#286: Link, Josué, and Lara discuss the negative emotions that can happen when we find out the creators of beloved media have done awful things in real life.
Josué Cardona 0:07
Welcome to gt radio on the Geek Therapy network here at Geek Therapy. We believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves through the media we care about my name is Josué Cardona. And I am joined by Lara Taylor.
Lara Taylor 0:19
Josué Cardona 0:20
and Link Keller.
Link Keller 0:21
Josué Cardona 0:23
We are live on Twitch. Coming back atcha i don’t know i don’t have like a thing for for live, but I’m just I’m just excited. We don’t always have our cameras on. If you want to see what we look like. Come Wednesdays. Yeah. Around 9pm. Eastern 6pm. Pacific.
Lara Taylor 0:45
So when we’ve all had long days,
Josué Cardona 0:47
when we’re exhausted and kinda sleepy and
Lara Taylor 0:50
yeah, you can watch me asleep on my desk. It’s okay. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 0:54
yeah. Don’t do that. Alright, so welcome. It is Link’s turn this week. So
Link Keller 1:01
Josué Cardona 1:02
What what are we talking about this week? what depressing topic do you have?
Link Keller 1:08
well, you’re right now. right on the money there Josué because I have been feeling some bummer feels lately related to media, and I wanted to talk about it with you guys. Most recently, it is attached to new stories of abuse by Joss Whedon. This is stuff that’s been talked about over years, but it’s sort of gained a lot of traction this past week and a half. But also JK Rowling and Harry Potter. So Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter were both big part of my adolescence. I was obsessed with both of them. And so finding out as an adult, that their creators are disappointing. Has has brought up a lot of feelings. And you know, you know me I want to I just want to talk about him. I want to talk about my feelings.
Josué Cardona 2:15
Yeah, I mean, yeah. Yeah. How does it feel?
Link Keller 2:21
It feels bad. Yeah, it feels disappointing. It feels cynical.
Josué Cardona 2:35
Link Keller 2:40
Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s a complex miasma of various disappointed sad feelings.
Josué Cardona 2:50
Yeah. Yeah. I it’s, it’s happened so often. I was watching a show. I’m not gonna say what show the other day. And the character died. And I texted a friend. I was like, I can’t believe this character died. And then my friend wrote, yeah, I think they killed off the character because of the allegations. I was like, what, and this this wasn’t even. And this is like, slightly different. Because it’s not the creator of the thing. It was just, it was just an actor, but it’s like, ah, like, I love the show so much. I love the character so much, and that you can’t it’s hard to separate the two. It’s really hard. Yeah, but when it’s the Creator, it kind of like, yeah, I mean, there’s so much like, Where do you want to go with this? Yeah.
Link Keller 3:42
I mean, you know, obviously, there’s there’s already a distinction between Joss Whedon being the showrunner of a seven year running show with lots of different writers who were involved across several seasons and everything versus JK Rowling, who is the author of her book, obviously, in a different amount of power resides in those those relationships but
Lara Taylor 4:12
and had a pretty heavy hand in editorial for the movies, if people are less familiar with the books. But yeah
Link Keller 4:21
yes, um, yeah, she she has had a fair amount of control over all of the Harry Potter projects to an unusual amount as far as I understand. It is pretty rare for an author to maintain that much power over their IP once it has become a huge multimedia conglomerate. Adventure zone thing is like it’s, it’s kind of impressive in some ways, say is you know, as a woman, author who you really started kicking off in the in the 90s. And she’s somebody we’re still talking about today, somebody who’s still getting you know, money payout from films and video games and reprints of books and all that stuff. And part of her being such a well known name, and us continually hearing about her is it gives her a lot of social power, she has a platform, and she uses it. The unfortunate thing is, she has been lately using it to be extremely transphobic. And trans transphobia is, you know, already problem everywhere. America is awful, but it lately it has been particularly horrible in the UK. And there are connections between that, that this woman, this author, this name that people recognize, has been saying things that are untrue. not supported by science, not supported by logic, in some cases, but because she’s JK Rowling, it gets published, it gets spread, it gets news articles written about it. And it’s really upsetting and painful. To to read that kind of transphobia getting spread around, and then seeing a bunch of people support it, because they just support JK Rowling. And they just love Harry Potter so much that anything,
Josué Cardona 6:40
how much is that happening? How much is how much is is? Or do you think people are because this is one of my fears? Right? Like right now my nine year old niece is in it. And she she watched all the movies now she’s reading so she’s reading the books, right? The other day, she went to the bookstore and she bought the the Beatle Bard book, right? Like she’s like, she’s in it like she wants. She’s, she’s living and breathing Harry Potter at this point. I don’t, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to, right, It’s like she’s, for a nine year old. I’ve seen her say things like, like, call out her parents for you know, for the way they refer to gender or things like that. Right? Like she like she is? I don’t know. I don’t know she is just like that, because she saw it on TV, or because she has adults in her life where I’ve like taught her a different way of like her school is teaching her this? Or was it in a book that she read it and she thought that that was a better way to do it. And so is she going to is she one of those people like you just described? It’s like, oh, if JK Rowling thinks that then then I’m down. Like, I’m curious, or is it like, oh, JK Rowling. Finally, she finally said, well, we’re all thinking and right. And then they come out of the Woodworks versus people who are like, Oh, you know, I never thought of it that way. You know, and so Okay, yeah, no, you’ve convinced me like, I don’t know, there’s no way to measure that. I’m just curious. Yeah.
