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Why Fandom Cant Have Nice Things / Live-Action TV

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  • Before Season 3 of iCarly had started airing, Dan Schneider posted a script fragment of a future episode. He took it down quickly, but it was reposted on various sites. Naturally, shippers from both sides went nuts, especially on LiveJournal. After receiving heavy criticism for ruining the fandom, Schneider deleted his LiveJournal account, without warning or notice (meaning the fandom lost a lot of interesting interaction with him), and eventually set up his own blog site, which he claimed was for better control. Schneider's first post, however, was about how pissed off he was about the reception of his script.
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  • One speculated reason for why Legend of the Seeker wasn't renewed for a third season was that fans of the Sword of Truth books were so vocal about the changes that were made that the networks were afraid to advertise the show.
  • Doctor Who :
    • Whiny fans who never stop complaining about "imperfections" is why Steve Roberts of the restoration team stopped writing articles about the Doctor Who DVD restorations. Prior to that, he had to take a temporary break from the Doctor Who Restoration Team's now-defunct forum,note  after getting flamed endlessly by fans over his part in commissioning the horribly-received mockumentary "Eye on Blatchford" for the "City of Death" DVD release.
    • When it was announced Christopher Eccleston would be leaving the revived series, fans took to the then-active Outpost Gallifrey forum in their droves. One well-known superfan then compared Eccleston to a "cockroach" and in doing so, had the entire forum pulled down by its admin for several days.
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    • After the transmission of the "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" two-parter, writer Helen Raynor — who had also been the main script editor for the revived series since it began transmitting — decided to look on the Outpost Gallifrey forum to see what fans thought of the episode, only to find out that not only was the reception mixed to say the least, a not-insubstantial number of fans were directing misogynistic insults towards her. Needless to say, she never looked at those or any other Doctor Who-related forums again, and despite coming back to write the "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky" two-parter the following season, focused mainly on Torchwood for the rest of her time with the franchise.
    • Doctor Who and Torchwood scriptwriter James Moran shut down his blog for a year (and never wrote in the franchise again) because of the level of abuse he received from m/m fans who accused him and the other show creators of being homophobic for killing off Ianto Jones in Torchwood: Children of Earth.
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    • When Jenna-Louise Coleman first got the part of Clara, one of the very first pieces of advice she was given was "stay off the Internet." It would be several years before she'd establish Instagram and Twitter accounts.
    • In 2011, archivist Phil Morris found ten missing episodes of Doctor Who in a TV station in Nigeria, completing "The Enemy of the World" and "The Web of Fear". By the time the film prints made it to the BBC in 2013, "The Web of Fear": Episode Three was missing. Morris suspects that, after rumors of the recovery leaked, a fan arranged to buy the rare film print from the station.note  The DVD/VOD releases include a reconstruction using previously-discovered stills and audio, and two years after the recovery's announcement, episode three's discovery and loss was made public. Morris hopes that whoever owns the print will return it, and highlights this as an example of why he needs to keep his finds secret until his search is over. The worst part? Those film print were in very bad condition, so much so that they might fall apart if played without careful physical restoration first, so the episode may end up gone for good.
    • During early production of Series 10, Peter Capaldi was accessible to fans who attended location shooting, happy to pose for photos, etc. As production went on, however, this was cut back noticeably with the forums indicating it was due to some fans who abused the privilege of access.
  • Back in the late '90s, before Lexx developed a fan base that was rabid when it came to Michael McManus, who portrayed Kai on the show, he was known to dote on the fans, even the squeeing fangirls. There is an especially cute story of him leaving an autograph session, announcing that he wanted a beer and inviting a nearby group of fans to join him. After a few years of non-stop stalking and harassment at the hands of fangirls with no respect for boundaries, McManus eventually stopped interacting with fans all together, becoming almost reclusive.
  • Joseph Mallozzi, a writer and producer of the Stargate series in general, has had a blog on and off over the last decade. Each time he comes back, the blog is more and more regulated toward the fan hate and complaints that had eventually flooded his last blog. He is, however, an avid poster on the Stargate subreddit.
  • Stephen Amell used to be more active with fans at cons and on his social media in the early days of Arrow but has slowed down over the years, largely because of some over zealous Real Person Shipping. Fans of the “Olicity'' pairing have harassed his wife into turning her Instagram private at various points in time. They also found out who his non celebrity ex-wife was and harassed her. Fans have even gone so far as to photoshop Felicity’s actress’s face onto his wife’s in pictures of them and their daughter. He’s called out people for implying his marriage is fake and he’s really in love with his co-star but doesn’t talk about “Olicity” nearly as much as he used to.
