LBD - Fan response follow up. (fans and 4th wall breaking)

So this is a follow up to this post, as some responses would like more clarification. I’ll open this by saying that this is the last I’m going to speak of this. If I don’t answer everything I am sorry, but I’d rather be spending the rest of my Sunday (this post has taken 3+ hours of my time) making the show great rather than having to defend it and letting the show suffer. There are 4 videos coming out this week and I want to make sure that they are ready to go.

So from what I’m seeing, there are three different camps of the fandom.

  1. You love how interactive we are as creators and actors and want us to continue.
  2. You love how interactive we are as creators and actors but are off-put by the gigidarcy joke incident and/or continued/past comments by MK, Ash, and Rachel
  3. You’re off-put by how we’re “in the fandom” in the first place reading and/or interacting with stuff, and the incident just highlights that. -  ”The fandom is for the fans” 
Where ever you land in this you are entitled to your own opinion. Yes I am a tumblr user, and yes I read the tags. I don’t read everything, not even close. But I catch stuff here and there. I’m not going to try to sway you from either camp. I will say that the creative team has to read the tags. It’s part of the lifeblood of the show, we need to monitor it, I’m sorry… this may not be normal for fandoms. But there has been no show in history like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Let’s innovate together. 
So to clarify a few thing,  first, from my inbox. 

And some points from this response here.

Re: the tone of AC and MKW’s responses and how two professionals in their 20’s are scolding/intimating/ being rude to a fan.

I’ll say that AC and MKW told me that they weren’t intending to intimidate, and after  messaging Gigidarcy (the fan that people are saying that she’s intimidating). I’m getting the strong feeling that she doesn’t feel intimidated. All the intimidation I see for this specific instance is perceived and not actual. See Gigidarcy’s response video here. I’m sorry, but I am not reading intimidation at all.

If one person doesn’t think she’s being intimidating with her words being said, and the receiver of those words doesn’t feel that she’s being intimidated, is the act of intimidation really happening?  This goes back to my feeling that this is a completely blown up misunderstanding.

I’ll also say that words on a page come with no inflection. Words presented with a short amount of characters lack context. Here’s an example of words lacking context.

"Son of a bitch" - and now here is some context.

  • I’m playing a friend in a game of chess and I lose. “Son of a bitch”
  • A thug runs up to me and yanks away my new phone and runs off. “Son of a bitch”
  • I go to a farm and pick up a new born male pup. “Son of a bitch” 

Yes I’m trying to be funny, but I wanted to frame where I’m coming from.  A lot of people are reading intimidation but I read it as non-appreciation of the joke. I strongly believe that the three people involved in this incident (AC, MKW, GigiDarcy) read this exchange as joke -> non-appreciation of joke. 

Feel free to disagree.

Re: Rachel Kiley being rude and stuff. 

Rachel is a fangirl and has been a member of fandoms long before she was writing for this show. Also, Rachel is a passionate, open minded, and vocal person. When something really bugs her, she says it. Her voice comes with a lot of snark. That’s the way she is, and that’s a big part of what she brings to the LBD. I have said publicly that Rachel represents a specific voice in the show, she’s a member of the fandom and a snarky one. If she wasn’t writing for this show, I’m sure she’d be here on tumblr being a part of it all as a fan. I love that she participates as both a writer of the show and a member of the fans. Things like this make me laugh hysterically. And no that is not Rachel talking to herself, and no she didn’t know that Caroline was going to be tweeting GGdarcy. 

Rachel Kiley, as a person, is pretty polarizing. When you have strong opinions, compounded with being vocal and then add in snark, you are definitely gong to have a lot of people liking you and disliking you. If you find Rachel Kiley unprofessional or off-putting than don’t read her posts. I mean a lot of them are pretty long anyway.

Sure she’s a big part of the voice of this show, but there is no public relations agreement in the way we work. She is by no means an official voice of the show.  She’s allowed to be her, and say things, and talk to the fans in her own voice (or not to). This is something that is pretty unprecedented in the context of a video series. Sure she may say things that I would prefer she word differently, but I don’t own Rachel Kiley nor do I want to. Rachel Kiley gets to be herself. 

Let’s put it this way, if The LBD was on any channel on television, every single one of us would probably be muzzled from tumblr, and also the show wouldn’t be the interactive living/breathing thing that it is. It would be so different, and far less innovative.  So you get us around tumblr because we can be (and we need to be for the interactive lifeblood of the show).

As for Rachel being “rude”, I’ll break down a break down that Rachel has been highlighted in with my own interpretations. Note: This is simply a counter-interpretation.  I know Rachel better than most of you and I am presenting you my opinions, but my opinions are not law. Interpret as you will.

