When you see all these reviews decimating Iron Fist with specific callouts on Finn Jones’ lack of on screen charisma and martial art skills as well as Danny Rand’s blatant whitesplaining to Asian characters
at some point during season 1 some writer was like “get this… what if mickey milkovich is gAY and he SLEEPS WITH IAN GALLAGHER” and then they just ran with it and somehow ended up creating one of the most complex emotionally charged relationships on tv
I know this is, like, old stuff by now, but do u know what really gets me about Alex Hirch’s seemingly intense dislike for Ford?
Like… abuse is a very tricky thing to handle in kids media. The message can get muddled and misrepresented easily, because no one can really flat out say “I was abused”. I don’t think it’s a surprise at this point when I say that I was a victim of parental abuse and was abused by someone that I thought was a friend, not to mention that I was autistic and subjected to severe bullying because of it. Growing up, all cartoons fed me were messages like “forgive your friends even when they hurt you” or “family is family, no matter what” or “your bully is secretly sad so you shouldnt be mad at them”, and all these messages tricked me into thinking that I was the bad guy for hating my family, for being unable to ‘fix’ my bullies, for developing deeply rooted trust issues
Then came Ford Pines
I had caught up to Gravity Falls right before Ford’s appearance, so ‘Not What He Seems’ was the first episode I caught on air. As the episodes were released and we slowly learned more about Ford, I actually didn’t like him so much at first. He was angry, he was loud, he was distrustful, he kept to himself; he was everything that I was always told not to be. However, as the episodes continued, I realized that I saw a lot of myself in him
Like, lets look at Ford for a second. He is clearly a victim of abuse and bullying (and heavily implied parental abuse), and he’s mad at the people who wronged him, and you know what? The narrative celebrates that Ford hates his abusers (well, Bill, at least)! But guess what? He may have been angry, but he was nice. He adored the kids, and it shows. He was one of the only members of the Pines family who wasn’t always poking fun at Dipper, and its clear that Dipper appreciates that. He’s sweet, dorky, and a good guy
For the first time, I was face to face with an abuse victim who was angry, but a good guy, and you can’t understand how unreal that felt to me. I’m sure Ford’s not the first character to fit into this idea, but he’s the first cartoon character that I’ve seen that did this right
Even Journal 3, with it’s flaws, showed a pretty accurate process of an abuse victim realizing that they’re being abused (at least, from my point of view). The idolization, the distrust of actual friends, the abuser convincing him that his real friends were out to get him, and then when he realizes that he’s been played this entire time? It hits him HARD. He can’t sleep, he’s scared, he doesn’t trust anyone, and how he views reality is altered because of this. Whether they meant to or not, Journal 3 was a great book from an abuse victim’s point of view
So… yeah. At this point, you can probably tell that Ford was an important character for me (and many other abuse victims that I’ve met too). Finally, an abuse victim we could root for, who’s abuse didn’t ‘turn then into an abuser’. FINALLY, an abuse victim who was angry but was still someone we could root for. Almost every trait about Ford clearly links to some form of abuse, and it’s something that me and other abuse survivors can relate to
And Alec Herb wants us to hate him for it
He calls Ford a bad guy. He calls Ford ‘egotistical’ for daring to be proud of the things he’s good at. He says that Ford ‘deserves to be punished’ for not immediately forgiving someone who hurt him in the past. During one of his streams, he even said ‘Ford is a popular character and I just don’t see why’, implying that everything I said before was a complete accident on his part, that he wasn’t taking abuse victims into account and wanted us to think that he was a bad guy. And, of course, only us scary mentally ill abuse victims could ever relate to him
God. I just. Fuck. You can all understand why I hate him now, right??