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From Alice:  Well, I'm not exactly sure what's going on lately, but at Chicago Con this weekend while trying to share reports from the con, I got to see the uglier side of the online fandom.  And that was after seeing that ugly side for a few weeks before, and hoping that I would find some solace at the con.  I did, but it came from a guy named Jared Padalecki, who gave some incredible words of encouragement to a fan that had dealt with thoughts of suicide.  I'm not suicidal, but those words could be applied to anyone who was suffering from a bad situation.  One like this.  

Because of all the insanity, I was sent three pieces to consider for publication.  Two were from staff writers, Far Away Eyes and Bookdal.  The other comes from Sauyma, who's done guest pieces for us.  I've decided to share them all here in one article, or what I call one big reality check.  Because SPN Family, we need one.  

This first part is an open letter from Far Away Eyes:  

Open Letter To The Supernatural Family

Dear Supernatural Family,

I tend to hang out on the fringes of things, happily avoiding much of the conflict and fray within this fandom. But lately, I feel as if I can't simply do that without tripping over all the fighting---and so I must say something because in so many ways silence implies complacency. Silence implies agreement. Silence does not stop things.

I am not going to expound on the idea of shipping---ship, don't ship, I don't really care. I'm not going to tell you how to enjoy the show. That's been part of the problem in this fandom lately. So many vocal fans are telling so many other fans that this or that view is the only view of the show and that any other view is wrong or blind to the truth or however it is worded that ends up with blow ups. And that has to stop. That's what I care about. I care about the fandom wars and about who is right and who is wrong and how there's this line in the sand and if you cross it to one side or the other you're labeled as being for or against this or that and therefore less of a fan. I think it needs to stop and stop right now.      

Even more, we have some vocal members of fandom taking it not just to other fans, but to the creative team. That. Has. To. Stop. Right. Now.

We are very blessed in the Supernatural Family to have the access that we do to our cast and crew. Not many fans in other fandoms can say that they have had the opportunity to meet the stars of their show. Not many other fans can say that they've had the chance to meet and hang out with the crew that works its magic behind the scenes for their favorite show. Not many fans in other fandoms can say that they have had conversations on Twitter so easily as we have had with various cast and crew members as we have had with our show. It's special. This relationship should be treated with the utmost respect. We should approach this relationship between us the fan and the creative team behind Supernatural with gratitude and love---not demanding this or that or being angry in voicing our opinions. We should always be respectful when we talk with them---even if we're voicing a criticism. It's only right and fair. We, the fan, have no right to demand anything from them or anyone on the show. So stop it.    

In the blink of an eye, we could see the open relationship we share with them disappear. They could leave Twitter. They could decide to no longer attend conventions for fears of facing hostility or anger or never ending demands. And that would be the greatest tragedy of it all. We're lucky. Beyond lucky. We have something that is so special and so wonderful. Why are we allowing our worst to taint what is our best? We should be championing the better side of our Family. The side that makes me proud to be a part of it.   

Our Supernatural Family is a generous, smart, kind, and beautiful fandom with many different views and passions and beliefs. When we are a united force, we can accomplish anything. ANYTHING. We can get our boys on the People's Choice Awards and win Best Fandom. We can raise over $30,000 for St. Jude's in honor of Thomas Padalecki's birth. We can rally around one another to help Gabriel Tigerman when he's in his time of need after his wife and child struggled. We can break world records with GISHWHES and help Random Acts build an orphanage in Haiti. We can do so much good in this Family. As they say, once you're in the Supernatural Family, you're IN to stay.   

I am blown away by our talents, too. So many of us produce fantastic art. Or writing. Or videos. Or other various projects that are inspired by this show. We're talented. We have so much to offer to the world and to one another. Instead, we're allowing the negative side and the fighting to take things over and taint what wonderful potential we all have to make this fandom and world a bit better. Sure, Supernatural is only a TV show, but you know what? We in the Supernatural Family know that it is more than that---not simply because what it puts on our screens---but how it brought so many of us together. So many of us have beautiful friendships and memories that were forged because of this show---and that's the legacy that we should celebrate instead. That's where our fandom is powerful. In Family.    

