Tuesday, November 10, 2020

My two cents on the fandom

Quick little thing before I start. I wrote and rewrote that article countless times. At first I wanted it to be very organised, with past quotes and comparisons to now, but thoughts go too fast in my head and I wasn't able to organise a thing. So I just wrote my thoughts as they came. It's not what I had originally planned and maybe not what you were expecting when I first talked about writing this article, sorry. Parts of what's written below were written back in March, other parts recently at 3am when I couldn't sleep. I tried to combine them the best I could so it wasn't weird to read but some parts might feel odd.

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I don't know if you've noticed, but Emma's fandom is kind of suffering from a drought right now and has been for a while. I'd say her last busy year acting-wise was 2015 with the filming of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'The Circle', and the (short) promotion of Regression. Emma clearly prioritized feminism as she participated to lots of events starting in 2014 in relation to 'HeForShe' and activism events in general later on. But even those have become rare.

I'd like to say that I don't believe celebrities owe anything to their fans. If you're fan and decide to buy each dvd, album, magazine or whatnot related to your favourite celebrities, that's your decision. No one forced you, you're entirely responsible for it and therefore celebrities don't owe you a thing. That being said, I feel like Emma has created a wall between her fans and herself in the last few years which is very different from what we were used to. Starting in 2007, she created her first official website where she would communicate with her fans through EMS, and even though it was not often, it was there. She would post about her daily life like her driving test, her travels, her exams, but would mostly keep us up to date with her work. Then came Twitter in 2010 and she would post even more frequently about what's going on with filming, and the most random tweets about phones, printers, Maltesers and whatnot. She would also share music tracks she was listening to or the last movies she'd watched. We would be complaining when we were not getting new tweets from Emma for a week or two, little did we know that we were actually spoiled. They were meaningless tweets but it was a nice way to communicate with her fans and was somehow creating a bond. But now, I feel like it's the exact opposite and I'm wondering what happened. The only times she uses Twitter nowadays is to talk about activism related topics, and it's mostly retweets rather than her own thoughts. I first created a blog about her to sort of take a break from all the sh*tty things of life (personal or worldwide). Now, that's all her fandom is filled with and I find it extremely stressful. When we're not reminded of all the awful things happening in the world, we have to deal with the never-ending negativity of her thriving haters as more and more of her fans are leaving the fandom for lack of interest. The comment section of my blog is now literally 90% negativity, which is why I haven't checked the comments in weeks because I know what I'm going to find and I don't want to deal with it. I feel like Emma doesn't share even the most random stuff like that "What's in my bag?" video that she mostly used to promote Content Beauty, a shop that sells natural and organic products. Is it possible that those products that are 90% from there really are hers, yes. But the way she was presenting some of them made me wonder if someone else didn't fill her bag with whatever they could find from that shop. Something I totally understand is her not wanting to take photos with fans anymore during her free time. It can show exactly where she is and can be dangerous for her. I also thought it didn't matter because there were always public events where the fans could meet her and take photos with her, but can they? The 'Little Women' promotion tour was a disaster for Emma's fans. She only did one premiere and even though I'm sure it wasn't solely her decision or that she was like "Well, thanks Sony for the money. I'm gonna bail now for the rest of the tour, bye". It's obvious it was a common decision between the studios and her but it makes me wonder, is this what we're meant to expect now? Is this how it's going to go from now on if she even does more movies? One public event and that's it? Not even a single press junket? I really wish she was more open with what's going in her life work-wise. Because even if from her point of view her life might be busy working on several things, for us there's nothing as nothing is made public. She talked in 2018 about how she couldn't make it to the BAFTAS because she was busy working on something... and we saw nothing. Earlier this year, she talked about wanting to focus on personal and professional opportunities. And nothing (Covid could have delayed things though). Maybe I'm just too impatient, but there really hasn't been a word from her since except the usual activism retweets. As much as I'm not a fan of paparazzi photos and would love for anyone to be able to walk around without the feeling of being watched, they're the only way we even know she's still alive. So while a part of me sees these photos and thinks "ew, no, stop", another part of me is like "eh, at least it's something".

