Stargate Universe Writer To Trolls: Stop Being Idiots

Illustration for article titled Stargate Universe Writer To Trolls: Stop Being Idiots

Only weeks after its successful launch, Stargate Universe has found itself criticized (even by us) for the show's treatment of female characters. But as the criticism gets uglier, one of the show's writers couldn't help but respond in kind.

Actress Julia Benson has already responded to some fan criticisms that the show doesn't seem to know what to do with its female characters beyond reducing them to sexual objects or cyphers. But when certain fans, or as we like to call them, trolls, took to the writer's personal blog calling actors whores and being rude in general, show writer Joseph Mallozzi's felt compelled to address the SGU trolls:

STOP MAKING IDIOT COMMENTS. Note I didn't say idiotic comments because that would imply that the lion's share of the idiocy lies with the comment itself rather than the commentator. No, I mean: STOP MAKING IDIOT COMMENTS.

For example, say you have a problem with the James scene in Darkness in which she threatens Riley and Eli after they try spying on her with the kino. You can go ahead and make an argument for the scene being sexist (although I'd argue that there's a difference between the scene being sexist and the characters in the scene acting inappropriately, especially given that a clearly disappointed Young admonishes both men), but if, in the body of your comment or any subsequent comment, you refer to the James character as Lieutenant Rack or McBoobs, then you're a hypocrite who has successfully undermined their argument by demonstrating you can't be taken seriously. Also, you're an idiot.

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Granted, Mallozzi seemed hesitant to lash out like this and explained that part of the reason for his frustration, he admits, comes from the way that the "idiot comments" impact the show's cast and crew - and potentially shape the future of the series in opposite ways to the loudest fan criticisms, also some people in our opinion were just being jerks.

Sadly, the negativity has also taken its toll on one-time regular Sherry, proud mother of actor Brian J. Smith, who, surprised and saddened by some of the hostility here, has elected to no longer read the blog. Also, after several months of connecting with fandom online, Brian is stepping away from his popular twitter account for much the same reason. Some of the very same fans who he was kind enough to open up a dialogue with in the run-up to the premiere started leaving him nasty comments as though he was responsible for the show's creative direction... [R]ealize – if it hasn't become apparent by now – that we love our cast and are very protective of them. Trust me when I say that there's no better way to guarantee a character's long and fruitful stay on a show than to insist we get rid of them.

And Mallozzi has a tough message for the fans who want the show to be more like previous entries in the Stargate realm:

SGU is NOT SG-1 or Atlantis. It's a different show in terms of tone and characters. If you're expecting flawless people, square-jawed heroes, and stories that set up and deliver all the answers over the course of a forty-five minute episode, you WILL be disappointed. And DON'T expect that to change.

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But still, it's really interesting to see this response, fans are always tough especially on the internet, this isn't new news. We're very surprised that the writers especially seasoned Mallozzi, hasn't dealt with this sort of thing before. Is his skin getting thin because the complaints ring true, or was it an appropriate response to a monsoon of trolls?

Much more in the link. Go and read.

That Long Overdue Rant – And A Behind-The-Scenes Vid From Water [Joseph Mallozzi's Weblog]

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DISCUSSION

Creativity 101: If a critic savages your work, all it means is that whatever connection you were trying to make did not succeed. Critics are not the arbiters of success and glory they like to believe they are: they are merely evidence. While they may be representative of a segment of your audience, they personally are not your audience's duly selected voice. Treating them as if they are more than an isolated voice in the wilderness interferes with whatever other conversations you want to encourage.

Determining whether the failure to connect was yours or theirs is your job as a working artist, just as responding to that failure is. You can change your goals, or you can change your tactics, but trying to do the same thing again will continue to fail. And calling the critic an idiot will only hamper you because you've now invited an enthusiastic opponent into whatever conversation you wanted with your audience.

Telling anyone that they are an idiot is doom in any profession - both your customers and your co-workers rely upon your ability to do your job, whereas you have just proven that whatever professional demeanor you possess be easily derailed by shiny objects. In an effort to prove yourself correct, you have undermined your credibility.

When it comes to angry responses via the internet: Write them. Read them. Re-read them. Then delete them.