Okay, I wanted to say two things that I didn’t see articulated much in the last couple days about Truth Slash Fiction.
I understand the creators seem like they have a healthy and respectful view of fans, fandom, and fanfiction. That’s great and I am happy for it. However, there are two reasons why that doesn’t give me peace of mind about the project.
1) The creators of the show are not the final arbiters of what happens to it if it’s picked up by a network. Verily-I-say said in tags yesterday that it would need to find the right home for it to be something we can feel good about; I think she’s absolutely right. The problem is that I doubt any network will treat it how we want. Some of you are already familiar with Teen Wolf and the Sterek fandom. For those of you who aren’t: Teen Wolf is an MTV show that premiered in 2011. In the first two seasons, there was plenty of indication that Stiles, one of the main characters, was bisexual and that he an another character, Derek, were interested in each other. (I can try and direct you to more on this, though I wasn’t that involved with the tumblr side of things, I liked the quality fic.) The fans ran with it and the couple was almost more popular than the show. All of a sudden, though, the show did an about-face, in a very Modest! way: not only did various people deny it was ever a possibility, those two characters were almost never alone again and their scenes together were as far as I understand cut dramatically. Fans were furious and feel queerbaited. The show, by the way, was written and created by a gay man. I don’t know what went on there, obviously, but the best of intentions aren’t enough. So no, just because Truth Slash Fiction has creators with good intentions doesn’t comfort me.
2) This show isn’t just about fans and fandom. It’s explicitly modeling itself after One Direction. I know any direct reference would be stripped away for legal reasons if it were to get picked up (though I’m sure there would be plenty of room for some wink-wink art portraying life anyway). But these five guys’ story is the basis for this television proposal. Their success, their talent, their experiences, their burdens, their actual and speculated personal lives, reimagined for the world to rewrite into yet another form of entertainment – as if their lives haven’t already been fodder for public consumption of the most cloying and destructive kind. Yet another set of stories about them are being peddled for business. They are once again being used for someone else’s gain, without any agency or say in the matter.
At the end of the day, I don’t care how it will be handled. That it’s being done at all without their consent and control is enough to earn my distaste.