly nonsensical. It reached its height after the series ended, by which time Aang/Katara were very clearly the Official Couple, and they showed a video at SDCC 2008 called Book 4: Air, which was a collection of Zutara fanart — dubbed over with a story of what would have happened had Zuko and Katara been a couple (a very short relationship, as it turns out). It ended with Sokka's voice actor declaring to the audience that "all women who ship Zutara will have doomed relationships."
- Sequel series The Legend of Korra had similar shipping wars, and Konietzko and DiMartino were even less understanding this time around. They blamed all criticism of the first-season finale on "rabid shippers" (whether or not their criticism even addressed shipping), and Konietzko went on to claim that shippers were simply too stupid to understand their writing.
- 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 who 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 transgender people, and after trying and failing to be civil about it, writer Amy Keating Rogers (with a bit of help from M.A. Larson) fired a couple◊ of shots◊ back.
- During a Reddit AMA held a few weeks after the finale of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, numerous creative team members answered questions fans had about the show's conclusion. When asked about the fanbase's feelings that the ending was rushed, creator Daron Nefcy said she wrote an ending she was happy with, and that the fans feeling it was "rushed" was just them unhappy it was ending and wanting more. Her answer comes across as her saying she didn't rush the ending, and that anyone who felt it was rushed is just mad the show was ending.
- 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 this upon seeing Internet commenters on Movie Poop Shoot (a thinly-veiled parody of Ain't It Cool News) giving negative feedback on the upcoming Bluntman and Chronic movie. Of course, Jay's Internet Tough Guy act is unknowingly feeding the trolls — at least until he and Silent Bob actually make good on their threats, heading to Hollywood to sabotage production of the movie. And then, in The Stinger, they personally go to the homes and workplaces of every one of the trolls on Movie Poop Shoot and give each of them a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
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.