Link Keller 8:17
I have seen evidence of both. I’ve seen people tone policing, where you, you know, don’t speak to her that way. She’s trying her best. And it’s like, we are trying to educate her about how she is directly harming people. And instead of listening, she’s attacking us. And then you unrelated viewer is now also in this tweet thread, including yourself in the conversation. I’ve also seen people who you know, on the other side of that, I know an artist who has been doing a bunch of if you got the Deathly hollows symbol tattoo I am doing cover up tattoos that incorporate that shape. So it covers it really well, which is like, Oh, okay. Yeah, and so, with something like transphobia there’s always gonna be people who have no skin in the bag at all. They don’t care about Harry Potter. They don’t care about JK Rowling, but she’s saying something. transphobic then I’m gonna get behind that because I’m also transphobic. And I want to elevate that kind of rhetoric. There are people you know, of course, who were like, ambivalent is like I don’t I don’t care what JK Rowling says.
Lara Taylor 9:39
I believe what I’m going to believe in either direction. Yeah.
Josué Cardona 9:43
Link Keller 9:45
Lara Taylor 9:49
Josué from what I know about your niece, though, and I’ve I’ve only you know, you send me snippets of things she says you tell us stories is very cool. She’s very cool. I think she’s the kind of girl that will Be like, Tio, I love Harry Potter? JK Rowling says some bad things, some wrong things.
Josué Cardona 10:09
I would I would. I haven’t brought up the topic. I don’t know, if it’s one of those things, right where
Lara Taylor 10:22
do you want to break her heart?
Josué Cardona 10:24
well it’s not just break her heart. It’s like, is my, is my sister gonna get mad at me? For for? Or am I introducing? Like, it’s that kind of thing, right? Like, Oh, we don’t want her to know, like, Look, I don’t want to, if I spoke more with my niece and it came up, I can guarantee you I would take the opportunity to, to try to figure out what she knows or what she thinks. I would love to believe that she’s at a point where she she could make that distinction of like, Hey, I can, or actually no, actually. So there’s the one part which is the the Yeah, I don’t agree with her. Right. But then there’s like, there’s a separation piece, right? Like, can you still I think it’s hard to continue to like something well, and then disconnect it from the Creator. For some people, that’s very difficult. And it completely changes your relationship to this thing that was very important to you. Um, I think I am able to do that pretty well. I like to think so. I’m sure there are exceptions. But there are. Yeah, I mean, it’s hard. So I don’t know what to do. Yeah, I mean, I’m sure there’s lots of parents who are in the same exact situation right now. Who, who may know more about JK Rowling? And then you have your kids like idolizing them? And but what do you how do you how do you handle that? Yeah, um, I think I think I think you handle that by kind of talking about it and actually having a conversation. I think that’s the answer. I know that. People are thinking like, oh, what do I do? My sister is like that, right? My sister’s like, oh, oh, no, I don’t know how to talk about it. And like, I’ll jump in. I’ll do it like, you know. I’ll sit you both down.
Lara Taylor 12:09
just give me permission.
Josué Cardona 12:11
Yeah. But I think Yeah, yeah.
Lara Taylor 12:15
And that separation between the creator and the work. I think it’s, it’s easier for some people, and it’s harder for some people.
Link Keller 12:24
it also depends on what kind of media it is.
Lara Taylor 12:30
Yeah. And I do know, a lot of people back when when JK Rowling’s started her her TERF speech. I know, there was a collection of queer, I think was all trans cartoonists that created a ‘zine, that was called trans affirming magical care. And it was all Harry Potter with trans characters and gender queer characters. And it was it was beautiful. And I think being able to lean into that, and not just lose the feeling of joy that you had from this thing. And taking it as that was that and now it’s kind of tainted, but let’s hold on to the experience that I had.
Link Keller 13:24
Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s definitely a big difference between me being a fifth grader and reading, you know, the first couple of books and then as the, you know, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh books come out and the movie start coming out, and I am growing up with Harry Potter. And like turning 18 when the final book comes out, and everything is like, it was very much a part of my childhood, it’s a little bit different being like, your niece being a nine year old now. And having access to all of it is a little bit different. I know that when, when I was really, really into Harry Potter. I got I got into the fan fiction side of Harry Potter. And I think that is maybe the greatest thing about Harry Potter and the wizarding world is that it inspired so many people to get in there and create stuff of all sorts of different types of things way beyond anything that JK Rowling could have ever come up with on her own or come up with several years later and retro actively applied to her work. God Yeah, I think that that has always been the strength of Harry Potter is that the way that people engage with it. But but as an adult, and as somebody who can’t help but have media critical brain on all the time, I don’t I don’t know if I could go back and read those books again, I loved those books. I read the first three or four books probably 10 times apiece, I, when the seventh book finally came out, I only read it once. Partly because I really got mad about the prologue or epilogue. epilogue
Josué Cardona 15:43
Link Keller 15:47
But it’s like, up until that point, I had always like reread the whole series before the book came out. And as an adult, there’s part of me like, I started going through some other YA book series that I was into as a kid and a teen. And it’s a very different experience reading these books as an adult, some of it is just like, I’m a different person now. And so I’m reading different things into it. Some of it is just like, I have, you know, more life experience than a preteen and therefore, like, I conceptually relate to, to a story differently. And I’m more aware of the social aspects that I never picked up on really, as a kid. Because that’s not how I was necessarily raised to engage with media, being critical of like, what is this saying? What, you know, what, what is it mean, when this author makes bad characters, fat, and fat characters bad? What does that mean? This is not stuff I ever considered as a child, as an adult. That’s the stuff that I’m paying attention to gender stuff a lot I read one of the quartets by Tamora Pierce, the protector of the small quartet, and that is about a character named Kel and she wants to be a knight. And she is following in the footsteps of the First Lady Knight in this world. So she’s dealing with a lot of like, you’re a girl, and you can’t do that stuff. But she actually has somebody that she can point to and be like, Look, I deserve, like, I can be here, I can do this. And reading through that, and the the kinds of ways that they had gender get brought into character interactions. As a kid, I was just like, this is cool. She’s just like a tomboy. And now like, adult and non binary, I’m all like, what if what if she was just non binary? What if that? wouldn’t that be cool? And we don’t have to do the gender thing at all. Like, let’s skip it, it could be real fun. Yeah, and so like, I want to be I don’t want to be that person who’s like, you know, don’t don’t read this stuff. Because there’s bad stuff. And I don’t I think that’s not a fun way to engage with media or with life is like, be present for it, like recognize that nothing is going to be perfect. So what are the pieces that feel Right and good to you? What pieces fit in with your own worldviews? What doesn’t? Does it fit in, in ways that makes you feel uncomfortable about that? Or is it make you feel uncomfortable about the way that you do it? Or you believe in it is like, there’s so much depth that you can get into if you’re willing to accept that no piece of media is going to be perfect. Especially because we live in linear time.
