Actions Have Consequences, Shonda Rimes

November 9, 2008

Thoughts on What Actions to Take

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferoksana @ 8:07 pm

I am thinking about things, just because I can and because there are so many actions that can be taken, but I don’t know what’s effective and what is more noise than effective signal. Here are my thoughts with pros/cons on each, and which actions I think might be most useful.

1. Sending snail-mail letters to ABC
Pros: Physical proof of our displeasure
Cons: With the fate of Hahn pretty clear, this is not precisely a situation where a bunch of leaves can bring back the…disappeared. Smacks of goofy fan campaigns that have a low ability to work, and it’s even rarer for fan campaigns for particular actors/characters to come back.
Opinion: While a message noting that you’ve stopped watching (or will not be watching until after sweeps) and your demographic is better than nothing, I think these are futile.

2. Bitching out advertisers
Pros: When putting pressure on advertisers WORKS, it has some impressive results…
Cons: …but it doesn’t work all that often.
Opinion: Definitely more worthy than sending leaves to ABC as a tactic, but not necessarily a silver bullet. Think that one or two particular advertisers should be targeted, not all of them.

3. Going after GLAAD
Pros: This might actually have some effect, as GLAAD’s cover of Shonda’s actions has given Grey’s some immunity, which it shouldn’t have. Will be more likely to listen than ABC (“what? we have that gay guy on Ugly Betty!”) or advertisers.
Cons: GLAAD is not necessarily in the best place every on this.
Opinion: This is going to be one of the things we do. ABC may never do smack; GLAAD, on the other hand, may not fold, but they’ll definitely think four or five times before giving an ABC show blanket cover again.

4. Lots and lots of exposure of this nasty mess. (Letters to editors, writing editorials, articles, et cetera.)
Pros: The media has been almost universally of the opinion that Brooke Smith’s firing was indeed because she was playing a lesbian and is part of a tedious pattern of sweeps lesbians gone particularly wrong. They may not be screaming for blood, but nobody thinks it’s okay. Will
Cons: Will require more creative work than sending letters. Danger of crazy shipperness tainting things.
Opinion: This is another idea that I like better than sending sacks of leaves; what the media and we write is what shapes the narrative, and what shapes the narrative leaves Shonda Rimes with less cover. We may not get our lesbians back, but making clear that it’s Not Okay [TM] to go for either pregnant or dead lesbians, that you’re gonna get pushback is a good thing.

5. Clever media memes. The basic idea is a YouTube campaign of sorts. It’s a little complicated — basically, it’s a video’d version of ideas one and two, shared here on the website, with emails/messages sent toward the end of the month/early next month — and elsewhere. I’m explaining this badly. But the point is, there’s something more visceral about “you cannot has my money, ABC!” circulating around the interwebs — especially if they’re funny, sharp, and to the point — than more traditional fan campaigns. And we all know the power of YouTube…

6. Get some money together and take out an ad in Variety or the Hollywood Reporter.
Pro: Very visible to industry people
Con: Is the kind of thing that makes industry people not take fans seriously.
Opinion: I am personally not sold on it, but I’m convincible.

Also, currently working on a form letter. I have one for GLAAD, but there’s also at least one more — advertiser/media oriented — that I need to work up.


November 8, 2008

Media Articles so far about Brookegate and the fallout

Filed under: Information — jenniferoksana @ 9:15 pm

If you’re interested in some of the media that’s surrounded the “incoherent” and completely unjustified firing of Brooke Smith for daring to play a lesbian who wasn’t masturbation fodder for boys on television, this is a preliminary list of articles for your information.

Too Gay for Grey’s Anatomy — The Guardian (UK)

The Original Ask Ausiello Column — cuz nothing says classy like breaking the news of the firing via Ask Ausiello on Entertainment Weekly.

La Presse — it’s in a French Canadian paper, but hey. Worldwide press.

AfterEllen on The Disappearing Lesbian

Defamer, another Defamer where Dempsey is cool, and a third Defamer on the situation.

A quite excellent blog post on the situation at Cultural Leanings.

The erica_callie community on LiveJournal has collected links and articles on the topic.

Jezebel weighs in — personal favorite blog of mine…

The Washington Post chimes in and points out that if anyone’s been looking for magic and chemistry on Grey’s, it might be Izzie. And that it’s a sweeps lesbian thing.

There’s also the LA Times article that Mary McNamara wrote very early on, too.

So yeah, if you didn’t know what was up, there’s plenty of reading and plenty of support for Brooke Smith…as well as not a soul believing it wasn’t about playing a lesbian.

Media Articles?

Filed under: Information — jenniferoksana @ 5:24 pm

I know that there have been some significant articles, from Entertainment Weekly to the Guardian to heck, Jezebel and Defamer on Brookegate — can we get those articles in a tidy list so I can make a page about that, too?


Action Agenda for the Weekend [Will Be Updated]

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — jenniferoksana @ 5:16 pm

Here’s a list of items to be done beyond the cut.

UPDATE: please go to the latest post for some concrete ideas and debate on what to do next.


Introduction to the Campaign

Filed under: Information — Tags: , , — jenniferoksana @ 5:12 pm

It appears I’ve been semi-asked to organize those of us who think Brooke Smith’s firing, and the wider pattern of female LGBT characters on ABC being cut back or let go, is totally unjust and bad.

This is all kinds of not okay and not right. And if the latest spoilers on the Grey’s situation are correct, a “Bring Back Hahn” movement is probably a waste of time and effort. Further, the reaction from ABC and Grey’s Anatomy/Shondaland has been so transparently defensive and nonsense about why the firing happened that it’s clear that sending a bunch of straws or something would be futile.

However, that’s the one advantage we have in this campaign, besides our voices; ABC and Shondaland clearly didn’t expect to get this level of backlash before the nasty events happened, so they’re on the defensive even before the average viewer gets to watch the trainwreck and say, “what the heck?” A good campaign will have little practical effect on Grey’s Anatomy’s storylines, but the point is bad publicity is a powerful thing.

So let’s make this worse than Isaiah Washington’s gaffe for Shonda Rimes and ABC. Let’s make the person who leaned on Shonda persona non grata within ABC. Let’s put some pressures on Grey’s advertisers.

Let’s teach people that actions have consequences. It hasn’t been an easy week for gay people and those who don’t think we’re second-rate citizens and people in America, so let’s take that upset and fight, fight, fight.

Yes, we can. And yes, we will if we’ve got the will to do something and not let despair take us.

Anyway, I have some ideas about what to do that I’ll post in the next post about this, but what I’d like you to do if you’re a regular reader here and you’re as angry and sad as I am about this state of affairs is to get the word out — link this post places where there are like-minded people. Give me some ideas for a name for the campaign and what you’d want to do. Give me some moral support, because I’m pretty nervous. While I have more than ten years of experience of being a fan on the internet and as many years of battle scars from fan wars on the internet, I’m usually more of a wry outsider who gets over it by getting more cynical, and I don’t think that’s okay this time.

Thank you for listening.

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Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferoksana @ 5:02 pm

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