  • TV mega forum Television Without Pity: Aaron Sorkin's experiences on the site during The West Wing's heyday led him to roundly mock it on an episode. Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars, also avoided the show's fandom after run-ins on TWOP.
  • Dave Chappelle became disillusioned with Chappelle's Show for the following reasons:
    • He felt that it had turned into a minstrel show.
    • He had begun to realize that some of his fans were idiotic whites who took the humor at face value and thought that hearing a black man saying "nigger" repeatedly was hilarious.
    • He was getting extremely tired of people shouting "I'M RICK JAMES, BITCH!" at live standup appearances to the point where he was drowned out.note  It eventually resulted in him blowing up at the audience and telling them that he gave them too much credit and that they really were every bit as stupid as the network execs said they were. In another appearance, when someone did the same thing, he claimed that he wished he had never done that particular sketch.
    • He walked off because the schedule was becoming far too demanding for him, he basically had to work 20 hours a day, and it soon got to a point where he no longer enjoyed working on the show.
    • A newspaper reported that Chappelle accepted Comedy Central's 35 million dollar contract. This angered him as that was something he wanted to be kept under wraps.
    • He had already begun to wonder whether he hadn't turned into what he had originally been making fun of when filming a "racial pixie" skit; the pixies in question were caricatures who egged on individuals of various races to act out the stereotypes of their races, and Chappelle played the black pixie, which was an extraordinarily offensive darky archetype that was straight out of a minstrel show. Chappelle was already unsure of whether the skit crossed into bad taste or not, and when a white crew member laughed in a way that Chappelle felt was at him rather than with him, he became extremely uncomfortable and was more or less convinced that the show was not headed anywhere good.
  • Bradley James of Merlin temporarily abandoned his Twitter account after certain portions of the fandom began to leave unpleasant comments about his girlfriend Georgia King and co-star Angel Coulby. As a result, he didn't find his "fans" hassling two women he cares about particularly endearing, and despite an attempt to calm things down, King shut down her Twitter account and James cut down considerably on the use of his own. When it was announced that James and Coulby would be be starring in a photoshoot together, Brolin (Colin/Bradley) fans flooded the organizer's Twitter account with rude comments about how they'd rather have Colin than Angel. The organizer's disgust in her reply destroyed any chance they might have had of convincing her to do their desired Bradley/Colin shoot.
  • CBS limits Audience Participation on the American version of Big Brother after the earlier attempts at audience participation wound up with the Boring, but Practical players left and people from the players' hometown repeatedly calling in to save their person. In 11, they held an audience vote to decide who would receive the power of coup d'état, which would be a Game-Breaker to whoever got it. During this vote, texting would cost $1 a text but you could vote on the site for free. Ronnie's wife botted the site in Ronnie's favor and then posted instructions on how to bot the site for Ronnie's sake. People took this and made counterbots to the site so that Jeff or Jordan would win the power. CBS then made it so that you could only vote a maximum of five times, and then, on consecutive votes, randomize the houseguests positions on the map so you couldn't just mindlessly click on the same spot and then vote a hundred plus times. And for America's vote, they put in efforts to limit bots. You had to have an account and could only vote ten times total. This didn't stop a bunch of people from making Sock Puppet accounts and voting in Brendon to compete against Lawon in a competition to return to the house, though.
  • The Price Is Right:
    • Drew Carey opened his own personal blog on the show's website and within days, ruthless fans (most of them from Golden, a hugely popular fansite to which many staffers of the show have contributed) began attacking him. One took his commentary too far and pushed Carey into disabling comments temporarily. Since July 3, 2008, a lot of users over at that website had been hurling all sorts of invective at Carey and Fremantle Media over the firing of Roger Dobkowitz and various other things. When Carey disabled comments, he made a blog entry announcing that he had disabled them, and in this blog entry, he stuck it to these fans by calling them "telephone pole screamers".
    • Though contestant Terry Kneiss was awarded his prizes anyway, suspicions about him cheating his way into a perfect Showcase bid in a 2008 broadcast, which brought back memories of Michael Larson's two episode reign of terror on Press Your Luck, led to certain products not appearing in future episodes.
