The internal struggle for the control of the television text is clear in the case of The 100. In this regard, fans participating in the ‘LGBT Fans Deserve Better’ campaign used social media to denounce the distorted and harmful representation of lesbians and bisexuals. Fueled by their newly developed fan-tagonism or anti-fandom, the actions and initiatives of the fan activists were not only directed towards the producers of the series and towards the actors in the industry, but also to other fans, specifically toxic fans, within their own community. The comments analysed reveal a constant negotiation for the ultimate goal of the campaign and the means to achieve it at a time when the hostilities towards the producers by toxic fans threatened to damage the ethos of fan activists and the whole campaign. Therefore, the self-regulation strategies deployed by fan activists on ‘The L Chat’ illustrate the tensions that are intrinsic to most, if not all, fan cultures.
Guerrero-Pico, Mar, María-José Establés & Rafa Ventura (2018). ‘Killing off Lexa: “Dead Lesbian Syndrome” & intra-fandom management of toxic fan practices in an online queer community’, Participations 15 (1).
You might remember us posting a paper last year about how the idea of queerbaiting has evolved over time, using the example of the Clarke/Lexa relationship from The 100.
Guerrero-Pico and her colleagues look at a similar case study of fan reactions to Lexa’s death in the show, but rather than just looking at fan-producer interactions, this paper looks at the diversity of reactions within fandom, and how different factions within the Clexa fandom negotiated with each other and managed each other’s behaviour, especially towards the show’s producers.
The paper is part of a special issue on toxic fan practices of the journal Participations, which is a fully open-access journal.