Lara Taylor 19:16
no piece of media is going to be perfect because people make media and people aren’t perfect.
Link Keller 19:21
Yes. And so I think I think what I end up struggling with most is recognizing that I can sit and think about this stuff and grapple with it but there’s certain stuff I’m not going to pick up because of my experience because of who I am and where I came from and how I was raised. And so it feels it feels almost equally bad to to feel like oh, you know, don’t read that. It’s bad to be like you should read it and just ignore The bad stuff is like, there is like harm can come from this stuff, the fatphobia in JK Rowling’s work. The questionable toxic relationships in Joss Whedon’s work. Like, those are things that I can sit down and grapple with. But that’s not going to be true for everybody. The people are harmed by these things. And we need to also be cognizant of that.
Josué Cardona 20:32
But I feel like this conversation, it can be done independently of the creators, right? Like, even if we didn’t, even if even if they were like a not written by anonymous, we could still pick apart these things. And say, like, Hey, this is like, this is this is strange, like, Oh, no, like, and we talk about conversation starters. Right? Good or bad. How to make you feel you disagreed? Let’s talk about that. Oh, you liked it. Okay, let’s talk about that. How to make you feel good, made you feel good, made you feel bad. Okay. I like oh, I agree that it could have been done differently. Those conversations, and I think they often happen. And even here, like they happen a lot independent completely independently of the creators, because lots of times, like we don’t even know, like, who wrote the episode? We don’t actually know. We don’t pay attention to that much. Yeah. Um, no,
Lara Taylor 21:29
I appreciate, Link, I really appreciate your opinion on self reflection, and being able to reflect on media, I think it’s important that we, as humans try to do that and think about how things make us feel what they make us think, what people’s perceptions of what the thing what is in the media, we’re consuming. I went to a panel once that was like it was called, what to do when you’re the media you love is problematic. And I was hoping for this kind of conversation. I sat there and heard four people on a stage talking about like, all media is shitty mainstream media is shitty, you should just be reading indie stuff and watching indie stuff. And I like there’s assholes in the indie too. Like, it just, it’s, I wanted more, I wanted this conversation about like, well, you can still enjoy it, just admit that there are problems and and think about what it’s telling you and what it’s telling other people.
Josué Cardona 22:33
Yeah, there’s an Yeah.
Link Keller 22:37
And be aware that your reading of it is is yours. It’s it’s informed by your own experiences by your own thresholds of what is acceptable, if not wanted. And I think that’s where I get I get sort of icky feeling about it, I guess is, is the idea of having a conversation with somebody being like, Look, I like grew up really loving Harry Potter. But, you know, I don’t, I don’t know if that’s something that I necessarily want to, like, get my kids involved in. Like, if if they find it on their own, and they want to get into it fine. But I you know, when I was young, I was like, I’m good at like, this is gonna be the thing I share with my children. We’re all gonna be Harry Potter freaks. And we’re gonna have family Harry Potter costumes, and we’re gonna make wands and everything is like, getting getting to the point of being like, you know, I don’t I don’t think it’s for me anymore. And having people be like, well, like, it’s not like that big a deal. Can’t you just like, ignore that piece? Like, just don’t? Like, it’s not that bad. Like, I can ignore it. So why don’t you ignore it? And I was just like, I don’t like that.
Josué Cardona 23:56
I mean, it’s so hard to go back and watch stuff that we watched as kids now. It is, like, almost impossible to watch
Lara Taylor 24:05
I found a few things I can watch that
Josué Cardona 24:07
Yeah, give me one. Give me one.
Lara Taylor 24:09
So this year at Christmas, we found I have not been able to find it anywhere. And it was on Amazon this year. The Christmas toy. And that movie was my favorite. It’s a Jim Henson’s Muppet. Like Not, not Muppet, but it’s a puppet like, thing you can tell it’s Jim Henson style. And it was perfect. And I remembered all the words and I felt the same joy that I felt as a child watching it again as an adult. That that’s one also DuckTales
Link Keller 24:42
Josué Cardona 24:44
Lara Taylor 24:45
Darkwing Duck, not so much but DuckTales Yes.
Josué Cardona 24:50
Why Darkwing Duck, not so much?
Lara Taylor 24:53
Nina and I recently tried to watch an episode of that and I was like, What the fuck is going on?
Josué Cardona 25:02
Yeah, well, I mean, but it’s like, is it? Is it like, oh, super racist or like, oh, like these cliches like, you’d never get away with that today, or was it just weird?
Lara Taylor 25:11
I was bored. Oh, I don’t know how I paid attention as a child. And there was, there might have been some racist stuff going on in there. I don’t remember the we watched an episode. It was like a month ago that we watched it. I don’t
Josué Cardona 25:24
I mean, rewatch, rewatch this great DuckTales you’re watching and tell me how many ducks of different colors that aren’t all, have white feathers on the show. Huh? Go back. Tell me.
