(Okay, so I posted a shorter version of this on tumblr and was telling ella_bane
I was surprised about how much it was getting re-blogged, and she was like "oh, put it on LJ!" And I was like "really?" And she was like "YES AND IF YOU DON'T I WILL DO MEAN THINGS TO YOU" and then made threatening motions so fine, here is the expanded LJ version of a letter I would like to send to Julian Murphy, or scream at him until I broke his brain. Alas, alack.)
Dear Julian Murphy,
So you have just given an interview looking back on Season 3 of Merlin
, and in it, you are a giant flaming bag of douche
. You've actually made me angry. Are you aware of how hard it is to make really and truly angry? Like, not just kind of irritated? Because when you say that "character growth" for female characters only happens if they get a romantic interest or turn evil, and that despite the actress' repeated pleas to play stronger roles, you have ignored them
, citing that it's not "period appropriate" when you have never given two flying fucks about even the most rudimentary historical accuracy before
, congrats! You've done it. You are officially a jackass.
And don't even get me started on your dismissal of Merlin/Arthur fans. You do realize that they make up a giant portion of your fanbase, and are a disproportionately large percentage the ones that make you money by buying your merchandise and going to your events? But apparently, you think it's a good idea to do just that. In an interview where you also compare the Merlin/Arthur relationship to both Butch/Sundance and Lois/Clark. Because there's nothing romantic about those relationships! And you're right, it's okay to have a prominent plot point in your "family show" be genocide in which you explicitly discuss the drowning of children
, but making the main characters gay would
be taking it a step too far and furthermore, it would be just so upsetting! Thank you for mansplaining it to me! I guess my tiny lady brain was all confused since I'm not in a relationship or plotting evil.
You know, for a long time, I was very defensive of you, simply because that's who I am. I am an easy forgiver. I am a benefit-of-the-doubt-er. So when there were all these conspiracy theories about the writers being purposefully sexist and homophobic I was like "... really?" Honestly, I did not believe that was possible in this day and age
. Surely there could not be a secret cabal of menfolk sitting in a room willfully being that offensive. And I can forgive ignorance. I might not be happy
about it, but if you don't know to examine your actions from a certain point of view, you don't know. Whats the point in getting mad over that? How are you supposed to do something you didn't know you were supposed to do? But you made it explicit in this interview that you know. You know exactly
what you're doing. And furthermore, you are doing it on purpose
because you think it is the right thing to do.
And that is inexcusable. That is completely unforgivable.
If you were some sort of transcendent visionary, maybe you could get off on belittling your fans for ~not understanding you creative vision~. But you know what? You're not. You're not even good
. If you think the fans watch for the "quality writing" on Merlin, you are insanely deluded. We watch in spite of that. We watch, for the most part, because it's pretty, and because the cast is really, really, really good. Like, way too good for you. Honestly, if you hadn't cast the people you cast, your show would have gone up like the Hindenburg. For fuck's sake, I
can write better than you, and I'm not paid to do this shit. You are. And more than ever, I'm convinced that anything that goes right on this show is somehow a happy coincidence. Either that, or it is due to the dedicated effort of a small rebel force, and you are the Death Star, and I am really hoping one of these days they figure out how to jam up your goddamned trash compactor.
There's this delusion many writers seem to have, and it shows up especially in showrunners, that a show belongs to them, or that they understand their show better than anyone because they wrote it. I fucking hate that attitude. That attitude is my number one pet peeve not only in television, but on the top ten of "shit that pisses me off more than anything else, of all time". The first thing any person who is creative learns is that their work stops being theirs the second it is shared. The entire point
of creative work is the way it can be re-interpreted and the meaning of it changes for every new fresh set of eyes that looks at it. To say yours is the "better" or "right" version is abso-fucking-loutely ludicrous, and beyond that, it's arrogant. It's like saying that you know ultimate philosophical answers to life's great questions and other people don't. You should never, ever, ever
belittle an audience interpretation of your creative work. You may dislike it. Hell, you may hate
it. It may hurt you because that work is your baby. I know that feeling. But like all babies, your work has grown up and left you. You can't do anything about it. Deal with it. And more than that, realize that if there's a mass consensus on your work, it is not
because you are right in the face of a million people who are wrong, or that there is something fundamentally wrong with those people. It's that you you didn't see something and they did. That should be the whole reason you share your creativity in the first place. And if you can't deal with that, there's a simple solution - don't share.
Get over yourself. End of story.
So, I guess the upshot of this little note is this; fuck you
. Hard. Wait, let me make this clearer.
No. Just... no.
Me, potentially co-signed by 90% of Merlin
fandom, or at least over 25 people on Tumblr.