Stop Moffat 2014

Hannah calls for a cease fire on the relentless attacks against Doctor Who’s lead writer.

The rise of the internet has created a body of people that are more easily able to express their opinions to the masses. Of course, with so much power at the fingertips of so many, there will always be those that choose to exploit it. They may constantly tweet at people, viciously attacking their looks, personality, talents, and anything else they can twist their fingers around. They may choose a more direct route through an email or a facebook message. They may gather armies of other internet users to form a league of hatred. They are cyber bullies, plain and simple.

With celebrities, this process is only amplified. However, despite the greater hate that celebrities receive, their attackers are rarely ever labelled as cyber bullies. Perhaps it is because people see a celebrity on the TV and are unable to visualize a real person behind the screen. Perhaps people just expect celebrities to see the attacks and turn a blind eye; after all, they knew the price that came with stardom. In a sense, those people might be right. If celebrities were to take every criticism to heart, I don’t think they would ever want to leave their house. However, there is a difference between criticism and outright hate.

Steven Moffat is the lead writer for popular BBC shows Sherlock and Doctor Who, and therefore is subject to a massive amount of limelight. As a writer, he is consciously putting his work in the public eye, and, therefore, the public has every right to make criticisms where they see fit. But there is a fine line between criticism of a body of work and outright hate, and for Moffat’s attackers, that line is crossed everyday.

On Tumblr alone, there are numerous posts attacking every episodes he writes, the characters he creates, the plot holes that should have seemed so obvious when he was writing them. They even go so far as to attack his character, not really knowing him on any personal level. They twist and manipulate what he says into something they can shame. These posts get thousands upon thousands of notes, making it seem like they are creating a vast hate campaign against the man.

This needs to stop.

Now, I’m not calling for fans of the shows to be passive, to accept everything he writes to be good and perfect. In fact, I’m certain that Moffat would want just the opposite. As fans, we are expected to interact with the media, whether that be through things like fanfiction or through the expression of our distaste for an episode or the direction a show is taking. Merely watching a show on Saturday night and leaving without having been affected is what the normal people do, and most fans don’t really count as “normal.”

However, I think some of these fans really need to find out where that line is. Respect goes a long way, and a lot more people will be willing to listen to an opinion if it is not presented as a mindless rant.

Be careful what you post on the internet, because you never know who it’s reaching and how they will react to it. I could be writing this in vain, with Steven Moffat not even caring about what people on the internet have to say about him. But this idea is applicable to more than just celebrities. If you respect other people, other people will respect you. It’s simple as that.