And let's be real for a moment. Supernatural is in its ninth season. ITS NINTH SEASON. We did that. Us. The Supernatural Family is why we have the ninth season---and possibly more. We didn't get this show this far by fighting so viciously with one another. No. We did it together, supporting the show with everything we've got. And while we've never all seen it the same way, we can remember to be respectful of one another, of those who make the show, and ourselves.    

Please, Supernatural Family, let's stop fighting. Let's remember that “family don't end with blood” and set aside the anger. This show is about love. Let's honor that.    

Sincerely,

Far Away Eyes 

Comments  

Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-10-29 03:22
I would love to see the fighting end too. Sometimes I've been avoiding this site when people start battling each other. How much worse must it be when you can't avoid the flak because it's your job?
Wilma klein
# Wilma klein 2013-10-29 03:23
Its a lovely letter and echoes my own sentiments I like you don't bother to respond to negative responses and had no idea what was going on but it's very sad that these Johnny come latelys want to monopolize Social media with their hateful thoughts I have followed the show from its inception and have had the privilege to meet many of the actors,writers, FVX staff and have always found them to be respectful and considerate I hope those causing the rift will please get their act together.
AJ_Tish
# AJ_Tish 2013-10-29 03:59
Thank you so much for the article!You wrote everything that I have been bottling up inside of me!you are right.Silence is complacency and hence we need to get vocal too.Honestly,I am not a shipper and I love the show for what it is.having said that,I don't have anything against Destiel or Wincest because I simply don't have the right to.But just like I can't tell someone how to imagine a certain bond,similarly one cannot simply force the cast n crew and dictate them!
They have given us 9 years of an absolutely amazing show and we have showered them with love in return!Supernat ural is like a family to me.I made great friends by virtue of this show only!its an achievement and I don't want it to get marred by some petty misunderstanding!
Lastly,thank you once again for the beautiful article!
Sabath68
# Sabath68 2013-10-29 06:31
Thank you soo much, for your lovely and warm hearted letter.
Your words give me some hope, that this ugliness that is spreading arround will finaly end.
Actually I'm not that sensitiv, but now something wet is running down my face.
Sorry for my english I'm not in the mood to correct it.
greetz from Berlin
PaintedWolf
# PaintedWolf 2013-10-29 07:14
I’ve managed to keep away from all this, mainly because I’ve had very little time lately to devote to fandom, but when I read or hear about some of the things that have been happening, I’ve found myself almost glad for it.
I’ve been part of this fandom for long enough to know that the squabbling and in-fighting have always been there, and always will be. I’ve seen appalling things being said to and about people.
But I’ve also seen how special this fandom can be. How it has managed to bring together people from all over the world and from so many walks of life through our mutual love for two demon-hunting brothers. I’ve seen, and more than once been in awe of, how powerful we can be when we rally together; the charity work, the numerous online polls and competitions we’ve dominated, the awards we’ve won, both for the show and for ourselves.
We have a reputation online. Sure, it occasionally paints most of us as bat-shit crazy, but that’s okay because we can be a force to be reckoned with when we want to. We can do-have done-great things. Things to be proud of. Because the bad has never come anywhere close to outweighing the good.
And I hope it never does, because next time we win an award for this fandom, I want to do what I did last year, and scare anything within a 3-mile radius of me with my cheering. Not just because we earned it, but because we deserve it.
mary9930
# mary9930 2013-10-29 07:39
I was beginning to think I was out of my league in this fandom. I wasn't sure I had the energy for all this passion and it's negative repercussions. I think you all put it in beautiful perspective for me. I still may steer clear of twitter. This website is just right for me :-)

Thanks.
Dana R.
# Dana R. 2013-10-29 07:55
Well all those extreme Destiel nerds who turned up on Twitter in these past weeks just prove it for me once again: I'm a Supernatural fan since the pilot, but by no means I want have to deal with those extremists, I really don't.

