Do you think one of the reasons ScarletBeauty didn't click with people is that not many people saw OUAT in Wonderland so they don't know the backstory/in depth characterization of Will?
I think there are a lot of people that didn’t see Wonderland, and A&E didn’t bother developing the character much because they were counting on people knowing who he was.
But when it comes to the ship I think they were in this ‘offend as few people as possible, make no one happy’ middleground. Like they didn’t want to lose Rumbelle shippers so they made Rum’s reactions to the ship woobie and said, and we knew it wasn’t endgame. They wanted them to be together just enough to work for drama and plot but not enough that people thought Rumbelle had no hope. So they didn’t actually build up the ship. Didn’t invest time in it. you can ell they don’t actually care. So how do they expect the audience to care?
There’s people upset with the ship because it hurts Rum. People upset with the ship because they don’t like how fast Belle started dating (and some that didn’t want Belle with anyone else.) There’s people rooting for the ship only because it hurts Rum or ‘ends’ rumbelle. And then this tiny group that actually like the ship for the ship’s sake and get completely screwed.