Link Keller 25:33
just one, and he’s evil. uh oh! whoops we did a duck racism.
Josué Cardona 25:39
Yep. Minus one for Lara.
Lara Taylor 25:43
I think I watched the DuckTales movie on Disney plus recently. And that is it still holds up for me. It’s one of my favorite Disney movies.
Josué Cardona 25:52
Yeah, you can you can still enjoy it. I think. I think we’re talking about a few different things all at once. Yeah. All of us. Yeah. But one thing that I didn’t say about my my niece’s situation is that I heard her say recently, like, Oh, I love JK Rowling so much. She’s so great. Now and she’s doing that based on the on the, on the books. And I’ve had clients,
Lara Taylor 26:15
instead of, I love her writing, or I love the story she made.
Josué Cardona 26:20
Okay, I do the same thing. I’m like, I love Shigeru Miyamoto and like, I’m like, I don’t I don’t know what this guy does in his spare time. I don’t know who he votes for and what like what his politics are. I don’t know his record in Japan. I don’t know. I know he made Mario and I’m like, yeah, that’s, that’s that’s, I love mario. Yeah, so so like, I get that right. But I also remember me as a child thinking. A true story. I high school, I guess it was like 10th grade, they’re like, oh, say someone you admire. And I was like, Oh, I, I I really admire what name? Did he go by back then I Puff Daddy like Sean Combs, right? Like, and I was like, he was like, he was just like an assistant for the person. And like, he wanted to do his own thing. But like he, he started working. He like got in the industry, like washing people’s cars. And then he kept like talking to people and was able to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, they keep going. And like, I don’t know, like, that was the story. Right? And if I don’t actually, there was that incident with a gun in a club. But other than that, there isn’t like, like, I don’t know that maybe maybe something has happened. But I don’t know of anything that Sean Combs has done. That makes me you know, that, that it had I tried to emulate him or followed his footsteps or like, or like, you know, had some of his quotes as mantras, you know, and then at some point, it’s like, oh, wait a minute. He’s a jerk. He’s horrible. Like, I think about my stepfather. Who, who? Who Loved Bill Cosby, right? Like he always used to, like, imitate Bill Cosby and do all this stuff. And then now like, I can’t imagine like now in his 70s and be like, Oh, ah, like, I can’t I can’t break out my impersonation anymore. You know? And like, I remember
Link Keller 28:16
It plays very differently now.
Josué Cardona 28:18
Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. Like, like there’s and that’s separated from the work right. Like, it’s, it’s you start you start admiring the creator and the artists for what they’re doing and what they’ve and what they’ve done. And, and there’s, so there’s a few things, right? One is like the sense of betrayal. Another one is, I think, the parasocial element, right? of like, I don’t know, like, I feel kind of close to this person. Right? That’s one of the way you feel betrayed. And also why you might feel a sense of loss. It’s like, Damn now, like, we can’t be friends anymore. Yeah, you know, it’s like, dammit you know, if at some point, I was like, What would P Diddy Do you know? And he and he betrayed me? I’d be like, I can’t I can’t maybe I shouldn’t go, you know, read his biography again. or something. And like, and like that’s, that’s happening, right? Because that’s happening right now with creators of things that we really, really , that we really love. Yeah. I don’t have that connection to to JK Rowling. Or, or Joss Whedon. The Joss Whedon one makes me sad because of how much I loved his work. Right? Like, like, yeah, like, I like Buffy, Angel, even all the other shows afterward.
Link Keller 29:42
Josué Cardona 29:42
I’m like, like, I even like dollhouse. I’m like, I watch whatever you make.
Link Keller 29:46
Yeah. Yeah, I watched all of that stuff
Josué Cardona 29:49
I’m down. And and like, I really like the first Avengers movie, right? Like I was like, oh, like and it feels it has so many Joss Whedon things that you’re like, Oh, that’s really cool. Hey,
Link Keller 29:59
how do you feel about Age of Ultron?
Josué Cardona 30:02
Um, I like age of ultron. I don’t really have a big deal, but in Justice League is a whole other conversation, right? Zack Snyder recently tweeted that he didn’t use a single a single frame for of joss whedon’s work and in the
Lara Taylor 30:21
the synder cut
Josué Cardona 30:22
the snyder cut that’s coming out next month. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if it’s personal or why it’s just it’s just but it felt it felt good to hear him say that as like maybe as a jab at Joss Whedon? Yeah, like, finally he’s getting his comeuppance, right? It’s good. There’s like all this stuff that like, this person just changes completely. Once you know more about them? Um,
Link Keller 30:47
yeah, I mean, that’s definitely an aspect of it. You know, getting into the parasocial relationship stuff is probably beyond the scale of this podcast. But
Josué Cardona 30:58
I don’t I don’t think so. Why, why? Why?
Link Keller 31:00
Because we’ve already been talking for 30 minutes. I feel like that would be that would be a long conversation. I do think that the parasocial aspect is is for sure a part of it. I think it’s also we as humans, especially Americans, maybe I don’t I don’t know if I can really say that. That’s my my thought process Asterix there, I might be wrong.
Lara Taylor 31:25
Because you can only speak from your own experience, right
Link Keller 31:26
I can only speak from my own experience. But you mentioned something that like these people become kind of heroes to us is celebrity people who make the media that we really love the actors who portray the characters that we really love. But they’re people they’re human, messy, complex, squishy, filled with goo people. And I think we culturally need to have a shift away from that behavior. It’s something that seems to come very naturally to people but I think it’s something we need to work on.