But how will it end? The entire Supernatural fandom will be seen like those extremists. Sorry but that is just not right.
E
# E 2013-10-29 08:48
Beautiful letters and a good lesson for an intense fan of any show. Reality check! It's just a show people. If you are even considering sending a vitriolic, hate soaked, curse filled rant via twitter, email, snail mail, text, or tumbler to any of the cast or crew of your favorite show to plug a personal agenda either real or imagined, then you need to take a step back and reconsider what you are about to do. Yes, this show tends to bring out strong feelings in many fans, me included. But the harping, screeching, foul language, conspiracy theories and hysteria that I have seen this past week is beyond embarrassing. I would never, ever take any type of personal agenda to a show runner like I've seen some people do lately. The twitter storm directed at Guy Bee was ludicrous; he wasn't even the director of the episode in question and had no idea what those fans were even going on about!

Quoting Saumya: "For past a few weeks I have been seeing reports where it has been said that Destiel fans are pressuring the writers and showrunner of Supernatural to incorporate Destiel storyline in the show. Some have supposedly written a letter to CW head Mark Pedowitz regarding this matter."

Quoting Bookdal: "I tend to hang out on the fringes of things, happily avoiding much of the conflict and fray within this fandom. But lately, I feel as if I can't simply do that without tripping over all the fighting---and so I must say something because in so many ways silence implies complacency. Silence implies agreement. Silence does not stop things."

Bookdal is right. Being silent doesn't help anything really. I am one of those who is largely silent: I don't participate in social media; I come here to WFB to discuss my favorite show and that's it; this is the only place that I make my opinions about this show known. I don't post comments on other sites, I don't have twitter or tumbler, my Facebook is for family only. But I would put my name to a letter to the Cast and Crew of our favorite show that gave our UNCONDITIONAL support and encouragement to help combat this craziness. Perhaps we, the few, the sane, the supportive, could write our own open letter to Mark Pedowitz saying "Hey, we love ya! We love the direction of the show no matter what that direction may be! Keep up the good work! We'll support you unconditionally to the end!" if for no other reason than to show TPTB, the crew, guest directors and actors that the majority of us fans are sane, rational and committed to their process whatever that might end up being and that we are most importantly and above all appreciative. It galls me to think that the cast and crew of Supernatural might in any way think that the fire storm of crazy happening recently is in ANY WAY a representation of the majority of fans when I think it's actually a very small and unbalanced minority who just happen to be loud. Maybe its time to make a little noise of our own?
MindiWynne
# MindiWynne 2013-10-29 09:20
I'm really confused...And a bit lost...I like to watch Supernatural and once in a while I look at this website because I once found great support from Alice when I was recovering from the death of my daughter, who apparently was a big part of your "fandom". But I don't know if I'm a fan or not because certainly all of this fighting over a tv show seems a bit rediculous and juvenile to me.

I don't know what "shipping" is. I don't really understand "fandom" and I have never heard of "FanFic". But a few years ago I started watching a television show because my daughter liked it and it made the fact that she was dying a little easier to bear. Before I knew it, I was "hooked" on this show, too. It was a fictional event that made her feel like she would be "ok". But herein lies the key - It's fictional. It's a tv show! Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are very real people, but Dean and Sam are not! So forgive me for being an outsider, but the fact that there are hateful words on Twitter, nasty letters to the crew and infighting absolutely baffles me.

I once wrote a letter to Jared and Jensen. I doubt if they ever read it, but it was part of my healing process, and something I had never done before, so there was nothing to lose. It was during whatever season Dean was going to Hell and how he handled "dying" helped my daughter to not fear death. The acting, writing,and portrayal of that whole season was so moving that I wrote to thank them for this show and what it brought to my daughter and our lives. So does that make me a fan because I watch the show and write letters to the cast? Or do I need to start complaining about what the show is not providing based on characters I have never heard of and stories I have never read? I assume "Wincest" is some twist of the relationship between the brothers and I don't have a clue who Destiel or any of those other named people are. Again - it's a tv show! Please do not ruin it for those who watch and enjoy the entertainment value of what it is. Leave well enough alone and if you don't like the show, please write you own.

