I’m definitely not going to try and dictate who or what people should like or dislike. That’s between them and their tastebuds. Cassandra Clare’s writing certainly isn’t my cup of tea, but it could be someone else’s crack so… go nuts!
But here’s the thing. When you pick up a book or go to the cinemas, you’re not just reading a story or seeing a movie, you are consuming a product. A product thats sale/consumption will directly privilege certain people and which will affect the market or industry that product is a part of.
Now, obviously, when you spend money on Cassandra Claire’s work a portion of that money is going directly to her. As a reader of unpublished works? That shit galls me. Because I know dozens of unpublished authors that could write circles around Cassandra Clare; authors that have been knocked back again and again by publishing houses while Cassandra Clare was handed a publishing deal based on a following she secured through plagiarism. It makes me so angry, to think that she’s benefiting while other, more deserving writers are left out in the cold.
But okay. Say you don’t identify with authors that way. Say you can look past how she got her break. Say you think the work she’s done since makes her deserving of the rewards she’s reaped.
Cool. However, you must also look at what you’re telling the industry you’re supporting with your purchase.
There’s a reason people implored movie-goers not to see The Lone Ranger in cinemas. Doing so would send the message to Hollywood and society at large that whitewashing and blatant racism is A-OKAY as long as you slap a handsome face on it and do it for laughs.
Now, I’m not saying plagiarism is as bad as racism, but it’s a shitty-ass thing and, in this instance, it’s a shitty-ass thing that has been rewarded with half a dozen publishing deals and a big-screen movie. Why? Because people are spending the money to justify it.
Cassandra Clare’s success is telling the publishing industry that it doesn’t matter WHERE an author got their following from, as long as they have one willing to buy the shit THEY produce.
It comes down to ethics. Often, those who market products have shitty ones. They’re in it for the money. Which is why we, as consumers, have to talk to them with our wallets.
Now, I’m not telling anyone that they have to care about this stuff. I’m just saying: once you’re aware of Cassandra Clare’s history, you’re given a choice. A choice to spend money on her works, or to not. Enjoying those works is secondary. Liking or disliking her is secondary.
As it goes: You’re allowed to like problematic things, as long as you don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to those aspects that are problematic.
Wanna see the Mortal Instruments in cinemas? Go for gold, but know what you’re supporting and own that you’re supporting it.
As to people copping anger for liking the books or seeing the movie: I wish I could say I’ve never seen anyone personally attacked for it, but I have and that’s not okay.
“Don’t be an asshole” are words we could all stand to live by.
But the anger? The frustration surrounding this topic? I’m sorry, anon, but I get that. Because this is fandom. A lot of us here are creators ourselves and so everything I’ve said above? It’s very, very personal.
When people are made aware of everything Cassandra Clare has done and then shrug and go spend money on her work anyway, it’s slapping those of us who work hard at our craft in the face.
And that, as you can imagine, can inspire anger.
Should that anger be taken out on others? No. But maybe in reading this, you’ll understand why it’s there in the first place.