Kopi Talk: When is “too far” too far?

We all have our favourite shows, books, movies, and games, but in every fandom, there will be a level of toxicity that no one talks about until things get real. Recently we’ve heard about the death threats being sent to the creator of Darling in the Franxx and artists that have fanart of a character named Ichigo up online. Whether this news is true or false, it is undeniable when you realise this has happened before in other fandoms. When you hear about news like this, don’t you wonder when too far is truly too far? This is going to be our fairly light-hearted yum cha session of this week.

The internet has a history of people going too far for their interests, sometimes even unhealthily so. Everybody has favourite characters, ships even, and of course, everyone wants to see them flourish but what happens when a fandom’s favourite character comes across a certain misfortune or a ship gets torn apart? Backlash happens which is totally normal until things get out of hand. 

One of the first cases I’d personally witnessed from my early days of being part of various fandoms was the Zutara shipping. In case you aren’t familiar, Zutara was a popular and major ship between Zuko and Katara from The Last Airbender that didn’t work out in the main series. This caused major backlash from Zutara shippers where they made petitions to force the ship into the series and “be heard” by the creators. Some even sent death threats. What’s so wrong about this is the lack of respect for a creator’s decision in their own series and the blatant disregard for their lives all because of a fictional pair up.

Another case would be the aforementioned Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce invasion. Fans turned on Mcdonalds when the limited edition Szechuan Sauce ran out. Bids for the sauce actually went up to more than $4500 with most of it being donated to various outlets. Mcdonalds eventually did bring it back and all was well. Despite the positive outcome, you can’t deny that the execution was totally brutal. The police were called in, fights broke out and even an unconfirmed stabbing. All for sauce. If you’re interested in reading about this case in a timeline format, here’s a good place to look.

These happenings aren’t exclusive to fandoms of animated series’ either. Dua Lipa getting hate for choosing Kanye West over Taylor Swift is completely unprecedented. Her Twitter being flooded with snake emojis and even a few death threats when she explained her reasons for her choice was absolutely unnecessary. She shouldn’t even have to explain herself!

Anyway, the point is that toxic behaviour like this is prevalent almost anywhere and it’s sickening how some people think it’s alright to go that far for something so petty. It not only makes one’s fanbase look awful, it also has its repercussions on the series itself and the people who work so hard on it.

Nothing that you or your fanbases believe in is worth the death of a passionate and talented creator or artist because you aren’t happy with their decisions. It’s a truth you have no choice but to accept.

What is your stance on this topic? Feel free to leave comments in the comments section if you have things to add or say about this article, we’d love to hear it!

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