That's a lot of complains, I'm sorry. I know what she's doing is much more important than keeping us entertained (I'm not sure I still consider her an entertainer actually). I just had all that on my mind for so long and didn't share any of it so now that it comes out at once it's a lot XD But if there's one thing that frustrates me it's-

Why won't she share more of what's going on with her work?! Please, for the love of everything that's shiny and glittery, just occasional updates. "Hey, just finished writing something", "Received some new interesting scripts today". Is it too much to ask? Maybe. I don't know. I think she just became like Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence who don't have social media and therefore don't share with their fans. It's a change we have to accept and if that's the decision that makes her the happiest, I do respect that. I'm just bored.


Anonymous said...

I am so familiar with this frustration you feel, but her Vogue interview really shed light on what is really going on with her. I personally think she feels uncomfortable as who she is. She said she feels like she takes up too much space, and that she's going to therapy to try to work on her mental health overall. I get that feeling, I do. You want to be "on" for your profession, but inside your mind you think, "THIS IS NOT YOU. YOU ARE A FRAUD!" Haters who do grind her down for her work have probably gotten to her. One example of her looking so insecure was during the Beauty and the Beast press tour. Dan Stevens and Emma were asking each other google questions, and one was "Does Emma Watson sing?" Dan Stevens says she does and Emma gives a small gesture of a shrug and a "there you go" kind of action, but you can tell she looked a bit :/ about being asked that. I don't know. When you are constantly critizied no matter what you do, that negativity makes you want to build those barriers. Just my two cents. I really do wish she would realize she is valued and adored by many.

Eden said...

"I really do wish she would realize she is valued and adored by many."

I'm sure she does but if she's still suffering from the impostor syndrome, she probably doesn't think she deserves it. Or at least not as much as she gets.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I’d LOVE to hear about the work she’s doing at Kering. If she’s moved away from acting to the sustainable and women’s rights world, fantastic let’s hear about it. Pap pics make me feel gross but not hearing anything makes the fans chase any kind of image. Perhaps she’s really just done been in any form of spotlight and doesn’t want to come out and say that. I sometimes compare her to Natalie Portman, a very private person but her fans still get fun things from her life. You’re right she owes us nothing but I hope she can figure out some sort of balance. So many of her fans would galvanise around the important issues she often speaks about but it doesn’t seem like she is interested in doing that

Anonymous said...

She's spoken before about being an artist, referring to herself as an artist. So I'm confused that she doesn't produce anything creative anymore. Kerring is a boardroom role, more or less. If she's uncomfortable with public attention and is bored of acting, she could write scripts, produce scripts. She could make a difference for women in media and their portrayals. So what's going on....

Thaïs said...

Thanks for that insight. I feel the frustration.
I have a lot of sympathy for her, I believe she's a beautiful person inside and out, but I also think Anonymous #1 gets it :
"When you are constantly critizied no matter what you do, that negativity makes you want to build those barriers."

Honestly those past YEARS, all she did was received with so much hate...
Fashion sustainability ? I remember a FB picture where she explained the sourcing of her clothes, everyone answered how wrong she is - when she was trying to make a difference and do a little better.
Feminism ? She's too white, too rich, too whatever, she got slammed down.
Singing ? All fake and autotune, can't sing.
Acting ? She can't act she has only one emotion.

Let's be honest, even though that's what comes with fame - criticism, she had been drowned in it. I'm so not surprised that she decided to take a step back.
In her vogue interview, what stoke me was when she talked about mental health. For me the anwswer is "clear" (but I don't know her personnaly, I may be wrong) : she suffers from deep social/public anxiety. When everything you do is scutinized and you're always wrong, she must be so anxious.

I take the opportunity to recommend this video I found really interesting of an analysis of her singing in B&B, and how she could do her best, the technical difficulties of such a movie made it complicated for her to succeed.
> The Problem With Auto-Tune

Anonymous said...

