The nonexistent creature that haunts the Access Media’s nightmares has long fueled their delusions. This time, it drove them to put out another slanderous hit piece against everyone they label the Fandom Menace and Gamergate. The Fandom Menace is no more real or tangible than any other fanciful creation of an overimaginative mind. This new article came from Salon and was rife with inaccuracies and false claims based only on the author’s feelings and assumptions. You cannot claim fact or truth because you think something is true. Nothing in this article resembles a cogent thought nor signals a stable mind. The Fandom Menace was only a hashtag that signaled your dislike for the current state of your favorite franchises. It was never organized or an entity in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, that hashtag has fallen into obscurity, no longer relevant. Yet still, this hashtag gnaws at the Access Media, which cannot fathom any other explanation for the decline of the most popular franchises. People like them must always have a bad guy to stay relevant; otherwise, they will also slip into obscurity.
The author of this article even goes so far as to admit that the Fandom Menace was never an organization or cohesive entity, calling it “decentralized” and “leaderless.” No real organization can exist under such immaterial and phantom structures. Many of the people she claims are part of this strawman had no clear ties to it even when it was a relevant hashtag, but that goes against her narrative, so she just assumes their membership and says they are a part of it whether or not they think they are. Without regard for logic or reasoning, the author just assigns people membership within this entity, calling them all the hateful names under the sun. She says:
“Some of the trolls claim allegiance to that label, others merely qualify for membership. Even those who don’t consider themselves a part of it or decry their disturbing attack patterns may contribute to their success without meaning to do so.”
Additionally, she claims that this nonexistent organization is “limited to a small group that excels at being louder than the reasonable majority.” For the sake of a hypothetical, suppose that the people she accuses of being part of this organization are somehow all connected; why should she be so concerned with such a small group, as she calls it? As Az from HeelvsBabyface put it, “A yapping dog is ignored.” The reason why this author is so frightened of the people she accuses is that they are not so small or unimportant. If they were, the declining viewership, ratings, and overall revenue for these franchises would not have changed so drastically when they started calling out the inferior products propagated today.
This article claims that Ms. Marvel is truly beloved and any negativity surrounding it is merely review bombing, that the YouTubers the author groups together as the Fandom Menace are hating on the show merely for the diversity of its lead. The easiest of research reveals that the majority of the YouTubers that she is accusing are summarily ignoring this show, not reviewing it or commenting on it much. If the author did not even bother to research to this small degree, how can her other outlandish and baseless claims the trusted? Not only are these YouTubers ignoring the show, but most of the “reasonable majority” have done so as well, as Ms. Marvel is by far the lowest viewed Disney+ Marvel show to date. That has nothing to do with the so-called Fandom Menace, but this goes against the author’s narrative. The truth is far stranger and more frightening to her and others like her: maybe the show is just not that good and is not liked in general. It is such a scary thought to these people, who base their entire lives on gaining access to juggernaut studios.
The author goes on to mention the divisive casting for the upcoming Disney+ Percy Jackson television show, claiming that all criticism of it is born entirely of racism, completely ignoring the nuanced arguments that come with breaking canon and changing story elements. In these situations, writers like this one summarily dismiss the subject matter discussed and assume racism without even bothering to hear out the constructive criticism, which is rightfully accusing Disney of lazy virtue signaling.
The article consistently ignores proof and the actual words that people are saying. The author clearly had an agenda and a mental image of what this phantom Fandom Menace was and cared not to either provide or look into the evidence. The only research she did was looking at video titles and article titles and reading a fellow Access Media shill’s article. The majority of the inadequate evidence provided is derived from Rewriting Ripley, which claimed that those who did not like the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy were obviously white supremacists, misogynists, and incels from the alt-right. This article has been thoroughly rebuffed and discredited in the past, but this author decided that a debunked hit piece is the best place to derive proof for her outrageous and outlandish accusations.
At one point, the author accuses several YouTubers of doxing people, though that has never happened. However, doxing has been instigated by those within her own sphere, such as the doxing of Libs of Tik Tok and That Umbrella Guy. Doxing is never justified, but throwing that term against people who have never done so while ignoring those who have just to fit in with one’s narrative is an entirely disingenuous stance.
