Note: I will not be name dropping anyone discussed here. Don’t ask. It was from a time where I did not save receipts or get screen shots. I will never feel comfortable naming someone without proof to back it up. I also don’t want to go digging through a years worth of twitter while hoping this shit hasn’t been deleted.
Let’s talk about BWF briefly (very briefly) and then not at all briefly about the CR community at large and why this is the final straw that caused me to distance myself from them.
Brian fucked up, unequivocally, in phrasing if nothing else. What came next was a series of marginalized people that reached out politely and respectfully, if emotionally, to say a variation of “cool you can do that… but my entire existence is political and, like, we kinda need your voice.” Brian apologized, directly to many people and deleted the tweet. I cannot say what happened behind the scenes, no one can except Brian and those closest to him. He chose to pack up and leave twitter which was a questionable choice… but we don’t know what his DMs looked like, or what was going on in his mind. What I can say:
- There were not 1,000s of people dogpiling BWF, the largest account I can find is 21 replies, many of those supportive, at the time he posted I also scanned his mentions and found no “hate” or dogpiling publicly. IF THERE WAS PUBLIC HATE AND DOGPILING THERE WOULD BE SCREENSHOTS POSTED WITH RECKLESS ABANDON.
- What there was was marginalized people telling someone they respect and trust how they fucked up. They did that BECAUSE they believed his good intentions and desire to be an ally. As a cishet white dude I understand that we’re gonna fuck up. I will. I have. I was a much worse person in re: social justice 10 years ago. I hope 10 years ago i look back now and can say the same, because EVERY DAY requires learning and working to undo the complex layers of bigotry and privilege ingrained in us. I learned this because I was called out by marginalized folx, or i saw them call out someone else, or an ally who had been called out told me. If marginalized people don’t speak up, they will remain oppressed, things will not get better and an ally needs to understand that.
So when a flock of angry critters, most of whom likely have “ally” in their description and posts about inclusion in their timeline, descended on the marginalized that called out BWF for “bullying” and “being mean” to BWF, it was pretty terrible. But not surprising. This is 3-4th time the Critter community has risen up against marginalized people that dared to break the status quo narrative of this happy golucky inclusive fandom by daring to speak up.
The first was something I’m not going to talk about, it involves complex relationships and baggage that could hurt good people now and im not going to do that. Which leaves me one-and-a-half to two times to talk about:
THE HIGH COUNCIL OF ART CIRCLES THE WAGONS
Many people have benefited from the support and outreach of the cast, especially artists. These people have enjoyed minor celebrity do to this. A while back a fairly prominent artist came under fire for some colorist issues with their work, re: whitewashing and skin lightening of certain characters and races. (As an aside this is a common occurence re: beauregard as well, something that is also often shouted down when people take offense) During this, some receipts were also posted about some fairly bigoted views and takes by this artist.
In response to this several prominent critical role artists came together to circle the wagons and defend them. This included one of them using their over 20,000 follower account to target this people and push them out for “policing art.” I unfollowed all of them that day, quite disgusted with the fandom “leaders” in this instance.
When the Kickstarter for the Vox Machina animated show dropped, many many people were excited. I was one of them. And I still am. When the show grabbed over a million dollars in the first day, there were a lot of rumbling in the indie sphere. I saw no one directly attack the cast over it, but a lot of discussion came out, as would be expected. You see, RPG creators are by and large, well to put it honestly poor as shit, undersupported by the masses, and generally scraping by to put out labors of love. A lot of them carried on because it was by and large considered that the money simply “wasn’t there” for a lot of them.
Within 24 hours a cartoon based on an RPG made over a million dollars and kept climbing. It rightly brought up discussion, it brought about sore feelings that were completely valid, and sparked talking points that were important.
Once again the fandom at large circled the wagons to begin attacking these people. Oh, did I mention that while not explicitly so, many, id even say most, of the Indie RPG sphere tend to folx of marginalized identities? So yet again, a bunch of marginalized people had valid things to discuss and voice, and yet again, a bunch of inclusive people decided to sail forth and shit on them the best they could because little things like their own experiences were trivial beside this happy inclusive fantasy of the community.
And now this.
I am tired of watching this community fake acceptance and inclusion until things get hard or might inconvenience them, and then they are fucking out like a crossbow bolt. Peace! I am tired of watching people both within and without the community prop up racists and bigots while “ally” sits in their bio and their feeds are filled with posts about inclusion.
And to finish this off, there are absolutely wonderful people in the fandom still, and I still love those people dearly. I luckily saw very few to none of the people I follow joining in on this latest round of attacks. Thank you all, you the real MVPs.
I also think that the critical role cast honestly try and want to do good, i believe wholeheartedly they would like to be better, but to do that, they will fuck up, they will get called out on and they will learn. Every one of you out here stanning for them so hard that you think they are some sort of flawless demigods that you need to take up the sword and mantle and defend them for every slight because they are perfect. Get the fuck out.