Tattle Diary Entry #2: The Hannigram Obsession
One of the things that is most disturbing to me is the obsession surrounding Hannigram. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a fictional and non-canonical relationship from the show Hannibal. It is the romantic pairing of Will Graham with Hannibal Lecter. We’ll start with a brief history of why this isn’t actually canon, as well as why it’s not actually romantic. We’ll follow that up with what the fandom turned it into and how it’s become problematic.
First of all, no matter how much people want to cry that this is a canon ship it just isn’t. By the definition of the word “canon” it isn’t. The events in the show that transpired on screen through actions or dialogue do not show any romantic interaction between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. What they show is a man in a position of power (Hannibal) using that power to brainwash, manipulate, and gaslight his victim (Will Graham). There was never anything in the show that denoted, for any second, that Will Graham felt love towards Hannibal Lecter or vice versa.
The Hannigram shippers will bend over backwards to justify this relationship as not only canon but loving and romantic. They seem utterly blind to the fact that what actually happened here was Hannibal pretty much brainwashed Will into being codependent. So badly, in fact, that Will decided he couldn’t live without Hannibal and literally killed Hannibal and himself at the end of season three. This denotes a relationship that was in no way loving or organic. It denotes there was a significant amount of abuse that took place to get Will into such a mental state that he would feel that way or do something so utterly drastic.
The only real argument they have going in their favor that may support Hannigram being canon is Bryan Fuller saying that it was canon (or still is). However, he never put anything in the show that denotes that. We enter into a problem of history revision and the defense of an author because “they say so” even though they have not actually put the material in the source they created in the first place. If Bryan Fuller wanted Hannigram to be canon and romantic, he had all the power to do that when he was making the show. He was the show creator, after all, yet he made a very conscious decision not to do that. Not to include it. Bryan Fuller, is in essence, manipulating the fans. Though I really hate the term “queerbaiting” because 99% of the time when it’s used it’s not used properly or it’s just not happening, this is one of the very rare instances where that’s exactly what’s going on. Hannigram is queerbaiting by Bryan Fuller. Yet, for some reason, no one gets upset with this. Maybe because Bryan Fuller is a gay man himself and most of the fannibals are SJWs so they feel they can’t call him out on it. For whatever reason, though, they are willfully ignorant to the fact that Bryan Fuller cannot reverse engineer the narrative he already created to claim something was canon when it wasn’t.
This all started with the Dumbledore being gay thing. Once again, something that very well could have been included in the writing of the original Harry Potter books or added into the movies if that was the true narrative that JK Rowling had in mind. She created these things, she had control over them, and if it was that important to put into the canon in some way she could have done it. She never did. Both Rowling and Fuller’s retroactive application of a “gay” label on past characters or ships, is nothing more than a desperate attempt at virtue signaling for “woke points”. An attempt at appeasement to the angry minority that will make any writer’s life a living hell if they don’t get what they want.
Even worse, Bryan Fuller ships Hannigram himself. To a very high level. Since the beginning of the show, season one, he was tweeting erotic fan art of Hannibal and Will. Explicit erotic art. The more gruesome the better. The more sexual the better. he bragged several times about his “favorite” piece of fan art which is Hannibal eating Will’s cock and he tweeted the image several times as well. This started very early on and this has not slowed down. In this tweet you can see him voting on a poll to decide what erotic BDSM piece of art some fan artist will make next and celebrating that his vote got picked. His behavior as show creator and runner is and always has been abhorrent and gross objectification of Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. It was passed on to the fannibals who continue to do it with his encouragement and on his behalf.
Bryan Fuller has also endorsed the RAW anthology which was just an excuse to make a “book” of erotic NSFW Hannigram fan art and fan fiction. He donated a gross amount of money to the Kickstarter for this to get it funded and get his copy and endorsed the hell out of it so it would make more money and he could actually get a copy. This is not the behavior someone from a show should be displaying, not only to his fans but to the public. If the show runner is behaving this way, and he damn well should know better, then how bad do you think his fans are? They are even worse. They think this behavior is acceptable. They think it’s okay to approach the stars of the show and discuss very explicit homoerotic art and stories with them. It’s obscene.
I’m not against people making pornographic fan art. At all. In fact, I think a lot of it is super well done and made by very talented people. I’m not against writing super erotic PWP fan fiction. That’s fine too. I encourage art in all of it’s forms and I don’t want it censored. However, I do think it should be kept away from the actors. Especially if we are considering that the two actors in this pairing are straight and married men with children. This should not be something that the fans shove in their faces as openly as they do, and even if that was okay, it’s not okay for their literal BOSS to do it to them.
Though Mads and Hugh do seem to be somewhat okay with it, it’s questionable to me why. Maybe they are, maybe they think it’s flattering, fair enough, but I also think that it hasn’t been fully explained to them. Things like how these people build literal shrines to their existence. The fact that them advocating this behavior has created people who literally stalk them. People who defend the ship so hard they send death threats to people who say it’s not canon. I don’t think they realize that they are fueling a fire that will soon get out of control, especially when the fannibals finally have their revelation that season four just isn’t going to happen.
At the end of the day, I am not against dark and toxic ships. I am not against gay or slash pairings, either canon or not, I’m not against erotic art and I’m not against erotic fan fiction. I am against trying to pull the actors from the show into the fantasy or downright delusions you have about them or their real life relationships. I am against mistreating actors because you are so obsessed with a non-canonical ship that you think it’s just okay to throw in their faces. Even worse, I’m against taking a very toxic and abusive ship and repeatedly justifying it as romantic and loving.
If you were to talk to one of these people, if only for a minute, you would see how incredibly brainwashed and devoted they are. They don’t see how the ship could possibly be abusive. They don’t get the ramifications of brainwashing, gaslighting, or what was done to Will Graham. They are honestly so deluded that they think what Hannibal was doing to Will in season one and two was “courting” and going on dates when in reality, he was just abusing Will. He denied him medical treatment for a serious illness he had, he was feeding Will human flesh secretly, and he was framing Will for murder while also trying to get him to commit murder. This was not dating or courting or anywhere near normal. This was abuse.
Part of me wonders if this is why Jennifer Cornet went so undetected, because the fandom already seems to think that what Hannibal did to Will was normal and true love, ergo, what Jennifer did to her victims must be the same? It’s exactly why this fandom’s ideology surrounding Hannigram is toxic and dangerous. It has led to actual people being victimized in real life. Whether it was used to scam unsuspecting people out of money or actually con naive girls into joining a sex cult, it has jumped from just the fandom into the real world.
This is something that should be kept on the internet, between friends, and in the fantasy world of fan art and fiction. It should be kept away from the actors, and it should not be promoted by not only the creator of the show, but several other professional staff members as well. It is something that shouldn’t be considered canon just because the fans really want it to be. This sort of thing leads to the abuse of real life people and makes the world far too toxic. The fact that no one even stops to consider how serious it is, was, has gotten, or will get, is the most disturbing thing to me of all.