[ note: below is a long post which is being left uncut on purpose. please reply with honesty but also with kindness. know that this is intended only to foster further conversation and not the be an absolute text. ]
I have been having many very interesting conversations and have received many interesting messages across a few social media platforms about my inquiry as to how people feel about Jeremy Jordan’s joke about Supercorp at Comic Con this past weekend.
A brief summary of my findings can be found below. Please note: This is simply a synthesis of my conversations and do not reflect my personal opinion on the matter, which I will cover somewhat below.
The lack of representation of LGBTQ+ relationships has a lot of people looking to extra-canon relationships. Even the one lesbian relationship on the show, Sanvers, does not mean the show is wholly inclusive of LGBTQ+ representation and the uncertain future of the relationship due to casting has people even more uneasy. Fans are hungry for feeling included in the narrative in a way that they can relate to.
Among the fandom, tensions have been running high for months (debatably years) when it comes to ships. From Supercorp to Karamel and the hundreds of other ships in between, fans have been exchanging unkind remarks and comments for a long time. These instances of fans behaving poorly to one another have decidedly not been one-sided, but have perhaps gotten out of hand to include people not involved in the “opposing” ship or even the fandom. Fans have been sensitive to comments regarding their ship and have been responding emotionally more often than rationally. This includes inappropriate threats and hate being sent to the cast and crew of the show over ships.
Fans are unhappy with many aspects of the show. Many do not like the trajectory of Kara’s story in season 2, including her relationship with Mon El.
Overall, reactions to Jeremy Jordan’s initial joke range from deeply offended to completely indifferent. People who believe that this was in itself homophobic believe that it was a dismissive joke at the expense of LGBTQ+ fans who already deal with other forms of dismissal and were hurt to receive it from a member of the cast of the show. Others see his apology as even more hurtful than his initial joke as it is seen as dismissive of the unintentional hurt caused by the joke. Some are even more frustrated with other cast member’s reactions to the joke or other comments made that dismiss Supercorp or other LGBTQ+ fan interests.
Instead of what could have been an opportunity for fans to discuss their issues with the show, actors, creators, other ships, or the fandom, many reactions were purely emotional. There seems to be a lack of safe spaces for people to have calm discussion about issues in fandom, especially ones with such deep emotional roots.
That’s a very brief summary of my findings. It definitely does not cover all aspects of every conversation I had this evening with many people, but I believe it gets to the core of a lot of the major tenants that were discussed.
But how do we move forward from here?
Everything below is 100% my opinion based on these conversations, my past experiences, and a little informed by my education.
Fandom is a place for people of all kinds. Representation is a precious and difficult thing to attain. ALL underrepresented groups have people within them seeking more visibility and more figures to look up to. These individuals become emotionally invested in people, characters, relationships and situations in an attempt to feel connected and inspired in a way that speaks to them, canon or otherwise.
People often conflate their identity, sense of belonging, or emotional well-being with a character, relationship, or story. It becomes even more prevalent with groups longing for more representation in media. When that thing that people have tied their heart to is endangered or called into question, it feels like a personal attack. This is often the root of hate and other poor behavior among fans.
In this particular instance, it seems to me that a single joke was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. In poor taste or not, Jeremy Jordan’s joke about how Supercorp wasn’t going to happen tapped into a deeper issue within fandom as a whole. I personally believe that Jeremy’s joke was a response to a very zealous group of fans who have been acting inappropriately towards members of the cast and crew and was never intended to be an attack on LGBTQ+ fans. All responses after that from him, the other members of the cast and crew, and the fans I largely classify as emotional (as opposed to rational) and should not be taken as much more than hurt feelings being thrown back and forth from all sides.
To alleviate both this horrible climate the fandom has found itself in as well as other wider issues in fandom, I recommend the following steps:
Talk to others with kindness and respect. If you have a concern or something that is bothering you, rational discourse will always be more progressive than hate speech and irrational name calling. This should especially extend to the creators of any fandom media.
Talk about mental health in relation to ships, characters, and fandom. I strongly believe that many of these extreme reactions are a result of over-identifying. Remember that if you allow your feelings to be tied into any one character, relationship, or show, you are giving away your agency to be happy.
Support groups that fight for the representation you wish to see in the media. Campaigning a singular ship will not change the course of representation for anyone. If we join as one voice to elevate those who are not yet part of the stories we love, we could actually make a difference.
Evidence against the argument that Superman's disguise wouldn't fool anyone:
Dolly Parton once lost a Dolly Parton look alike contest to a drag queen.
Charlie Chaplin once failed to even place at a Charlie Chaplin impersonator contest.
Hugh Jackman went to comic con as Wolverine, only 2 people noticed him and one told him he was too tall.
Reeve use to go to a restaurant in costume when filming Superman. When
he went in the Superman costume he was mobbed by people all the time.