I like visiting this website on occasion and I will continue to watch Supernatural because it's fun. But so were Buffy, Angel, Charmed, and the likes of those shows. They are "cult classics" and have a following, but generally it's all for fun and not life enveloping. Supernatural is a television phenomenon like Star Trek was in the 60's and will probably be around in several decades. So please let it be what it is and move on.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-10-29 09:35
I would certainly sign a petition stating my support for the cast and crew. I'd like them to know that all I want from them is an entertaining show - not this or that character or a certain relationship. The writers need as much creative freedom as possible to keep the show fresh after so long.
I'm not saying I don't have my preferences and characters I like to see come back (eg Missouri). But they are very much secondary to my desire to watch an interesting, fun and intelligent TV show.
Manzanita Crow
# Manzanita Crow 2013-10-29 09:49
I'd also like to add that I'm aware of the constraints around making a TV show. For example, I'd love to see Missouri back, but I realise the actress is much in demand so it may not be possible. There must be so many other complications as well. I'm sure the silent majority of fans are aware of this and so they don't make impossible demands.
elle
# elle 2013-10-29 10:03
These letters say everything that needs to be said and do it with perfect poise. Being part of the Supernatural fandom should be a community united by their love of the show, characters, plot, actors, etc. Not focused on hating eaching other and the factions within - but that is what it feels like sometimes. The sad thing is, I really believe that's only the small but vocal areas of the fandom.

I never want the people who work so hard to produce this show and who deliver quality product week after week to believe that we, the fans, have devolved to unappreciative, demanding and rabid. This does not represent me, the perspective from which I view and love the show or way I approach this wonderful community. I'm so grateful for this show and the community it's brought me - especially this site - I don't watch every week looking for reasons to hate. When that happens with a show, it's time to step back and take a breather. I watch for laughs, brotherhood and adventure - all the things this show started out with. I think we need to remember how it started and how this great community came to be - and appreciate what is - not hate for what has never been.
Grace232
# Grace232 2013-10-29 11:49
Wow! I had no idea this was going on and must say I am appalled and embarrassed for us all. This is such a fabulous show and I cannot believe fans have been harassing the show participants to pursue a personal agenda. Thank you for these 3 letters and for passing them on. I agree with you wholeheartedly - this has to stop. They are still making this show after 9 years partly because they are still having fun. I guarantee being confronted with this kind of stuff is not fun for them, and we will lose the pleasure of experiencing this amazing show if this keeps up. I am begging the people doing this - please stop.
Mick
# Mick 2013-10-29 13:28
Quote:
Wow! I had no idea this was going on and must say I am appalled and embarrassed for us all. This is such a fabulous show and I cannot believe fans have been harassing the show participants to pursue a personal agenda. Thank you for these 3 letters and for passing them on. I agree with you wholeheartedly - this has to stop. They are still making this show after 9 years partly because they are still having fun. I guarantee being confronted with this kind of stuff is not fun for them, and we will lose the pleasure of experiencing this amazing show if this keeps up. I am begging the people doing this - please stop.
Just look at the twitter for Guy Bee - who is only a director and has zero to do with writing. The shippers went crazy on him, really embarrassing stuff to see as a fan of the show
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2013-10-29 13:57
Wouldn't the best course of action be to not give in to the very tiny fraction of the fandom who are misbehaving? I think by giving them all this attention is just fueling their fire. I saw the back and forth on GNB's twitter. I kept thinking just quit talking to them. Nothing that anyone says is going to make a bit of difference so why try. If it turns into cyber-bullying well there are avenues that can be pursued to take care of that.. 99.9% of the fans do not participate in this kind of behavior. The reason why I only visit a few websites (this one being my favorite by far) is so I don't have to endure the crazies. Like most of us we just want to enjoy the show and discuss the episodes with other passionate fans.
If you don't like the way the book is being written put it down.
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2013-10-29 16:13
The fans who do this stuff remind me of the Tea Party. They don't represent all of the Destiel fans, but they are being the most vocal, so they make the whole group look bad. I think the show runners know it's a small group, but hopefully it won't make them start backing away. We do have an amazing, unique relationship with the show and it would be heartbreaking if it was ruined by a few bad apples.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2013-10-29 16:54
Thank you to Saumya and Bookdal for also writing their thoughts on this. They are very moving and from the heart.

