Fandom, the Fourth Wall, Fame, and Privacy.

Remember that thing I posted a while ago about how the media utilise fan works to make fandom look like it’s populated by crazy weirdo perverts with no brains and/or common sense? It’s such a pity when part of the fandom manages to make the media’s case for them.

Note: in this article, I will name no users and/or persons involved in this, to prevent further agitation against people on tumblr and twitter. This hasn’t hit the news yet, and I don’t know if and when it will, but it’s reportedly happened; I’m not making this up (if anything, the girl who claimed to have done it was making something up). You can verify it by searching the Benedict Cumberbatch tag on tumblr and/or Googling relevant keywords.

Apparently, a girl from the fandom has managed to track Mr Cumberbatch down at the hotel in Toronto he is staying at for TIFF, then called the hotel and succeeded in talking the hotel reception staff into patching the call through to his room — at 3 o’clock in the blooming morning last night (how she accomplished that, I’d love to hear). She then talked about it on her tumblr (although the original post seems to have been since deleted) and what I’m getting from people’s reactions is that she talked to him for about 60 seconds and referred to herself as his future wife. (I wish I were making this up.)

Regardless of the endless wank that followed, surrounding other users’ reactions to this and nasty words being exchanged, which was really just anger exploding into a cloud of arguments that spiralled away from the actual core of the problem, let’s get two things straight.

No, it’s not alright to send that person hate and ugly messages demanding she kill herself. (Why do we have to keep putting this as a disclaimer, dammit.)

However — that does not invalidate the fact that she needs to be called out on her behaviour, which was disrespectful, creepy, stalkerish, and completely annihilated the boundaries of decent human conduct. The people I am allowed to call at 3am in the morning are my three best friends and my mother. What makes anyone think that doing this to a complete stranger is in any way ok? I’ve seen comments defending her actions, I’ve seen comments saying that ‘anyone from the fandom would do this if given the chance,’ I’ve seen people say that Mr Cumberbatch will just have to live with it because he’s famous.

No, fuck that noise.

Such a colossal breach of privacy and, more importantly, security is not defensible. It’s just not. I don’t care how excited anyone is, or how much they adore someone famous. This wasn’t some small “mistake.”

Now, I hear that the person in question has apologised. I can neither judge nor comment on the sincerity of that apology. I am more concerned with those who continue to excuse and defend her actions, and who might continue to do so should this actually become a news story.

Celebrities have a right to privacy just as we all do. They have the right not to have their phones hacked by Rupert sodding Murdoch, and they sure as hell have the right not to be followed, ambushed, or creeped on by fans. Mr Cumberbatch has the right to demand to be left alone when he wants to be, and he certainly has the right to get a bloody good night’s sleep, undisturbed. He’s been incredibly kind and accommodating, but I wouldn’t begrudge him to change his ways after this.

/rant over

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