When he went in the Clark Kent costume no one realized he was
2009: homestuck launches, riding on the wave of problem sleuths success. pretty big for a webcomic but still very niche overall. fandom is basically nonexistent outside of the mspa forums. mostly straight men and programming nerds
2010: hivebent happens. hetalia fans, tired of being in a big, widely-disliked fandom and drawn to the promised land of a fandom with a large cast and its own shipping system, migrate to homestuck en masse. the fandom gets its first major boost in popularity, more than doubling practically overnight. new fans are mostly young women
2011: fandom steadily expands over the course of the year.
ben nye literally sells out of grey body paint prior to comic-con. vriscourse comes to a head and people continue to argue about her death for months after. cascade drops in october, enough to crash multiple flash and download sites, and act 6 begins in november. by the end of the year its near impossible to use tumblr without being exposed to homestuck somehow.
2012: homestuck fandom peaks. this is the last year that homestuck is published regularly (the only hiatus lasts for about a month, before the dancestor intermission). homestuck is everywhere on your tumblr dash, on reddit, on 4chan. hussie has a tumblr and post and tweets regularly. in september the homestuck kickstarter begins, meets its $700k goal in less than 2 days, and finishes in october with nearly $2.5 million. this draws the attention of a few mainstream publications - pbs, wired, cnn, huffpo, etc. dante basco becomes a homestuck fan.
2013: homestuck fandom begins to shrink. first, in april, when the comic goes on a month-long hiatus. around this time, several other fandoms gain popularity - attack on titan starts airing in japan, off and dangan ronpa have just received english translations, welcome to night vale is finishing up its first season - thanks to homestuck fans looking for something to tide them over during the hiatus. when it comes off hiatus, homestuck resumes updating (much more often than most webcomics, but not nearly at the multiple-pages-per-day speed it had maintained prior). in october, hussie announces hes putting the comic on indefinite hiatus to work on the game, and that it will return with one final massive update containing the rest of act 6 and the entirety of act 7. namco high is published in late december to a resounding “meh”.
2014: homestuck remains on hiatus for nearly the entire year. the website only updates to announce new merch. paradox space launches in an attempt to revive the fandom, which has some success, but not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of interest over the hiatus. behind the scenes, whatpumpkin is wrapped up in legal drama with the odd gentlemen over stolen money and failure to adhere to a development schedule, finally severing their contract at some point over the summer. (hussie vaguely refers to “innumerable unspecified problems” in an mspa blog post, but due to a nda the full story doesnt become public knowledge until summer 2015.) hussie still tweets (but not regularly), but he nukes his tumblr. homestuck does eventually come off hiatus in october, hussie announces that the “one giant update” plan has been cancelled and serial updates resume. [s] game over stirs up the fandom
2015: updates continue regularly through january, at which point another hiatus begins that lasts until 413. on the same day that homestuck resumes, paradox space goes on an indefinite hiatus which continues to this day (”cancellation” would probably be a better word). a6a6i5 begins and, accordingly, the vriscourse comes back with a vengeance (although the fandom is now much smaller). davekat is canonized and surges to become the most popular ship in the fandom practically overnight. homestuck continues updating for a few months, with page after page of huge blocks of ponderous dialogue, reaching an emotional climax at the end of the summer with [s] terezi: remem8er. homestuck goes back on indefinite hiatus. early this year, steven universe finishes its first season, and near the end of it, undertale is released, both popular with ex-homestucks. at some point this year, hussie clears his twitter account.
2016: in february, hussie announces that homestuck is Ending, Seriously, For Real This Time. updates resume in late march. homestucks remaining fandom gets worked up, estranged fans rush to catch up, and ex-fans wax nostalgic. [s] collide drops to resounding applause and approval. opinions on homestuck are overwhelmingly positive up until act 7 drops and homestuck officially ends. the ending is almost universally considered a disappointment and the fandom works through the five stages of grief. there is a brief stirring of excitement when volume 10 is published in june, but it doesnt last long. fandom is lukewarm and disparate at best all the way up til october. hiveswap finally gets a trailer at the beginning of the month, and weeks later the credits drop. in spite of homestuck being “over” a canon jewish lesbian wedding is enough to interest a small number of new fans and revive the old ones. snapd8s keep interest high through the end of the year
2017: hiveswaps “for real this time” release date comes and goes with nothing but an announcement of another delay. snapd8s grind to a halt. nothing happens on 413 but some flaccid attempts at pr by whatpumpkin and promises of development updates we have yet to receive. its mid-may. no gods, no masters, no hiveswap. we are all gay and were eating each other alive over vriska and dirk
Captain and Siren AU! “Ever so often, Lexa leaves small things by the edge of the water. A handful of buttons. A silver necklace that used to be her mother’s. Half a pastry. A little box inlaid with mother of pearl.