I am beyond blown away that a small letter I wrote after a few hours of sleep to vent some frustrations has made it this far! Thank you to everyone who has read this and passed it on. I hope it makes a real difference in our fandom relationships.

Thank you to Alice, too, for giving us a place to hang our hats in this fandom and allowing us to have open discussions with fellow fans. This website is so awesome, and I know it's been a challenge this past year, but I am so grateful that it is here. I love being a writer for this website.

Thanks again to everyone and let's have a blast supporting our Little Show that Could!
katie
# katie 2013-10-29 16:58
Its a show people and a an amazing one at that. I think that's what people need to realize is that it is just a show. I think all of this is just ridiculous and needs to stop!!
leah FFFC
# leah FFFC 2013-10-29 17:44
I have always had problems with the way a message is delivered, not the content. Why do people think that being rude and/or profane is the best way to get your point across? In fact it instantly alienates those people you are trying to communicate with. Even a "rant" can be done with some measure of civility. Anger can be expressed in constructive ways, Name calling and disrespect just sound like tantrums!

Quote:
Beautiful letters and a good lesson for an intense fan of any show. Reality check! It's just a show people. If you are even considering sending a vitriolic, hate soaked, curse filled rant via twitter, email, snail mail, text, or tumbler to any of the cast or crew of your favorite show to plug a personal agenda either real or imagined, then you need to take a step back and reconsider what you are about to do. Yes, this show tends to bring out strong feelings in many fans, me included. But the harping, screeching, foul language, conspiracy theories and hysteria that I have seen this past week is beyond embarrassing. I would never, ever take any type of personal agenda to a show runner like I've seen some people do lately. The twitter storm directed at Guy Bee was ludicrous; he wasn't even the director of the episode in question and had no idea what those fans were even going on about!

Quoting Saumya: "For past a few weeks I have been seeing reports where it has been said that Destiel fans are pressuring the writers and showrunner of Supernatural to incorporate Destiel storyline in the show. Some have supposedly written a letter to CW head Mark Pedowitz regarding this matter."

Quoting Bookdal: "I tend to hang out on the fringes of things, happily avoiding much of the conflict and fray within this fandom. But lately, I feel as if I can't simply do that without tripping over all the fighting---and so I must say something because in so many ways silence implies complacency. Silence implies agreement. Silence does not stop things."

Bookdal is right. Being silent doesn't help anything really. I am one of those who is largely silent: I don't participate in social media; I come here to WFB to discuss my favorite show and that's it; this is the only place that I make my opinions about this show known. I don't post comments on other sites, I don't have twitter or tumbler, my Facebook is for family only. But I would put my name to a letter to the Cast and Crew of our favorite show that gave our UNCONDITIONAL support and encouragement to help combat this craziness. Perhaps we, the few, the sane, the supportive, could write our own open letter to Mark Pedowitz saying "Hey, we love ya! We love the direction of the show no matter what that direction may be! Keep up the good work! We'll support you unconditionally to the end!" if for no other reason than to show TPTB, the crew, guest directors and actors that the majority of us fans are sane, rational and committed to their process whatever that might end up being and that we are most importantly and above all appreciative. It galls me to think that the cast and crew of Supernatural might in any way think that the fire storm of crazy happening recently is in ANY WAY a representation of the majority of fans when I think it's actually a very small and unbalanced minority who just happen to be loud. Maybe its time to make a little noise of our own?


