When Keeping It Real On Twitter Goes Wrong
The wait is finally over and the Fall television season started once again earlier this week. (The NFL season also started recently, but no one cares about that). For many people, it means setting aside time to watch many television shows, both old and new. And for many of those same people, such as @BlackGirlNerds founder/editor-in-chief Jamie Broadnax, that includes live-tweeting many of the shows they watch and creating alternate hashtags for them to show their support, such as #SleepyHolla for Sleepy Hollow, #GimmeSugar for Queen Sugar, #PitchPlease for Pitch, and #SweetChristmas for the upcoming Luke Cage. (“Sweet Christmas” is Luke Cage’s catchphrase, FYI)
The Hollywood Reporter recently sat down with several showrunners, including…
Dan Fogelman (Fox’s Pitch/NBC’s This Is Us)
Liz Friedman (ABC’s Conviction)
Josh Berman (ABC’s Notorious)
Scott Silver (ABC’s Speechless)
David Guggenheim (ABC’s Designated Survivor)
Shawn Ryan (NBC’s Timeless)
Jeremy Slater (Fox’s The Exorcist)
Rock Reuben and Bruce Helford (CBS’ Kevin Can Wait)
Mark Goffman (CBS’ Bull)
Jason Katims (CBS’ Pure Genius)
Peter Lenkov (CBS’ MacGyver)
Jeff and Jackie Filgo (CBS’ Man With a Plan)
Chris Harris (CBS’ The Great Indoors)
Mike Schur (NBC’s The Good Place)
…and they were asked for their opinions on all things television. One of the questions asked was about their opinions on live-tweeting. And for many of them, this is where keeping it real started to go very wrong.
The one quote that jumped out to many people and pissed them the fuck off was Slater’s quote (which he later insisted was just a joke) about live-tweeting being ‘a garbage idea for garbage people.’ (Slater is also good friends with Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief/Pajiba enthusiast Devin Faraci, so…draw your own conclusions). And those very same ‘garbage people’ who see live-tweeting as a way to bond with other fans as well as show their appreciation and support for the shows they watch didn’t respond well to this:
When creating TV shows has made you so much money you can literally afford to call TV watchers “garbage people”: pic.twitter.com/hl1U7YkfUa— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) September 22, 2016
I'm glad he feels that way about his own show.— Matt (@ComplexlySimple) September 22, 2016
Oh wait, he means live-tweeting. https://t.co/joHj5ah0LG
Twitter has over 320 million active accounts, and you out here insulting people who live tweet tv shows. Chile, take a nap or somethin'— Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) September 22, 2016
Also why didn't THR include any Black showrunners in this piece like Cheo Coker (Luke Cage), Prentice Penny (Insecure) or Ava DuVernay? https://t.co/imOIKLLLxg— Rebecca Theodore (@FilmFatale_NYC) September 22, 2016
Meanwhile, these are the showrunners at Netflix when they see that fans are going to have an organized live tweet. pic.twitter.com/d9FqIxLeM9— LeValkyrie (@LeValkyrie) September 22, 2016
So the showrunner for Fox's The Exorcist (Jeremy Slater) was the writer for the Fantastic Four… pic.twitter.com/rcF1XqSer9— Viktor T. (@wondermann5) September 22, 2016
@BlackGirlNerds There's NOTHING better than live-tweeting. How else do you connect with hundreds of people experiencing all the emotions?!— Nik (@nikstephney) September 22, 2016
As someone who has managed the social presence of shows in the past, I can't imagine being against live tweeting. https://t.co/4D8e4CfkA8— Catrina! (@ohcatrina) September 22, 2016
1. I don't like movie to tv adaptations that make no sense.— kambesyes (@kambesyes) September 22, 2016
2. I'm not here to help his agenda.
3. The previews didn't look good.
4. No. https://t.co/pacyQKKKe1
Viewers aren't demanding engagement with "artists". Not at all. What we're saying is don't call us garbage and need our attention later.— Lauren Warren (@iamlaurenp) September 22, 2016
It also didn’t help that Devin Faraci himself felt the need to add his input to this particular conversation. And for those who have crossed paths with Faraci on Twitter or in other locations on the Internet or who are just familiar with his online reputation, it went about as well as you’d expect.
The classic "it's all about ME" narcissism of modern fandom. Poison. https://t.co/ruRaK8Zrxc— devin faraci (@devincf) September 22, 2016
You must be new here, this has nothing to do with live-tweeting. https://t.co/rdVomwlR8Q— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 22, 2016
@devincf 1. No one is saying Slater should live tweet. People are saying do not call people who do live tweet garbage. Common Courtesy.— Shanelle Little (@ShanelleLittle) September 22, 2016
@devincf 3. Why double down and insult people (calling them garbage is not what I'd call polite) why it just say not for me?— Shanelle Little (@ShanelleLittle) September 22, 2016
Even if you didn’t follow the thread of additional tweets in Jamie’s conversation with Faraci, just know that it pretty much ended like this:
Now see, you resort to insults. I didn't even go there with you. Guess you have nothing of value to say. Goodbye. https://t.co/94IV4QJ3lW— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 22, 2016
Which only led to Jamie feeling even more like this:
I can no longer tweet to the willfully ignorant.— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 22, 2016
How about this: if even 100 people say something nice about John Goodman, I promise to Live-Tweet every single episode. Do it for John! https://t.co/s72o2WqEEO— Jeremy Slater (@jerslater) September 22, 2016
How about he apologize instead for insulting and alienating fans who enjoy live-tweeting shows? https://t.co/0wd36IQ24M— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 22, 2016
And sure enough, Slater soon recorded and posted a video to do just that (Whether he did it out of kindness and a sincere need to apologize to those he offended or to make sure that this online catastrofuck wouldn’t affect the ratings for the series premiere of The Exorcist…you can draw your own conclusions)
Jamie accepted his apology…
I accept the apology. Takes a big man to know when he's wrong :-) https://t.co/SPTgL8L6eo— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 23, 2016
…but that didn’t stop her from posting her own video in response to all of this.
Keepin it short and sweet! pic.twitter.com/cZJWx5S3mv— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) September 23, 2016
Which was also a very polite way for Jamie and many others to basically say…
Whether or not you prefer to live-tweet the shows you watch, and whether or not you think that live-tweeting is a worthwhile practice…if Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and the entire cast of Scandal (as well as cast members from all other Shondaland programs) can recognize how valuable and important live-tweeting can be in getting the word out and building buzz about what’s on television, then there’s no point in pretending otherwise. Granted, Shonda’s opinions on how effective Twitter can be has changed in recent years, especially since live-tweeting is largely responsible for helping keep Scandal on the air, but that’s another story for another day.
(And if you do live-tweet and your live-tweeting technique involves spelling out plot points in very specific ways when reacting to them, STOP THAT! Even if you do warn your timeline of spoiler warnings, you can react and freak out to whatever you’re watching without spoiling the entire damn program you’re watching.)
This has been another episode of “When Keeping It Real On Twitter Goes Wrong.”
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