Josué Cardona 32:08
Link Keller 32:09
pumping pumping the brakes a little bit of what is taking something that we like, and then being the person who made that thing is therefore good, is therefore worth paying attention to is therefor deserving of more jobs, which is really where Ooh, oh, I get my my cramp at is, is like, I want to see more work by new people. I don’t I don’t want people who have been Beloved, and then drama happens, something is revealed. They have to do the little I’m sorry, dance, and then they get another chance to make something new. And everybody watches. It’s like, finding out about Joss Whedon and the way that he treated female actors on Buffy and on Angel and
Lara Taylor 33:06
probably on dollhouse and probably on firefly
Link Keller 33:09
probably, yes, probably also those. And I’m sorry, I just hearing about that stuff. And then hearing about how, like in Hollywood in the places where he is getting paid, getting jobs, it is well known. Like I just read an article that was talking about from Buffy in the first four seasons, a guy who did some general dude body acting, and then Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double, whose name I cannot remember now. But they were both on the show for the first four seasons and they were regularly complaining about how Joss Whedon was treating people. And that was in 97 to 2001.
Lara Taylor 34:07
And because they aren’t the stars, no one listens
Link Keller 34:10
but yeah, and so stuff like that really bums me out. I I want to be able to look at pieces of media and be able to say like, look here, here are the pieces that are meaningful to me here are the ways that it impacted and shaped who I am without it being directly tied to the Creator. But that’s that’s not how things work. The creators do have impact on what they’re making. Not always the same extent. We already talked about how there’s a difference between you know, an author of a book versus the show runner with hundreds of people also making the show It’s it’s just a real complex feeling and I wish I guess I wish my brain didn’t automatically like this thing is cool and therefore I love it and then when I find out like well it’s also uncool. things can be two things. And feeling that disappointment. It’s it sucks.
Josué Cardona 35:25
Yeah. to digitalDraco in the in the chat is draco A Harry Potter reference? said I spotted Adam Baldwin from Firefly on an episode of leverage the other day and felt sour for the whole episode because of his attitudes and behavior online since then. Yeah, it’s a it’s a, it’s so. Yeah. Again, if you’ve been no who made a thing, I can see how it changes your experience moving forward. I see an actor in a position like that is really, I think it’s harder because like you’re seeing their stupid face.
Link Keller 36:01
Lara Taylor 36:03
I am so mad about Gina Carano. so mad.
Link Keller 36:07
There’s another one we could talk about in this episode that fits that fits because that first season of Mandalorian when she showed up on screen, I had no idea who she was, I had no context for her. I thought her character was cool as fuck. And even though her acting was, you know, not deep, it was fun, which is honestly all I was looking for.
Lara Taylor 36:30
She was having fun, right?
Link Keller 36:32
I was into a I just, you know, I want to see big buff ladies more, more representation in media in general. And then reading about the fucking awful shit that she said like, I’m glad she got fired. Like, she should not have a platform to spread that kind of stuff. And that’s where I get tripped up. circling back around to JK Rowling is like, I want to be able to say like, you know, if you love Harry Potter, that’s fine. I support you. You should love Harry Potter. But I don’t want JK Rowling to be benefiting off of this stuff anymore. I think it is so unjust that she has a platform to spread hate and lies. And it keeps getting that platform promoted and keeps making money off of Harry Potter. And that hurts me like, ARGH
Lara Taylor 37:30
like, wouldn’t it feel as if it could just be like with Gina Carano. She lost her job. And I think there’s a few other things that she’s, like, lost because of it. And she’s still she’s still using her platform on social media, but who knows who’s gonna hire her to work as an actor now?
Josué Cardona 37:53
Yeah, I mean, Gina Carano was popular before the Mandalorian
Lara Taylor 37:58
she was an American Gladiator.
Josué Cardona 38:02
Oh, yeah, that. Really?
Lara Taylor 38:03
Link Keller 38:03
Lara Taylor 38:04
she was an American gladiator
Josué Cardona 38:05
what was her fighting name?
Lara Taylor 38:07
I can’t remember. But I told you that Nina touched her butt one time on accident.
Josué Cardona 38:13
yes you told me.
Lara Taylor 38:15
she was at like at Comic Con. She like brushed past her and touched her butt and thought that she was gonna kick her ass. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 38:24
yeah. Yeah. But it’s like, yeah, I mean, JK Rowling wasn’t popular before she wrote Harry Potter. And I mean that that’s it right, like Harry Potter is is JK Rowling are intrinsically tied. The platform was created because of Harry Potter that like yes, like if someone was able, like, I don’t see this happening. But if someone like cancelled JK Rowling completely like, right and like somehow made Harry Potter disappear. Somebody then that’s it right? There’s like, there’s nothing else to build a platform on or she’s very rich now. She’s very, very rich.
Link Keller 39:09
She’s disgustingly rich.