  • Miley Cyrus deleted her first Twitter account, not only as she reportedly lost her privacy and was addicted to Twitter, but due to death threats she received for posting pro-homosexual rights statements on her account. At the time, her account had over 1,300,000 followers. She's returned, of course, but posts less frequently, more discreetly, and certainly sticks up for herself more tersely. She also asks her fans not to flame those who criticize her.
  • Alton Brown of Good Eats had this problem, no less than twice. First when he decided to open up an email portal on his website and was promptly rushed with all sorts of unsavory things. The portal was closed down. Years later, he finally relented and opened up a Twitter account with similar results. He seems to have returned to Twitter, however.
  • Before and during the run of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was very active on Usenet, Compuserve & GEnie forums dedicated to the show, with well over 10,000 posts from 1992 through 1998. Constant harassment by a few fans led him into several ill-advised flamewars. Claudia Christian's departure from the show led to middle-of-the-night phone calls and death threats. He's never been as active online since, though he does have a Facebook fan page now.
  • DirecTV and Viacom wound up having a heated debate over some little thing, and Viacom attempted to rally its viewers to support them and call DirecTV. However, there was a generally lackluster response since most Viacom shows can be watched online legally.note  As a result, Viacom started removing official episodes from the Internet, even though this would do nothing but LOSE money and piss off fans who don't even have DirecTV.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Writer Bryan Cogman left Twitter after one too many insulting tweets by angry fans.
    • Ed Sheeran was invited to cameo in Season 7 as a Lannister soldier and the backlash from some fans regarding his presence as out of place led to him deleting his Twitter account too.
  • When spoilers for the entire second season of Bomb Girls leaked and were spread around (against the production company's wishes, mind you), fandom reacted extremely negatively, mostly Shippers whose only concern was Betty/Kate becoming canon. Soon after the series was moved from a Wednesday to Monday time slot and there was a long mid-season hiatus, leading to a drop in viewership. Then Global TV announced there would be no third season with only the possibility of a TV movie in winter of 2014 to wrap up all the cliffhangers. Cue more negative reactions. And then after the movie aired there was even more outrage over Betty/Kate being torpedoed as a ship.
  • When Ioan Gruffudd first got famous with Horatio Hornblower in the late '90s and early 2000s, he really seemed to be enjoying interaction with fans on-line. He was even paying a considerable sum of money to run a web-page where fans could send him greetings and kudos and he would often reply. Fans were also collecting and preserving rare stuff like videos from his child actor days or various interviews. When he got engaged, supposedly many a fan-girl could not deal, forgetting that Celebrity Crush is supposed to be for fun. They started sending hateful messages directed at his fiance. No wonder Mr Gruffudd refused to pay for that.
  • Masi Oka used to play World of Warcraft, but eventually stopped once several Heroes fans figured out his username and wouldn't leave him alone.note  He also describes himself as being good at avoiding the Internet, but was amused when he found out a fan wanted to keep Hiro as her "pet". He also has a Twitter account, but tends to treat it more as a broadcast than a dialogue, only answering questions during specific "Ask Masi" events.
  • This is mentioned in-universe during The Haunting Hour episode "Brush With Madness". Alan Miller is portrayed as a paranoid comic book writer and artist after being stalked by a homicidal fan eight years prior to the episode's plot. He then gets set off when the episode's protagonist, Corey, tries to overstay his welcome while at a convention signing and comments that he follows Miller on Twitter (though why a Reclusive Artist would be on Twitter in the first place is a question the episode never answers). Miller rushes out in a hurry, leaving Corey with his old set of paint brushes... and it just gets stranger from there...
  • Sue Perkins of The Great British Bakeoff closed down her Twitter account for several months after being harassed by fans of another BBC show over (false) rumors that she was going to be its new presenter.
  • Adam Savage, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara of Mythbusters were active on the Discovery-run fan forum, but stopped for various reasons: Grant became fed up with Monday-morning quarterbacks second guessing everything, Kari left in disgust at fanboys making lewd comments (it even resulted in a number of otherwise innocuous words being added to the list to redflag posts for moderator approval) and Adam left after he received death threats over test results, specifically their first Scope Snipe experiment. Also, when Discovery Communications started leaking out the details for the reboot, fans were quick to jump the gun and criticize the changes made to the series on the official Facebook page, even if some of them were only temporary or inevitable. Observe.
  • Sadly, the above also applies to White Rabbit Project. Once word of this "successor" started to get out, hate started to come streaming in. A small number of people are already complaining at several outlets about how the format of the show isn't like Mythbusters.