The heart of this article and others like it is the hatred for any divergent political opinions, grouping everyone who disagrees with Access Media sites and big franchises as alt-right. Throughout this article, the author repeatedly claims that Geeks + Gamers, The Quartering, Ryan Kinel, and others like them are alt-right, despite the mountains of proof to the contrary. Her only proof is, “Oh, they don’t like the movies that I like, and they dare call the writing, like, stupid and, like, empty when there’s, like, a diverse person in it. They must be monsters.” That seems to be her motivation and the extent of research or proof she attempts.
The author claims:
“Individuals associated Geeks + Gamers, including its founder Jeremy Griggs and contributor Ryan Kinel, also leveraging their brands as gateways to alt-right ideology via their personal YouTube channels.”
To quickly and concisely rebuff her outlandish claim that everyone she disagrees with and lists is alt-right, all one has to do is actually watch these creators’ videos and listen to what they are saying. Many have vastly different opinions from across the political spectrum. If these individuals disagree politically, how can they be gateways to a single ideology? Opinions about movies do not equal extreme political stances or identities. The fact that they are not all conservative, or even Republican, firmly disputes this article’s claims.
The only time she even bothers to go to the YouTube pages that she criticizes is when she mentions DDayCobra’s personal channel, which is not an entertainment channel, political channel, or anything like that. It is merely the personal channel for Jeremy and features whatever he wants to talk about at any given time. On the main Geeks + Gamers page and channel, he keeps his politics separate. He only talks about politics when the franchises and studios that he reviews bring it up, and even when he does talk about his politics on his personal channel, it is just his basic thoughts that are no way beyond the average. The fact that he is a Trump supporter terrifies this woman and inspires all this aggressive hatred in her. Being a Trump supporter does not make him or anyone else any of these heinous things that she calls the Fandom Menace. Jeremy keeps his politics separate from his brand; can that be said of this author or the studios she defends?
During her brief look at DDayCobra’s channel, she sees a title called “The Media Is The Enemy Of The People,” which she claims is a common phrase used by Trump and Stalin, as well as the newly formed Nazis after WWI. The article she links to as proof of this claim just randomly calls Trump a Nazi but does not mention this phrase or Stalin. The linked article does not even say the Nazis used this phrase. There is zero proof in the evidence she provides. It is just laughable that she can make the extreme claim that anyone who is disenchanted with the media is the equivalent of Stalin and Nazis.
The linked article did not mention the phrase, or a similar one. However, it did give one example from history when the people distrusted the media, and that some German news sites were critical of the Nazis but were shut down because the Nazis distrusted them. Sometimes news media is a good thing, and sometimes it is a bad thing. Referencing a single time when the news media might have been good in the face of evil does not inherently make our current-day media good. Media should not be inherently trusted and has been proven to lie many times in the past; that is all Jeremy was trying to say. Because of this truthful statement with provided proof, the author believes she has grounds to make more heinous accusations against Jeremy.
Despite calling everyone that she could think of racist, misogynistic, and so on, the author even admits that nobody actually says anything racist. They just use code words:
“Instead of using slurs, they invoke terms like ‘woke’ and rail against ‘SJWs’ ruining the Star Wars universe.”
The author goes on to provide a “damning” quote that proves Ryan Kinel is a racist, and even though Ryan does not say anything racist in said quote, she just assumes that he secretly means racist things without any evidence whatsoever.
“We know Reva got a lot of backlash for her acting, for her spot in the story, for her importance, for everything she knew, for the continuity, a lot of different things. Lucasfilm wants to paint anyone that didn’t like this character as a racist because they continue to attack fans.”
In what possible way could she spin that comment to be about racism? All Ryan does is call out Lucasfilm for their motivations and intentions. He does not even provide his own thoughts on Reva. He just mentions the rightful criticism she has gotten for things that have nothing to do with her race.
If those the author is accusing do not say anything racist and their comments are specifically directed at the writing and the decisions made as opposed to the actors themselves, how can she prove that they are racist? She cannot; that is the easy answer. She is reading intentions and motivations with zero proof in two unrelated statements. Her emotions have clouded her judgment, and she just assumes everyone whom she disagrees with is evil. It is possible that if she took the time to watch their videos and livestreams, she would see that their criticisms are based on reason and logic, not hatred or any other negative motivations. Though unlikely, that is still possible and is the hopeful outcome.