Josué Cardona 39:11
There’s there’s so there’s a again I think the only way if you don’t have an intimate connection to the to the material there’s no way that you would that you would care about these things in general. Or or care about them as much right like you can completely This person says that there’s tons of people like it’s not like she’s the first person to ever be transphobic there’s a word for it. She’s we knew what to call her when she started speaking. And and yeah, there’s there’s messed up stuff in the in the books and all that stuff. But there’s also like the the next part of it right where you’re talking about like them, keep getting jobs and stuff and in a way, it’s it doesn’t bother me. Like I get it. I understand why you would hire joss whedon Getting to do a particular product because you want it to be joss whedon-y. And there are multiple reasons why you would do it. But, but if if you’ve hurt people, like in the case of JK Rowling, right, like having JK Rowling involved, it can be hurtful for the fans themselves, right? Who already disagree. So the new the new video game that’s coming out the fact that the company had to make a statement to say that she has no involvement in the creation of the game. Is is such a weird situation to be in like, there’s like, Oh, yeah, no, no, like, we love Harry Potter, just to. Just to be clear, we don’t like her either. So she has zero involvement in this. They didn’t say how much money she’s gonna get, because obviously, she’s licensing the thing to you. That’s, that’s, again, that’s a separate thing. But just the idea that Oh, please come because she’s not invited. She’s not here. I don’t even believe that. That’s true. But, but but let’s just assume that that’s true. The fact that you had to say that, I mean, there’s, there’s just like, I don’t know that you can. And it’s not 100%, right, like, not everybody’s going to hate Harry Potter or feel different about it, because of what you said, some people might like it more like it’ll go either way. Right. But like, there’s, there’s that connection to it. That really? Yeah, it makes it makes it it makes it hard. It is really relevant. But it’s something that I was thinking about, which is I, my I my understanding is that Orson Scott Card is like, is like conservative and homophobic. And so when I finally read Ender’s Game, I was like looking for I was looking for it. I didn’t find it. I didn’t find the homophobia. I didn’t find anything. Like, I don’t know, it was like, it was straight, like most media, but it wasn’t like, you know, homophobic. It wasn’t it was just okay. And then and then. And then I like I kept reading his books, like I really liked, like, a lot of his other books. And there’s a there’s a video game based on one of his books. I’ve never read the book, but I really liked the game. I was like, but it was in the back of my mind. And that other part of it, like, oh, like, do I want to support this with my with my, with my money and stuff. But but with joss whedon and JK Rowling, like, such. It’s like, formative, right? It’s like, it’s like, what happens? Like if a client comes to me, and I don’t know if this happened to you recently, Lara, but it’s like, someone comes to me. Like, I’m kind of, like, I’m really sad because of because of this, you know, this was so important to me. And now I get the anger part of the anger is like, I just wish it wasn’t this way. I wish they weren’t assholes. And and I wouldn’t be angry about it. But the sadness part. I’m curious if you’ve had anybody.
Lara Taylor 43:06
Definitely. I had a client recently come in, and we both were wearing Hufflepuff hoodies in session. And we had a conversation about sadness, betrayal, but still loving the way it made us feel. Right. And the way that the magic of it right, and just like where could all we could come home. We talked about fanfic, and how amazing that is.
Link Keller 43:39
The shock, the shock of how transphobic JK Rowling is when you’ve read like, hundreds of 1000s of pages of like, very trans positive fanfiction is whiplash.
Lara Taylor 43:56
Yeah, yeah. So yeah. And that’s not the only conversation I’ve had we’ve we’ve talked, I’ve had sessions talking about joss whedon, and Gina Carano. And Leticia wright.
Link Keller 44:12
Lara Taylor 44:14
Yeah. Josué you look confused.
Josué Cardona 44:16
I’ll Google Keep talking
Lara Taylor 44:19
Leticia Wright Who plays Shuri in Black Panther said something anti Vax ish. And that was I had clients upset about that, because it was like, she has this platform and she’s using it and encouraging people to not get vaccinated. Wonderful. Yeah.
Josué Cardona 44:44
See that again? That’s, that’s my worry about my niece. Right. It’s like, well, this person actually ever have some sort of influence over them. And regardless of you know, if we’re like, oh, they’re just a creator. They’re, they’re just people. They’re just normal people like you and me. And it’s like no. that we know that we know Know that, but the truth is that we are impressed. Right now we we fall in love with music and media, right? And it’s like we you can’t it’s hard to separate it from from the, the people, right? It’s like, Do you follow up with the person or what they do? You know, like that’s a whole other that’s a whole other episode. It’s too late to start that conversation. But all that it’s right. It’s very it’s very, very tied and, and Yeah, the thought that Leticia Wright could possibly influence someone to not want to get a vaccine is
Lara Taylor 45:33
in a pandemic.
Josué Cardona 45:35
It makes me it makes me sad, you know, in a way that no other voices are dropping like you’re such Leticia Wright fan, right? Like it drowns out anything else. I? Yeah, I mean, very few people, I feel have that much power. I do believe JK Rowling could possibly be one of them. I don’t know. I don’t think it happens too often, that someone could have that. I think that in a narrow sense, many people have have that intimate of a of a connection with a creator. But very few creators have that broad of a reach that could possibly do something like that. Last year after, after George Floyd was murdered, I remember seeing a lot of artists being like trying to say things and then admitting that like they didn’t know, they didn’t know about what they were talking about, or they or they just like repeated things that they said, or it wasn’t until they saw that they were Oh, they’re talking about the black experience in America and policing and racism. And people responded and got angry at what they were saying that they understood like, oh, wait a minute, people listen to what I say. And, and I remember seeing like artists, like it came as a surprise to them. Like they, they? It that’s what hurts the most right? To see to see it especially in JK Rowling’s example, where people have been telling her like, what you’re saying is hurtful what you’re saying. Like, even if you believe that just like Shut up. Just stop. Right? Just don’t do it anymore. Please. The fact that that she that she doubles down is like,
Lara Taylor 47:23
and triples down
Josué Cardona 47:23
it makes it so much worse. Yeah, it just makes it so much as you’re like, oh, like how to? I don’t want to like yeah, like her name should not be like, that should be the you know, the she she who shall not be named right. It’s like don’t say don’t even say your name. Cuz like, just like, Oh, I got I got like this tic, you know, every time because it? Yeah, again, it’s like Trump, it’s like, shut up, man. Like, like, you are like you’re inciting people like people will follow you. Right, like, stop it.
Link Keller 47:51
Yeah, you have power. you have power and you are choosing to wield it. Without any thought towards consequences of any besides yourself. And, yeah, that’s, that’s reminding me of world famous Twitch streamer ninja said some really stupid stuff. And basically was like, well, it’s not my job to educate people. It’s like, fine, it’s not but you have power. You have a platform where millions of people are listening to you. You can’t pretend that that doesn’t matter.