  • In Pretty Little Liars a combination of ill-informed haters, Shipping Wars and backlash compelled Lindsey Shaw (who plays Paige) to quit social media, attempt suicide and ultimately retire from acting. The Fan Dumb is strong in this fandom and other actors and the writers have been targets as well, but not to the extreme degrees of harassment that Lindsey had endured. From people calling her 'Pigskin' (a name her romantic 'rival' used to bully and torment her character) or a pig to sending her death threats and encouraging her and her fans to slit their wrists and kill themselves. It got to the point where series regulars couldn't even mention her/her character for fear of being harassed themselves. Shay Mitchell (who plays the main character Emily who is Paige's main romantic interest) went from gushing about their on-screen relationship to barely mentioning her in interviews and at some point Lindsey was even Put on a Bus, and her return in the last season was mainly a Take That, Audience!, intended to induce a My God, What Have I Done? in the viewers responsible by showing that Paige really was Emily's One True Love and that their final break up is an Act of True Love It's even lampshaded in the script:
    Emily: Nobody wanted this!
    Paige: Somebody did, they just didn't ask any of us.
    Emily: I have to do this
    Paige: I know. That's what makes you Emily.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin was driven off Twitter by rabid Once Upon a Time fans attacking her over her appearance, namely her weight gain in Season 4, which she filmed after she had just given birth. Sean Maguire also admitted he nearly left Twitter due to constant harassment from Emma/Regina slash fans angry that Regina was being paired with his character.
  • Star Trek:
    • An older example: the above mentioned Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath, Star Trek: The Original Series fans who gained access to the actors, producers and legal department through BNF convention organizer Joan Winston. They interviewed people for books about the show, and published fanfic anthologies. According to David Gerrold, Marshak and Culbreath were also deeply into the Slash Fic premise (their own novels reflect this). In interviews for a book on Shatner, they tried to maneuver Gene Roddenberry into promoting slash to Ascended Fanon.note  They apparently demanded that K/S should be included in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and "managed to alienate — and offend — 3 publishers, several members of the STAR TREK cast & production crew, & Paramount Pictures legal department. These individuals are very probably the main reason why K/S fandom has generated such a tarnished reputation in TREK fandom."
    • For several decades the owners of the Star Trek intellectual property (Paramount in its various incarnations) practiced a policy of benign neglect towards fan works, even as Web Video series like Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek Continues started to really push the envelope on production values. That all changed in The New '10s when it became clear that Alec Peters, the lead producer of the ostensible fan film Star Trek: Axanar, had used money donated through Kickstarter for the project to line his own pockets and set up a for-profit studio, and CBS and Paramount filed suit for copyright infringement in December 2015. In reply to Peters' claims that he didn't realize he was crossing a line because CBS never issued guidelines for fanfilms, CBS did just that in June 2016 when they announced a set of highly stringent new rules for fan films that were essentially the death knell of the higher-quality web series. The case was settled out of court in January 2017 with Axanar still allowed to proceed, but in a form that is compliant with the new guidelines. The exceptions is that original talent from Prelude can still appear and no more public fundraising. As of May 2018, the shorts have not appeared.
  • Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame deleted her Twitter account due to widespread memes on the site that falsely portrayed her as a violent homophobe.
  • Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor in Smallville, significantly reduced his fan interaction after some over-enthusiastic slash fangirls intentionally and publicly presented him with sex toys at a convention.
  • False drug accusations prompted actor Hiroki Narimiya (who, among other roles, played Yoichi Takato in the live-action version of The Kindaichi Case Files and Phoenix Wright in the movie version of Ace Attorney) to retire from the industry. In a statement announcing his retirement, he said that a friend he had trusted had betrayed him and crossed a line that should never have been crossed by slandering him in a manner that ensured his privacy would be invaded constantly, with no end in sight:
    Narimiya: I can no longer bear it when I think that my privacy will continue to be exposed to the world due to someone else's malice.
  • The Walking Dead's Josh McDermitt removed himself from social media after receiving death threats over his character's actions.
  • Actor Ruby Rose shut down her Twitter account and severely cut back on her Instagram account due to abuse from fans who thought that she had the wrong gender identity and sexual orientation to play the title character on Batwoman (2019).
  • Mr. Show briefly had an official online messageboard but shut it off because it immediately became infested with hostile trolls.
  • When Tenacious D was airing on HBO, they had a short-lived messageboard that was moderated by JR Reed, who pays Lee in show. The board climate quickly turned hostile, to the point that he had a record a video asking everyone to calm down. The board didn't last much longer.

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