In a single moment of clarity, the author does mention that several other “diverse” casting decisions, like Rosario Dawson and Ming-Na Wen, were not met with any dislike. An intelligent person would realize that this contradicts their argument and implies that the so-called racists are, in fact, not racist and that their criticisms are far more nuanced than disliking the color of someone’s skin. These two casting decisions were not criticized because they were not born from the same motivations as the others, were not race swaps, and were not written as overbearing and obnoxious Mary Sues. Additionally, in the case of Rosario Dawson, one of the people she criticized even praised the casting and was excited to see her take on the iconic role. Specifically, Jeremy from Geeks + Gamers — whom this author has railed against repeatedly in her article — loves the character of Ahsoka and loved the idea of Rosario playing her, going so far as to request her with the widespread fan movement to get her into the part.
A reasonable person would recognize this contradiction in their narrative and investigate further. However, that is not the case for the Salon article’s author, as this insight was annihilated by her explanation for this contradiction, which came down to “Maybe it still happens; we just don’t know.” This lack of awareness further highlights that proof and truth were not the primary motivations of this hit piece, but rather the perpetuation of hate for simple fans who just want their franchises respected.
Salon’s article also piled onto the classic accusation that those they claim are in the Fandom Menace are grifters. To finally put this long-running assumption to rest, if those named in this article were truly grifters, they would follow the money. Infectious positivity always attracts more people than honest negativity. If that were not the case, channels like New Rockstars, Emergency Awesome, and others like them would not be the juggernauts they are. Additionally, if the creators named were looking for money and fame, they would pretend to like everything, just like the rest of the Access Media does, in order to get… access… to all this stuff. Telling the truth is not usually a profitable business scheme, especially on YouTube. The channels listed are not grifters because they focus on the truth and honestly give their opinions instead of chasing money. That is the opposite mentality of a grifter. The constant accusation of grifting is a tired one that can easily be disproven. Nevertheless, this article’s author had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to finish her tirade of hate.
The final point this article desperately tries to pull together is:
“Griping about wokeness ruining “Star Wars” and the MCU is big business, and in case you haven’t been paying attention to these folks – and for the most part, the average viewer, moviegoer and entertainment journalist hasn’t – business is good, because these concepts have been mainstreamed.”
If the so-called Fandom Menace is just a minority, how have their concepts been mainstreamed? How is business so good for them if they represent “a small group” drowning out “the reasonable majority”? Meanwhile, is business good for the woke companies that perpetuate what Salon thinks are mainstream concepts? If it is, why is Lightyear failing at the box office: why did each subsequent Disney Star Wars Sequel film lose millions of dollars? Why did Solo lose money? Why did Doctor Strange fail short of the mark? Why did Black Widow, Shang-Chi, and the Eternals barely make any money among the three of them? Why is a woke-free movie like Top Gun: Maverick killing it at the box office? Why is Ms. Marvel the lowest-viewed Disney Marvel show? Why is this CW bankrupt and for sale? Examples like these can go on forever. Business is not so good and has been steadily declining for many years now. Generally, fans are sick of wokeness; that has nothing to do with the heinous labels the author of this article attaches to any who dislike these properties.
The Fandom Menace may not be real, but it will still haunt these insane activists in the Mainstream and Access Media for years to come. Their imagination has run wild and created this frightening foe, and they are the heroes who will defeat it. There is zero proof of anything in this article. None. It is laughable that a site that claims to be comprised of journalists has cobbled together this mess of a hit piece filled with lies and assumptions to further the narrative of these depraved and lost individuals. The Fandom Menace no longer exists; when it did, it was nothing more than a hashtag. It was in no way an organization or cohesive group that could have any of these overarching terms and accusations labeled against it. Salon and other sites like it are afraid of these creators merely because they are willing to tell the truth and have a modicum of integrity. Having a different opinion about a movie does not make you evil, as they seem to believe.
At the end of the day, this is just a feeble attempt to maintain relevance in a shifting culture that is once again critical of bad writing, overly political content, and virtue-signaling celebrities. Salon will go the way of the dinosaur as fans look for honesty and the truth. Because of that, this article only serves to hurt them, not those they accuse.