The Auto-Tune issue was all Disney. I saw two stripped down versions of Beauty and the Beast before special effects were completed, even the Beast himself was just a puppet. Those original versions had no auto-tune, just raw vocals of the actors. It looked like I was watching a play on screen because it didn't have the glow and sleek look of a film. Emma sang wonderfully on her own! As did all the other cast members. I am guessing some people who were asked their thoughts said her voice wasn't" Disney" enough. It's the same reason they changed the ending. In the original ending, the Beast is transformed in a sea of rose petals. When he lands on the ground, covered in them, he sits up and his torso is exposed. He and Belle share a very lustful kiss. Disney got complaints from moms saying if he is naked up top, they can assume he is naked beneath the petals and that isn't " Disney" enough for them. So Dan and Emma had to reshoot it and we got an ending closer to the animation. Sad that they let people control their editing and sound. They let people wanting the remakes to be so close to the original ruin their end product. Look at Lion King. They stuck to the original as much as they could. Were audiences happy? No. They complained about it not being "original enough". People are insane and its sad that people blame Emma for Beauty. I personally loved her as Belle.

Dj Anubis said...

I think as she is getting older she is just ready to move on to other things. Im not sure if the acting career is really fulfilling to her anymore and at 30 she may be looking to try and work on a family or just concentrate on the activism. Ive been a fan of her since about 2010 but im really not that angry or frustrated by her absence. I just think overall she has found other stuff to be passionate about that doesnt involve the entertainment industry.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Eden.

I feel one of the reasons for her privacy is because in the main social media is a cancer. Remember she grew up before social media really took off and quite frankly I don't blame her for being so private.

However the whole activism stuff mostly is just to stay in the loop. It's the thing to do to stay relevant in the industry, during her so called semi retirement. Most stars do it.

Perhaps she realizes like many others, she isn't so good at acting, which is maybe why she probably doesn't get offered the roles she used to. Plus turning 30 in Hollywood terms is like a 100 for a woman.

You also have to remember the character her PR wants to paint probably isn't really the real Emma....just like other stars. She/her people want you to invest and buy whatever brand they are selling. I like not knowing the real Emma - because that is something for herself, her lovers, friends and family to have. It's special.

I think she is also insecure with her safety. There will be a lot of obsessed fans out there. I mean would you like your picture taken and then your frequent locations known to the public??

She doesn't owe anyone anything. So it's best for her fans/stans accept it and move on with your life's and occasionally dip in to the odd pap picture or two.

I think Harry Potter will be back in some form at some point, which will relaunch Emma who by then will probably have a family.

Take care everyone.

Fp said...

Thanks so much for the comment, I really appreciate it.
I follow Emma from April, so not that long ago, but I immediataly loved her work especially as an activits. I missed a lot when she stopped to share photos/comments on her social.
Honestly I think (or hope) that because of the covid situation we missed many possible events but I hope that we can see something new with her upcoming book/historical project with Reni Eddo-Lodge and Rebecca Solnit about London Map Tube.
I am sure that Emma is going back to us, somehow. And we will wait for it. And be here for her.

dabo said...

"I'm sure she does but if she's still suffering from the impostor syndrome, she probably doesn't think she deserves it. Or at least not as much as she gets."

Probably. And she seems to be perfectionist and that's a problem, because she tries so hard and yet her acting has barely improved. It must be hard for her. Little Women for example, she was working with those younger and they were much better than her. I'll never understand why she didn't try some british movies, a simple romcom.

She grew-up in that bubble, thinking she was such a great actress, receiving Baftas and silly awards all the time... but then, she found out that it wasn't so easy.

I think she's retired but who knows. Maybe she's just going throgh a 30-year crisis. She has been busy since she was 9, it's understadably if she wants to take a few years for herself.

Anonymous said...

I agree that her performance in LW was not that strong—she was good in some scenes but wooden in the ones with her husband in the movie. But most good actors say they improve by taking parts that challenge them—Meg was not a super challenging role, and Belle in BATB wasn't either. I wish she'd have the passion to push herself, because she could be really good! And if not, she could write or produce movies...

Anonymous said...

"I am sure that Emma is going back to us, somehow. And we will wait for it. And be here for her."

