As we all know, sometimes things can get ugly real fast in this day and age of "online anonymity," where some (not all) people feel they have the right to be viciously mean (I'm talking about Nerd Rage, and not the good kind) just because they're sitting in front of a computer screen and no one can "see" them.
When fans are unhappy about a certain storyline (and people have a right to be), or about the decision to kill off a fan-fave character, or if they loathe the current direction of their beloved show under a certain showrunner (these are just a few examples), it can sometimes lead to some ugly hate campaigns and full-blown Internet witch hunts usually led by a small group of people who make the rest of the fandom look bad.
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has been on the receiving end of that stuff more than once since his tenure began in 2010, and he explains how he deals with all the fan hate in a new interview with Doctor Who Magazine (#488). In the article, Moffat spoke about the hate campaigns Doctor Who showrunners have been on the receiving end of while they were in charge of the cult-hit BBC series, saying:
"[John Nathan-Turner] was the first boss of Doctor Who to have a tiny little number of (sort of) fans who were waging entirely ineffectual campaigns against him, in their twos and threes. Russell had a bit of that, and so do I. So what? Pick an online newspaper, go to the comments section below, read the ranting horrors there. It will turn your hair white. Dear God, who are those people? I don’t know. I don’t care.
"The fact is, you don’t judge the newspaper, or people in general, by the standards of those comments sections, so why would you judge Doctor Who fandom by the occasional attention-seeking ranter? I have always found [fans] to be clever, funny, articulate and more than usually friendly. And perfectly and humorously aware that knowing every detail about an early Saturday evening adventure serial is a pleasant but extremely daft thing to do. May it be daft forever. It is now, and always has been, a game for the civilised and kind. Lone exceptions don’t change that."
Even though Moffat seems to be cool as a cucumber regarding the amount of fan hate that can be found online nowadays, he admits that sometimes it can still get to him:
"I suppose, being honest – because we’re all human and fragile – some of the blows do land. You know, when you’re tired, in the dark watches of the night, when that hand is grasping for your ankle from under the bed. I guess it must have been hard for JN-T, sometimes, back in the day. I remember, not long ago, feeling a bit grim myself, about some vicious remarks. Stupidly and childishly, I’d let them get to me (ranters rejoice, your aim was true).
“Neil Gaiman dropped me a gentle note. He said (something like), "They love your shows so much, they think they own them." I think the point – and the kindly admonishment – was that it’s a privilege to be making shows about which people care so much, and that honour should take care of everything else."
What do you think about Neil Gaiman's wise words to Steven Moffat?
(via Doctor Who TV)