What do you have against Bex? (Can u also provide evidence thanks 💜)
When I first got this ask, I was tempted to play it off as a joke and say “the fact she exists,” and leave it at that. But I feel like it’s important to stay informed. And if you genuinely don’t know, I’ll give you the complete rundown. It’s long, it’s messy, and it’s nasty, so bear with me.
First, and introduction. When I talk about Bex, I’m referring to the actress Bex Taylor-Klaus, who is the voice actor (or VA) of the character Pidge in the show Voltron Legendary Defender on Netflix.
It all began a while ago when Bex liked a comment of a picture. The picture involved a ship called Shei//th. I censored the name so it doesn’t show up in the tags of that on tumblr. But essentially it’s a ship between two characters, Takashi Shirogane, a 25 year old pilot who is the leader of the team, and Keith Kogane, one of the other “paladins” or fighters on the team. People like me find this ship to be distasteful, since Shiro is an adult, and the others are teens (it’s actually a bit messier than that, since an official Voltron source listed Keith as 18, but the producers of the show, Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, said they were not consulted on the book so there’s some question as to whether it’s canon or not). Either way, the consensus by most reasonable people is that it’s probably not a healthy thing to depict in children’s media, when you consider the considerable age difference, the power imbalance (leader, senior officer with someone they are in charge of), and finally, the iconic line by the character of Keith himself when he defines their relationship as a familial one.
Nonetheless, the ship persists, as nasty things on tumblr are wont to do. There’s a lot of shipping discourse on tumblr between two distinct groups which can be labelled as “antis”–people who are not in favor of any Shiro/paladin ships, or what has become to be known as “shaladins”–people who ship any variation of Shiro with the paladins.
Here is where Bex got involved. On Instagram there was a picture of a black shoe and a red shoe together and the joke was about the shoes being a prophecy that Shei//th would be canon. A joke, mostly, considering all the evidence above. But here’s where Bex got herself in trouble. She liked a comment on the picture where someone said “Keith is a power bottom confirmed.”
Obviously, this caused a bit of an uproar within the fanbase, especially between the discourse between antis and shaladins. Shaladins were celebrating that an Official Voltron Source liked their ship, and antis were angry about that acknowledgement of the ship at all by official sources, and the sexualization of a kid’s show (more on this later.)
So of course this sparked the discourse on tumblr. One user, @lancehunks, who was receiving asks about Bex, tagged her in the replies.They were definitely unfavorable.
and a few more.
Bex, being the big strong, adult, woman she is, decided that she could not take this obviously grievous insult to her name [sarcasm], and decided to reblog them all and respond to them. Keep in mind, that @lancehunks was just 13 years old. And Bex (22) decided that these were appropriate responses:
Yep, you read that right. Not only an adult but employed on a kid’s show! To a 13 year old! The target audience of the very show she’s a part of! (Oh, the hypocrisy). But wait, there’s more:
Just in case you’re confused, let me tell you the many, many reasons why this is unacceptable.
- Bex is an adult. You’d think she’d be a little more mature by now just in general. It’s the internet and there are trolls.
- The person she was addressing was 13!!!! Do I think it was mature to tag Bex in all those posts? No. But it’s… behavior that you can expect from 13 year old’s on the internet. If we swore at and tore down every single one of them every time they did something dumb, we would need a lot more therapists for teens in the world. Plus it’s really disingenuous to pretend that we wouldn’t have done something similar when we were younger if we were in that position.
- Bex is famous. While she’s certainly not on the caliber of massive A-List stars like Tom Holland or Zendaya, she has a fanbase that exceeds the normal person’s friend group. Just because she’s been on TV before, she has groupies that will support her no matter what, who will troll for her, who uncritically and unconditionally worship her. I’m not a Bex fan, nor do I really care to know her well enough to know just exactly how many fans she has, to be certain she does have them. When she publicly reblogged those words, that “motherfucker,” those fighting words, she weaponized her fanbase. What I mean when I say that is her behavior gave her groupies permission to behave the same way. By targeting someone who didn’t like her (a thirteen year old!!!!!), she opened the gates to her fans and groupies doing the same thing, to a kid.
This lead to some terrible things happening. The 13 year old was getting death threats, sexual violence threats, and nsfw content, all because Bex just couldn’t let it go.
What does this mean? Finish it? Finish the kid? If you’re so sick of the fighting, then why did you even respond in the first place? Bex is the one who escalated the situation. Bex is the one who caused the fighting in the first place (by that I mean the fighting between the two that night, the fighting between antis and shaladins has been going on for as long as the show).
There we go. Now he have something resembling dignity. But unfortunately the damage was done, and user @lancehunks deleted their blog. As a direct response to Bex’s actions. Bex caused a 13 year old to leave tumblr.
When hearing this news, Bex offered a half-assed apology:
This is the most insincere apology I have ever seen. “The internet has Bad things on it and it’s YOUR fault for seeing them” is not an apology. The best part is that she’s a big fat hypocrite. “Sometimes, when it’s harmless, the best thing I can do is shake my head and keep scrolling.” So why didn’t you Bex? Why didn’t you keep scrolling instead of targeting a 13 year old?