Josué Cardona 48:36
And it’s a lot of young people. Right. Like, like, that’s the problem with JK Rowling. Right. Again, going back to my niece, my niece is nine my niece doesn’t have too many heroes. Right? It’s like, or female heroes. Right right now that she admires. So there’s something about like, there’s a lot of power there and for ninja to like, look at the his his stats on Twitch. Know how young his audiences? You know, I’d be like, yeah, I mean, that that stuff is it’s it’s enraging. Yes, it is. Yeah. Yeah, I get it, you know, fine, but like, Just shut up. Maybe. Or, I mean, unless that response from ninja kind of bothers me. Because because there’s like, oh I dunno, like, like, like, Oh, well, you know, but like JK Rowling’s like the opposite of that again. Like she’s like, she’s gone full evil, right. It’s like, Oh, I have a platform. Maybe I should use it. Harder
Lara Taylor 49:38
Josué Cardona 49:39
Yeah. Oh, I’m teaching people about this that I’m I’m opening I’m changing hearts and minds on this topic. Let me do it. Let me do it more.
Lara Taylor 49:51
That’s why I think you when you said to shut up, maybe that should be the episode title. Shut up.
Link Keller 49:57
You could just shut up. shutting up is Free.
Josué Cardona 50:01
I mean, it’s more complicated than that in the sense that, that, like, there will always be people that we disagree with. And there will always be people that say things that are harmful. And there will be people who like are the polar opposite of you and are having this completely opposite version of this conversation or the same conversation about somebody else who’s like, who’s just being trans positive, right? And like, Oh, no, we need to like these things are happening all the time. But like the the reason why like JK Rowling like, it’s a I’m mad is because my niece is loving it right now. Right? Because on the dude, like, until I heard her, say, like, oh, JK Rowling’s. So great. I did not put I did not put too much thought into this. Because I was like, Oh, look, yeah, another transphobic person. Like they, you know, great. Great. And like, yeah, I mean, the tattoo artist is is fixing, you know, tattoos, a million youtubers mobilized right people on sort of, like, everybody’s like, actually shut up, you know, there’s, there’s a conversation like, I can’t even see like, positive. This is more of a of the social psychology aspect of it of like, how this stuff like, like, this can work out, possibly in a more positive way. But like, the point here is like, why does it hurt? Why does it bother us so much? It’s because of that connection, because of how meaningful those books were? Or the movies. And all of it like, and I don’t know, like moving forward, do you? Do you have any interest? Like would do? Do you want to watch the next fantastic beast movie? Or like, do you care? Like, would you watch them? I don’t know. I’m curious how this affects going forward?
Link Keller 51:48
I don’t know, probably not, probably not, um,
Josué Cardona 51:54
Link Keller 51:56
I think it’s, it’s too sore. For me, I think. I think for me, I want to be able to hold on to what little pieces of Harry Potter are still in my heart. And I think that the more I engage with newer stuff, the less that… it’s, it gets tainted. It gets tainted and I just, I’ll just keep my memories.
Josué Cardona 52:36
The more you engage with the newer stuff, the less it gets tainted?
Link Keller 52:40
the more I engage with anything Harry Potter, the further away I get from, you know, being 13 and having the ceiling and the two walls next to my bed completely covered in Harry Potter stuff. Like, yeah, yeah, is like there, you know, there’s the part of me, I, I might even still have it, but I had from when the fourth book came out Goblet of Fire, they did a series of library posters where they had to, like “read, it’s magic!” And I begged my librarian to let me take it home, so that I could have it. And I held on to that for a really long time, partly because I loved Harry Potter, partly because I just like, you know, the message of like, it’s a library poster. That’s fun. I’m gonna put it over my bookshelf. It’s a little library. But it’s like now when I when I look at pictures of Harry Potter, Harry Potter book art, it’s in relationship to the newest, awful thing that JK Rowling has said, and I’m worried that the more I engage with it, the more the more poisoned it will be. And I’ll get to the point where I’m just like, I hate Harry Potter, instead of where I am now. Whereas like, I still love Harry Potter, but I am also very conflicted. There are deep, deep, complex feelings tied to that. Um, I don’t know, I don’t think that that’s gonna be true for everybody. When I think about, you know, like rewatching Buffy I don’t have the same feelings as much. Again, more people worked on that show. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. I just I think also you know, having a trans identity ads, ads, a lot of like, it’s hard not to take it personal.
Josué Cardona 54:58
yeah, yeah, yeah.
Link Keller 55:01
And only only some of that bad feeling is coming like directly from JK Rowling. A lot of it is seeing how people responded to her saying that stuff, and them agreeing with it. That was more painful in a way because, yeah, the volume the the amount of people saying is like it was just JK Rowling. And everybody’s like, shut up JK, like, oh, say JK, like syke. But when you know, she says something, and there are hundreds of people being like, hell yeah, truth to power, you say girl, and I’m just like, oh my god, that, that you have hurt my feelings you’ve hurt, you’ve hurt my feelings.
Josué Cardona 55:48
Also, they came into your house to hurt her feelings, right? It’s a wrap. It’s like, oh, that didn’t have to be hard. It couldn’t be anything else. Like there are other books that I like less that were less meaningful. You could have done this with anything else. Yeah, to come here.
Lara Taylor 56:00
Link’s like, couldn’t they take Star Wars?
Josué Cardona 56:05
go play over there?
Link Keller 56:06
I mean, Star Wars fans seem to be stepping up and doing it for themselves. They don’t even need the creators to be on board. The fans are awful
Lara Taylor 56:15
that that’s pretty much it.