This is so creepy, you need to get over her. It's not real bud.

dabo said...

"And if not, she could write or produce movies..."

That's what you (we?) want. Not her.

If she were interested in producing or even acting, I think it would be obvious. But it's not. Again, take LW as example, she skipped the promos, her only film nominated for the biggest award... and she didn't give a damn about it. She practically signed her resignation.

Anonymous said...

"She practically signed her resignation."

She has burned bridges with the industry. Her links to HP will forever be milked to publicize a movie. So due to what happened with LW is going to leave a dark mark. Maybe she had a reason and that will come out. Who knows.

She comes across as lazy, I mean what does she do? A few tweet/retweets? Placing books? HeForShe? The UN ambassador? Genderless? What happened?

She comes from a privileged background and has gone back to what people like that are like. Just party and virtue signal whilst the rest of the world burns.

People who put her on a pedestal need to wake up. Wish her well and move on.

Anonymous said...

I think its time to face it... Emma is kind of done with public life and her heart isnt in acting or activism any more its why she went quiet on all social media while such huge poltical movments were going on. I was also sad to see her on a beach in italy and then in spain while others are losing their jobs and suffering from the pandemic. what happened to staying home to protects others like she posted about? She has changed...or maybe was always like this and i tried to block it out i dont know. :(

Anonymous said...

"She has changed...or maybe was always like this and i tried to block it out i dont know. :( "

Nah she was always like this. All stars are. They live in their own worlds and preach to each other. Show business is the most fake business.

Jonathan Andrew Sheen said...

I would really love it if she were to set herself a challenge to come up with one sentence a day that was something she was thinking about or noticing or feeling or hearing, and posting it on twitter. I don't think she owes anybody anything, but I'd enjoy that, and it seems like a pretty minimal challenge.

Anonymous said...

Well, honestly, like some others mentioned before, I believe she's simply done with being in the limelight. And I cannot blame her. Also, because of her Vogue interview we all know how she's struggling with the fame. And this is not something that recently came up; basically she's been struggling ever since HP was released. I think it was fine in the beginning, but as she got older shit got real. I remember how Daniel Radcliffe talked about the paparazzi lying on her doorstep the day she turned 16. I think from then on things got worse and worse. So it's been about 15 years since things got pretty rough. She doesn't have the kind of personality that can handle attention, and it takes a major toll on your mental health. Also, she's rich enough to not be forced to take on certain projects. She has that luxury.

I have been following her closely since 2003 or 2004. Back in the day when we got proper relatively cheap internet from ADSL, lol! But alas, I'm not depressed about her absence. I still check what she's up to, but come on, it's also rather sad when her choices of stepping away from fame make you terribly upset. I simply wish her the best.

Anonymous said...

Hot take, people: for those of you saying she abandoned you, her fandom, her activism, her career in general, y'all need to read the room.

1) We are in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. She announced new projects and opportunities before all of this happened, so it's clear they have been on hold because of that. Also, her being photographed without a mask in an outdoor situation is okay. So stop trying to say she's a hypocrite.

2) Unlike those panicking, talking about her giving up entirely, Emma has read the room. Her activism is not performative. She does plenty of charitable work without it being widely known. She read the room when the black out Tuesday thing happened on Instagram. She was accused of being a fake activist. She apologised, promoted organizations to further elevate black and poc voices and causes, then she took a step back. There is animosity towards white people these days, so to be a white activist being so public about them being an ally, it may come off as fake or them wanting "woke" points. Sad reality, but its true. So I am guessing Emma is being low key about her work, still supporting from behind the scenes.

3) If she wants to take a break, let her. She has been working since she was nine. What did you do at nine? I doubt it was star in an iconic franchise and be a public figure.

Give it time. She'll return when she's ready.

Anonymous said...

"Give it time. She'll return when she's ready."

She will only get smaller roles like LW. Let's be honest she isn't really that good, not terrible but the top directors won't be calling her anytime in the future. The days of her heading a big film unless a indie film is over. I expect when more HP films come she will use that as a spring board all over again - that is her best hope.

She will marry have a family soon I'm sure.