Is the relationship between creators and fans today a healthy one? Has the new closeness made things ever more personal? Kickstarter and other crowdfunded content are coming under increased scrutiny with the biggest lesson so far being that when backers contribute money, they don’t make requests, they make demands.
People have been clamouring for a Disney princess that embodies LGBT traits for some time, but the latest #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign is misdirected, misguided and will ultimately fail to accomplish the very outcome it desires. Why is this so, and why do fans tend to believe otherwise? The answer is troubling and undermines all efforts aimed at increasing representation in the media.
Fans and fandoms are recurring themes here on the blog, and for good reason. They form an essential, and ever more critical part of a successful cartoon or animated feature. They are marketers, advocates, customers, and above all, appreciative individuals. However, fans have long been held at length by studios, and for good reason as the latest Steven Universe drama unfolds.
The impetus for this post comes from a query levelled at Legend of Korra director Colin Heck over on tumblr, where an anonymous person wanted to know why the story was developing a certain way and why it couldn’t be changed fo accommodate one of the characters.
Colin’s response is well worth the read but it does highlight a potential problem with the new media age that we are currently at the dawn of.
If the barriers between animator and consumer are broken, will that actually result in negative connotations for the content itself? If fans’ demands (and I use demands because they are almost never suggestions) are met, will that push a show further into the niche audience?
Surely this is something that studios could choose to ignore, but that could result in a backlash among the very people that funds the series.
What do you think?