I wanted to take a moment and highlight Sethisto’s recent post over at Equestria Daily concerning the fan base and fan reactions to new episodes of My Little Pony.
Now, me, I happen to be a total nobody. I draw some stuff and spend most of my time just talking with awesome people and enjoying a sense of community with all you wonderful friends, bronies, and Equestrians. But I have noticed, at least within the past month or so, a slow march away from all the good and noble and kind behavior that has been a hallmark of out fandom since its inception. Specifically, this has been taking the form of pretty nasty and harsh criticisms of the show itself, from episode to episode. I don’t know if this is coming from a sense of familiarity with the source material or perhaps it’s the fact the creators and producers have been so open to interacting with us that we are beginning to feel a false sense of ownership of the show. Whatever the case, it’s not helpful, it’s not respectful, and if it continues it’s more than likely to drive a wedge between ourselves and the show we love.
Let’s face it, the amount of talent and hard work that Studio B puts into every episode is deserving of all our utmost respect and admiration. But of, course, that doesn’t mean it’s beyond artistic or cultural critique. Is there room for criticism? Certainly there is, and that’s not what I’m referring to. Every individual has the right- and really the responsibility- as a fan to take part in that dialogue. We each prefer one episode over another, support our favorite characters, and yammer on about the show with tremendous, unabashed enthusiasm and passion. Part of the fun in being a fan is discussing, critiquing, and picking apart every minor detail of the newest episode.
But lately it seems like the fanbase is getting a little bit full of itself and becoming a bit demanding in terms of what we want to see in the show. Many of the responses to new episodes and news about the show have been downright hateful. Add to that the constant chorus of “Oh no, some internal thing happened at Studio B! the show is now RUINED FOREVER!” and you have a situation that makes it less and less likely the incredibly talented folks behind the show will want anything to do with their fans.
So far, the folks behind MLP:FIM have been unbelievably gracious and kind in reaching out to us. I don't want to see that relationship sour with us as fans acting like jerks and generally making selfish assumptions about who really "owns" the show and its characters. Truth be told, we're tremendously fortunate to be part of this fandom at this time. It's a golden age for creativity and feedback and positivity. Let's strive to keep it that way and continue to represent the best aspects and lessons of the show we love.
While this is a show for little girls, I think it behooves us all to act liked adults and do our best to represent the best aspects of ourselves and the show. We can disagree, we can critique, we can argue, and we can debate all while remaining cordial and respectful. Honestly, that should apply to our interactions with one another as well as with the show and its creators.
Each of us is here for the same reason- the love of the show. Certainly, we each feel a sense of ownership to the fandom and our place within it. But I’ve always felt that we also have a responsibility to be the best fans we can be, to keep the lines of communication and respect open. To make sure that the folks at Hasbro and Studio B can look at their fans and see a group that is approachable and embodies, whenever possible, the lessons and themes of the show itself. I could be wrong, and it’s certainly just my opinion. But in a year, in five years, in ten years even, I want to be proud to have taken part in this little fandom, and I want to truly believe that I had a part in making it the very best experience for everyone else who loves My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as much as I do.I hope this little rant doesn't hurt or offend anyone. I just wanted to get a few things off my chest and encourage folks to...well, to just be excellent to each other!