If I may have your attention for just a moment:
There was a time, a long ago in fandom terms when I was a fan of Jess (I still am, don’t worry - just stick with me) and as we all know, she has thousands of other fans, even though we call them ‘followers’. Jess posted lots of things, mostly because they were things that made her happy. She often would interact with her fans, and post things for their benefit, but for the most part, it was because she was running her own blog the way she wanted to. She was friends with someone who was also well known in the fandom, who I did not like. I did not follow this person, or want to have anything at all to do with her, ever. She often showed up on Jess’s blog, so I skipped those posts. She was a bully. She regularly called people out and ridiculed them and was full on toxic to many, many people who truly did her no harm - she simply couldn’t stay in her own lane and let other people fan the way they wanted. But she was Jess’s friend. So Jess interacted with her and was active with her daily. I seriously didn’t like it. But Jess wasn’t being her friend to please me, or to make me mad. In fact, Jess didn’t ever think of me one time when she was interacting with this friend. She was being an adult, choosing her friends and running her blog how she saw fit. It was not an insult to me that Jess didn’t think about me before she interacted with someone who I didn’t like, who was an actual bully. I try to stay in my own lane, so as I stated, I simply ignored. Many other people, however, tried to tell Jess not to be friends with her. As you can imagine, it didn’t go well. Why? Because it was none of their business who Jess chose to associate herself with. She is an adult and as she stated more than once, if you don’t like it, drive on by. I say this with absolutely no judgement. Jess was 100% right. As an adult, she had every right to to post what she wanted and be friends with whom she wanted, regardless of what 1 or 1000 of her followers thought about it, even though many people in the fandom were hurt by her friend’s words and posts. It was her friends’ fault and responsibility. Pure and simple.
Clearly you all know where I am going with this. Sam does not live his life thinking about all of his fans as individuals and how his actions might affect them. He couldn’t possibly - there are simply to many. He appreciates his fans. He interacts when he can. He posts things that he thinks we will like, but ultimately, his twitter is for him, and he can choose to interact with whomever he chooses. The people he interacts with are responsible for their own behavior. He does not appreciate us going on to his twitter and telling him how he should conduct his life, any more than Jess did. And why should he? He is a man, pursuing his passion, trying to do good in his community and navigating the brutal worlds of social media and fame. People have been hurt, but that is the troll’s fault, not Sam’s. This troll is responsible. It is his fault.
People have been hurt, and they have every right to process it how they need to. People can choose to unfollow Sam, or be mad at him or even yell at him. In the end, however, we are each responsible for our own behavior. All of us, famous and nonfamous, one follower or thousands, are responsible for our own behavior. If your feelings are such that guilt by association is enough to warrant an unfollow, that is truly fine - you do you, just as I am here trying to do me.
Maybe I am out of line, and maybe this comes off as me telling people how they should be reacting. That is not my intention. But I am trying to use the story of Jess and her Troll to get people to take a step back and review the situation in a different light. Jess wasn’t wrong. She was just a person living her life, making choices day by day. It so happens that she and that troll aren’t friends anymore, and I think the fandom is a better place for it, but that is just my opinion. There are surely those out there who don’t agree with me. Maybe one day Sam and his troll will no longer be friends. In my opinion, that will make the fandom a better place. Until then, I am trying to live and let live, doing harm to none and bringing joy to as many as possible.
I support Sam and am still a huge fan. I wish him nothing but success and happiness. I marvel at his talent and his apparent goodness, his humility and generosity, his humor, charity and intelligence. Most of all, I value his obvious joie de vivre. He IS a precious cinnamon roll, an adorable goober, a rambunctious puppy, a magnificent bastard and most of all, a Ridiculous Human Being.