—— Below is a rundown from a fan with my comments in bold.

"Let’s see if I can get a basic rundown of her behavior, in no particular order:"

  • being rude/dismissive to fans asking about darcy bc she dislikes excitement about darcy and wants fans of a remake of one of the most renowned of all romances in western fictions to onlycare about the sisters”

    Bernie: So I read this as snarky, playful trolling. Also I read that Rachel (like many of us on the show) were just having fun with the amount of attention given to a character that had only appeared twice, Instead of giving attention to a grand story of a single young woman in her 20s trying to find herself.
     - This is clearly interpreted differently above. and I can totally understand where it came from.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said publicly (or implied that) LBD is a story about life and much more than a love story. So yes, we do want you to care more about everyone else in our show, rather than just Lizzie x Darcy. 
  • enforcing this interpretation of LBD

    Bernie: Same as above. Though “enforcing” seems a little strong. If it’s enforcing, it’s through a very poor method.  I read it as supporting. We don’t want you to not care about Darcy. We want you to care about him (which is easy) and everyone else. 
  • and just generally being rude about people’s excitement for darcy and tagging it

    Bernie: Going with snark again. Look we put a lot of time and effort to give you all a great Jane, Charlotte, Lydia, Collins, Wickham, Fitz, Mary, Maria, Bing, and Caroline before Darcy ever stepped on screen. We know you’re always gonna be excited about the D-Man. 
  • "and reblogging to do it too”

    Bernie: Agreed. To clarify, not reading rude. Just reading snark. It’s Rachel, her writing is all snark. She’s snark.
  • "and then posting another rude followup to that”

    Bernie: So Rachel has said that she pushes Lydia more on her page than the LBD primary so that that thread gets more eyes too. Commentary with snark.
  • "passive-aggressively asking for special tagging because of how much she hated the imminent darcy day “

    Bernie: So this piece has since been deleted, but I do remember this request. It made a lot of practical sense. We were running a Lydia thread in parallel. Rachel wanted to track it so she could make sure she could see the Lydia responses. 
  • correcting fan opinions/interpretations about lizzie/darcy”

    Bernie: Sure a different set of words could have been used for the sake of presentation. I can see how this could be interpreted as rude, but the act of correcting fan opinions and interpretations when they’re not-accurate to the interpretations of the creative team? As a fan of other stuff, I want that myself. - Re: LOST!
  • passive aggressive notes to fandom (it was about someone talking about how they didn’t care for lydia, fyi)”

    Bernie: not commenting on this one since i can’t see what she was referring to. But the logical concept of dislike options on posts? Makes sense. 
  • passive aggressive posts about someone making a post about the disliking the presence of cast/crew in fandom”

    Bernie: Well again, I can’t see the original post that Rachel is responding to. But hey, if you’re passively-aggressively  attacked (I’m guessing someone posted a passive {non tagged}-agreesive post about why the cast and crew shouldn’t be here), you’re certainly in your right to respond passively- aggressively. Rachel standing up for herself = Good thing.
  • flouncing the exact same day i made this cranky post (~*~fucking spiteful~*~ ok why not, yes i am & hello again)”

    Bernie: Okay tracking this one a bit. First, there’s not a direct connection that Rachel was responding to that post. Honestly, I’m not even connecting the two in my head. I think the “cranky” post has solid points but they seriously don’t connect directly to me. Rachel uses “spiteful” and I’m not reading spiteful in the “cranky” post.
Okay so that’s that. The one last thing I’ll mention is about how we’re supposed to be proper and professional on tumblr. Is it just me or does “being professional on tumblr” sound strange?  I kid.

I think the first rule about being on Tumblr, is to act like you belong on tumblr which I believe is embracing your individuality. The way I want Ashley, Mk, and Rachel to act on tumblr is to act like themselves, which they do very well. Will they change what they say, and what they post, or how they interact… maybe? Only time will tell.
EDITED NOTE: I am truly sorry to any of you that were hurt or angered or saddened by any of this (which is probably every one of you who knows anything about this). 

Every one of you are allowed to interpret stuff as you like. If you like what we’re doing, great. If you don’t like what we’re doing than well, we reach the end of the book at the end of March, so it’ll all be over soon enough. 

Back to work. New video tomorrow!
  1. merelymisha reblogged this from berniesu
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  3. celiaelise reblogged this from berniesu
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  5. samashies reblogged this from mamaleh6994 and added:
    Reasons to love Bernie Su.
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  7. erinwert said: Thanks Bernie, sorry it’s been such drama, I think you’re handling it as well as you can.
  8. conventionalityisntmorality reblogged this from berniesu and added:
    one of my favorite things about lbd is how supportive the cast and ‘crew’ are of one another. love it.