I couldn't agree more E! I would gladly support anything that would reinforce the idea that most of us are same rational people who love the show and appreciate all the hard work everybody involved puts into it.

Leah FFFC= Fed-up, Frustrated, Fan for Civility!!
KELLY
# KELLY 2013-10-29 19:42
Great letters all three.

E, totally agree (and with the rest too). I would sign a letter of support. And winning them the People's Choice to me is a really good way of showing them that they still have a lot support out there, regardless of a small amount of rude, vocal fans.
JoRuth
# JoRuth 2013-10-29 22:52
It's Tuesday and I am happy. Sometimes I think I must be a simple soul cause Supernatural makes me happy even when it is not quite a perfect episode, There is always at least one wonderful moment and there is always a wonderful new episode beautifully made, written and acted awaiting. And then I think to myself I will go on my favourite site, or on twitter and I find the most awful angry unhappy and cruel language. Not the conversation or lovely thingy thoughts I want and think I remember. Sometimes it still is but many a good thoughtful comment is so swallowed up by vitriolic words it can be alarming. And sometimes it is love and hope and friendship nd enjoyment of a beloved show like these three letters. A fan moment. Thanks you. Thank you. Thank you. I want to stay.
Far Away Eyes
# Far Away Eyes 2013-10-29 23:20
Quote:
It's Tuesday and I am happy. Sometimes I think I must be a simple soul cause Supernatural makes me happy even when it is not quite a perfect episode, There is always at least one wonderful moment and there is always a wonderful new episode beautifully made, written and acted awaiting. And then I think to myself I will go on my favourite site, or on twitter and I find the most awful angry unhappy and cruel language. Not the conversation or lovely thingy thoughts I want and think I remember. Sometimes it still is but many a good thoughtful comment is so swallowed up by vitriolic words it can be alarming. And sometimes it is love and hope and friendship nd enjoyment of a beloved show like these three letters. A fan moment. Thanks you. Thank you. Thank you. I want to stay.
Thanks for this comment. It really touched my heart, especially your last line. I've been so moved by the response and the other letters, but this comment here? Yeah. It made me cry. I'm glad you want to stay!
saumya
# saumya 2013-10-30 02:55
Bookdal and Far Away Eyes.. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so well with your piece.. I am glad that we share the same view and the love for the show..!! :lol:
Fedelynn
# Fedelynn 2013-10-30 06:57
Thank you for all these letters. You are loved... I have been a fan of SPN since 2009. I can't focus on it and the fandom as much as I want to (because, hell, I'll be kicked out of work), so I often get wind of community troubles days or weeks after they have started. I had to do some research for this one after getting a whiff of it in Fangasm ("Fandom & Show Love")... Yes, troubles like these are upsetting, but I am also grateful that it reached a point that it needed to be addressed. Otherwise, as Saumya said, the SPN creative team and the actors may withdraw from us because we have hurt them badly. Or the lovely SPN Family may splinter. Let's not allow things to get that far if we love them and each other. (Or "care for" if you think "love" is going too far.) I do--even though I may not always agree with a story line or a fan's opinion. I can respect those things. However, with the latter factor, it gets difficult when you read them being disrespectful of others in SPN and the Fandom. There's line we can not cross, people... Anyway, thank you again to Far Away Eyes, Bookdal, Saumya, and the Winchester Family Business for doing your best to heal us.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2013-10-30 09:19
I must be living under a rock, and maybe I should be thankful for that after what I've just read. I mean, I know some people haven't been happy with the show for some time now, but threatening others through social media? Had no clue. God save us all from people that want their causes promoted everywhere, even on a show as entertaining as Supernatural. So thank you ladies for letting me know about this problem, and for writing such beautiful words about our wonderful little show & the ever expanding fandom.
Charstin Z
# Charstin Z 2013-10-31 20:45
I hope this 'Open Letters' article gets a lot of hits because I think the fandom needs to read them - they're great letters.

It's definitely PAST time for everyone to behave civilly and treat each other well. (And that includes interactions with those who create/work on SPN.)