- okay i know i just saved you from a burning building and you look beat but are you wearing crocs
- okay i know you just saved me from a burning building and you look beat but are you wearing crocs
- you come into the starbucks i work at in full costume and everyone is freaking out and yeah you might have just fought God himself but there’s still no way in hell i’m giving you your Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip™ for free forget about it
- i turned up to comic con in my superhero costume and people don’t think it’s me and keep saying my costume isn’t very accurate???? do you want me to accidentally break your arm
- no i’m not a superhero that’s my twin the only superpower i have is the ability to attract all this unwanted attention
- i’m just a superhero what i do is save the city i never wanted to be invited to walk the red carpet!!!! designer dresses are hella expensive!! i keep this city safe i don’t deserve this
BONUS: no NO i am not sitting next to chris evans at the oscars he’s captain america!!!!!! yes i know he’s acting but he does the superhero thing better than i do!!!!
- hey buddy everyone in the business meeting is staring at you because you left your mask on maybe you should like,,, take it off
- haha yeah right you’re a superhero bro h - diD YOU JUST SHOOT A LASER BEAM AT MY COLLECTOR’S EDITION LIFE-SIZE SCOOBY DOO
- i came in to get cough syrup not take a photo with you for your shop wall please have mercy i’m ill
DISCLAIMER: Liespotting can be a bit imprecise. This post is based on research that scientists have gathered about how to tell if someone is being dishonest. PLEASE take this with a grain of salt, as even scientists tend to disagree on the signs at times. I tried to take the most agreed upon signs and analyze the first 1 minute and 30 seconds of the Cambridge Q&A.
Okay let’s begin.
1) FIND THE BASELINE
Before you can tell if someone’s lying, you need to know how they usually behave/tell the story. People usually deviate from their baseline behavior/story when they say something fishy. The baseline for us is Jan 31st when Moffat talks about season 4&5.
January 31st, 2014 on planning season 4&5:
MOFFAT: Yes, we do. It’s really [Season] 4 that we’ve got, but it throws forward to a terrifying [Season] 5. It wasn’t a planned thing. We had just got out of the rain and because we don’t have the lovely big trailers that Benedict and Martin have, we had to go sit in the accountancy department and we just talked about what we could do. We just started having what I think are the best (set) of ideas we’ve ever had. I think (they)’re just wild. And when I say ideas, it’s what stories we’ll tackle, what big twists there will be, what gut punches there will be, and what surprises there will be, and I think it’s really exciting.
This behavior then deviates at theCambridge Q&A on January 20th, 2017:
Steven: Um, we-ahk- we’re not lying. We- we don’t know! We haven’t even sat down and, uh, uh, done any complicated graphs or sums yet. Uh, so, we really, really don’t know. Mark: We are sitting down now.
Steven originally says that they have planned season 4 and how it relates to the storyline of season 5. Then, Steven takes it back and says they haven’t even really thought about it. Then, Mark and Steven even discredit each other by saying that they haven’t sat down and are currently sitting down to discuss it.
Fibs make you fidgety. Liars will scratch their noses, rub their necks, pick imaginary lint from their shirts,
or repeatedly shift their position.
position 1 (steven’s legs crossed towards mark, both of marks legs on the ground)
position 2 (both of steven’s legs on the ground, mark’s legs crossed towards steven)
position 3 (both have crossed their legs towards each other)
position 4 (back to the original position) …all in under a minute
Liars may also maintain eye contact too well or consistently look away.
This is a very difficult thing to actually pinpoint. In my opinion, Moffat maintains too much eye contact while discussing season 5, Gatiss looks away far too often. I’ll leave this one up to your judgement.
Liars also wring their hands due to feelings of guilt.
and maintain closed off body language.
(mark’s crossed legs, steven’s hand covering his face, mark’s hands over his crotch, both of their palms are facing down, their bodies are facing each other rather than the interviewer)
Mark seems to be the worse liar in this case. When Steven starts to talk about not knowing anything about season 5, he immediately braces himself and death grips the armchair (better seen in video). Then, strokes his leg from thigh to knee with his palm down which signifies discomfort.
3) TOO MUCH DETAIL and QUALIFIERS
Lies make us chatty. A liar may talk a lot to win you over, but most of those extra sentences are fluff.
See: the immediate evasion by talking about Dr. Who; the repetition of “we don’t know” (also seen as removal of individual responsibility), “who knows”, etc; and then the quick subject change to casting martin and ben despite no one asking them.
AKA They evade the question by adding a lot of details that don’t matter.
MOFFAT: But what you have to do is put out huge amounts of disinformation to try to bury all the secrets
Phrases like “The truth is” or “To be honest” can mean that even if they aren’t lying to you now, they were earlier.
see 1:15-1:17 of the video where they both say “honestly” right after one another despite NO ONE contradicting or fighting them.
4) Finally, there is the Moffat admitting to his tendency to lie
Moffat: “In fairness, I say I’m going to lie, then I lie, and people still get mad at me” (Comic Con 2016 Panel)
Individually, these signs may mean nothing.
All of these signs in under 1:30? Plus their tendency to lie about the show?
I think it’s safe to say that something is UP.
[Please feel free to comment and critique if you see something that is wrong as I am by no means an expert. :) ]