Josué Cardona 56:17
That’s all of em
Link Keller 56:18
Josué Cardona 56:20
Yeah. I’m really glad you brought this up. Because I think it’s something a lot of people are feeling. And I think I think it’s helpful to hear you talk about why it’s so personal and why, you know, and the way that it’ll that it will probably continue to affect you moving forward. Right. And because of all of the different aspects and and yeah, it hurts, it sucks. And different people are going to react differently. Like, like I said, to me, the, I’ve always enjoyed, I’ve never actually read the books. I don’t think I’ve finished it. I don’t think I’ve finished the first one I’ve started multiple times, I recently bought it in Japanese, because I intend to read it in, in Japanese. And I yeah, like I want to there’s something there’s something about that. And I’ve seen how meaningful it was for students of my class and clients in the past. And again, I’ll be keeping an eye on my, on my niece. But like, I’m looking forward to that game. Like, I’m hoping it’s a good game that I can play with people and like, it’s a story that, like we’re gonna create the story
Lara Taylor 57:23
that she didnt’, she didn’t write it. But
Josué Cardona 57:26
yeah, and, and but it’s also it’s also a game and it’s a it’s like an MMO. So like, we’ll be able to, we’ll be curating our own stories in this world that we, that I like enough to want to revisit and be a part of. And, like, I like the fantastic beast movies. And like, I’ll probably watch them when they come up, because I enjoy them. But again, my connection isn’t so, so, so deep to it. But at some point, I’m sure it’ll happen with something that I hold very precious. And, and I will remember this conversation and know that I am not alone. And then it’s not the first time. And hopefully, this has been helpful to help people understand a little bit. No,
Link Keller 58:08
yeah, yeah, I definitely feel like, I really appreciated that we had this conversation, I feel like after sort of talking about with you guys, my takeaway is that I need I need to practice being flexible when thinking about this kind of stuff, being able to both hold my own experience and my relationship to this piece of media, while also being open to other people’s interaction with it, and not assuming that they are going to respond the same way I do. You know, and getting better at being able to verbalize how I feel about it so that other people don’t inadvertently harm me by responding. Like, well, why don’t you feel how I feel is like, Oh, so yeah, I think I think that’s my takeaway.
Josué Cardona 59:09
A part of me is, believes this, I said before, it’s like, this, actually, it could also be an opportunity, right to to, like, educate or have conversations about this, like, this is I didn’t think this is how I would teach my, my niece about, you know, transphobia, and how, you know, and and how, or like, how I feel about it, right, and how they actually have a conversation about it. If this is the way to do it, that’s fine. But it’s good to recognize that there are many things like, like, like, for therapists, like we have these like, I don’t know, what is there a name for these things? I don’t know. It’s like, Oh, no, like, I don’t want to I can’t, I can’t see a client about this thing. Because it’s, it’s too close. It’s too close to me, right. So it’s also good to recognize that like, Look, I don’t even want to engage if it’s a conversation about This particular thing cuz i don’t i can’t it’s too close. It’s too important to me. I don’t want to I don’t want to. You don’t have to have to. Yeah, get get all up in there
Link Keller 1:00:12
cuz shutting up is free.
Josué Cardona 1:00:14
shutting up is free. Okay, yeah. Any any closing thoughts? final words? I feel like Link, I feel like you just said that, Lara, anything.
Lara Taylor 1:00:28
I think that this has been a great conversation I think this is like I said earlier, this is what I wanted out of a conversation about this stuff because historically media is problematic and the people that make things are problematic and it’s, it’s you can have mixed feelings about it and you don’t have to feel guilty for liking something, especially if you’re doing the work and examining what is bad about the thing, or what is. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 1:00:58
I’m gonna I’m okay. Okay, I’m gonna I’m gonna sign us off, but I’m gonna mention one thing. And I couldn’t find any place to put it. I’m just gonna throw it here at the end. Have you seen all these tiktoks? Talking about the Wizard of Oz? I’m sure this is knowledge. This is knowledge that’s been known before. But like all of these horrible things that happened during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. And it’s things like the snow, Like, when it’s snowing, it’s actually asbestos, that the cowardly again, this is the thing. I don’t I haven’t actually double checked these things to see if they’re true, right? But it’s like, and then it’s like, oh, the cowardly lions suit was actually made of real lions. Like they went like they hunted to Lions to actually make it I’m like, is that true??
Lara Taylor 1:01:38
it doesn’t look like real lion,
Josué Cardona 1:01:41
Lara Taylor 1:01:42
I don’t know.
Josué Cardona 1:01:44
We’re gonna Google this, right. But it’s like things like that are taken over. It’s like, and you keep seeing all these comments about people being like, Oh, I can’t watch this anymore. Like, I can’t unsee all of these, all of these things. Like, wow, they like, like, now I just watched the movie. I see people suffering right? away, you can reframe something. While you haven’t seen the video, so it’s fine.
Link Keller 1:02:06
I guess the takeaway is we need more new stuff that can fail us in brand new ways, instead of blowing over the same pieces of media over.
Josué Cardona 1:02:16
Yeah. That’s a good point.
Link Keller 1:02:19
new IP disappoint us in new ways.
Josué Cardona 1:02:22
Oh, yeah. Thank you for listening to this episode of gt radio, to engage in any of our community spaces. For that you’re very welcome. To do so. Come to our Facebook group, our discord, and engage with us on social media at Geek Therapy everywhere. And please visit the GT forum forum dot Geek therapy.com if you want to comment on this episode, or anything else that’s happening on the Geek Therapy network. Somebody got into good and we’ll catch y’all next week.
Link Keller 1:02:59
Transcribed by https://otter.a
Characters / Media
– JK Rowling
– Joss Whedon
– Harry Potter
– Duck Tales
– Gina Carano
– Orson Scott Card
– Leticia Wright
Themes / Topics
* Difficult emotions
* LGBT Issues
* Moral dilemma
* Getting older
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Share an example of media where your opinion of it drastically changed after finding out something about its creator?