In light of recent political events, though there’s one thing that stands out to me:
Sound like anybody you know? The esteemed President, perhaps?
*disclaimer* I am in no way claiming that Bex is a Trump supporter. I don’t know enough about her–and I don’t want to know enough about her–to know where she leans politically. I’m just drawing the attention to the similarities in moral equivalency going on, here.*
Sure you targeted a 13 year old and weaponized your fanbase, but someone tagging you in a snarky post is just as bad, right? (Wrong.)
You’d think that would be the end. You’d think that Bex would be capable of living and learning, or maybe even just taking her own advice, and keep scrolling. But here we go again.
The next bit of drama started when the possibly canon guide book was released, stating Keith’s age as 18. There was a big celebration on the shaladin side because technically, that would make it “legal” for Keith and Shiro to have sex. Besides the fact that legal ≠ moral, again, Voltron is a kid’s show. But on tumblr this time, Bex posted this.
This time, the discourse surrounding Bex was a little different., This time, the discourse mostly focused on the fact that even if Shiro and Keith disregarded canon and morals and the fact that it’s a kid’s show ever did get in a relationship, the only thing that matters is how they like to have sex.
This is a problem for a lot of reasons. There’s a culture, pretty prominent on tumblr of women, mostly white, who are obsessed with gay sex. They write fanfiction and p*rn solely for their own personal gratification. This, of course, is a gross misinterpretation to wanting LGBT+ representation. If you aren’t a mlm (an acronym for men-loving-man, that includes many sexualities) then writing p*rn about is sexualizing them, using them as a tool to get yourself off, and not like complex human people. Mlm are more than how they like to have sex. In fact, that shouldn’t be a part of a discussion for anybody except between willing partners. This also feeds into the popular and damaging stereotype that gay men are predatory by nature.
So, as a whole, not good.
And again, we have a whole situation escalated by Bex. The worst part is, to people who tried to explain this to her, the only response they were given was a gif:
So once again, a minor dared to express their distaste for Bex on tumblr. But this time, they didn’t tag her. This time, they censored her name. But Bex found it anyway. And she decided to do the exact same thing that led to a minor leaving the website, and to stop watching the show.
Have no fear, this time though. This time, Bex is going after a 14 year old, at least she’s not going after kids anymore, right? [sarcasm]
Some final notes.
Bex claims to be an LGBT+ rights activist. I’m also pretty sure she’s a lesbian herself (again, I already know too much about her, I’m not looking to get to know her better.) So, you’d think, as someone who wants equality for LGBT+ people and communities, she’d have the wherewithal to listen to specific subsets of that group when they say something about themselves, like, for example, young mlm who don’t appreciate being sexualized by a white woman. So I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I saw this on her blog:
Now, I happen to agree with the above statement, but it’s so ironic, so hypocritical that Bex is talking about the sexualization of anything. Because kid’s shows aren’t safe from her sexualization and mlm certainly aren’t. How can one person be so incredibly oblivious? A mystery that I don’t have any interest in solving.
I also want to address something a little more devious and a little more dark. I personally know of at least 12 different people who sent Bex asks, politely explaining some of the things I’ve talked about here, or relaying how her words hurt them personally. Bex never answered any of them. But she did answer this:
Just to be perfectly clear, I do not condone or encourage hatemail. Do not send people anything wishing them death or harm in any way. I have never sent nor do plan on sending hatemail, and you should be ashamed of yourself if you do.
However, this is incredibly nefarious. Bex doesn’t answer any of the many asks she got that were polite, but proved her wrong. She didn’t answer any of the young mlm who gave her their personal stories and who weren’t anonymous. Instead, she publishes this. And she did this on purpose, to make her look innocent, to make her look like she’s the one being attacked. I get hatemail every single day too. Things along similar lines to this. I block the user. Delete them, One, because I don’t want to expose my followers to that kind of negativity on a daily basis, two, a mature person knows that deleting them is the best kind of revenge because the user will be constantly looking for a response and they will know they had no effect on me and three, because if you do that, eventually they stop. This is intentional on Bex’s part to make the people who don’t like her look bad. I don’t like Bex at all, and I certainly do not support that message. Any reasonable person wouldn’t. Also the fact that it’s an anonymous message adds a certain air of doubt as to who sent it.
The point is, Bex is purposely ignoring polite and well-meaning people and posted this to “prove” she’s the one on the “good” side because no good person would send that message.
This is also worth noting:
This was posted after the lancehunks debate but before the power bottom comment she made. In this post, Bex admits that a relationship between Shiro and any of the paladins is predatory in nature. She said that. Her words. And then after that she said that Keith was a power bottom.
The last thing I want to say, is that Voltron is a kid’s show. It’s rated US-TV-Y7. Which means for years 7 and older. Regardless of the ship, there should be no sexual content, be it fanart, of fanfiction of Voltron characters at all. We are all collectively responsible for keeping content age-appropriate for the target audience. So, stop it. All and any ships.