Tattle Diary Entry #13: Why Do You Keep Doing This?
A lot of people wonder why I keep doing this. I know a good portion of it is just fascination. Hannibal is one of the lesser known TV shows it’s a cult show. I’m aware that there are a lot of shows like this but honestly, this has got to be one of the worst fandoms (if not the worst) I’ve ever come across. The behavior of the majority of these people is unparalleled to any other fandom I’ve personally been in or witnessed. Now, one of the biggest arguments people throw at me all the time is “There are crazy idiots in every fandom” which I’m not even denying but in these fandoms the vast majority of the fans aren’t crazy. The Fannibals are a different story.
See, Hannibal is a cult show. I’ve already discussed how it caters to people with mental illness as well as attracts them. It glamorizing significant behavioral issues that are violent and criminal so it makes these women who are watching the show feel like they are safe. Like they are okay. Like they are special because they are also incredibly mentally unstable. It normalizes and romanticizes abuse. It gives severely abnormal people something to cling to and a community of other severely mentally ill women to be friends with so they can all reside in an echo chamber where all of them are normal and it’s the world that is wrong. It created a community of these people who have the inability to be able to see how incredibly obnoxious (and sometimes terrifying) their behavior actually is. Even more, it’s all perpetuated and encouraged by the creator of the show which also isn’t the norm at all.
If you take another fandom, and my favorite “Go-To” Fandom for this example is Supernatural, you will see the creator doesn’t advocate that behavior. At all. The stars of the show also have historically refused to put up with the crazy girls. Are there really crazy Supernatural fans? Yes. Are they the vast majority of the fandom? Not in the least. That’s what separates the Fannibals from another fandom with crazy fan girls. We are talking majority versus minority. Even in other fandoms for other cult TV shows (or movies) you still won’t find that the majority of the people are insane like the fannibals and even if you could you wouldn’t find the creator getting on Twitter and going to conventions to encourage the crazy behavior. We have a combination of an egotistical, power hungry show creator who ships his own fictional characters as much as his insane fans. This is practically unheard of and when anyone complains and I ask them to name me just one other creator who has ever behaved this way, well they are very hard pressed to do it.
Then, of course, the question that comes up next is “who is this harming?” well at lot of people. It’s actually, in real life, harming a lot of people. This fandom (and groups like this in general) typically do. If it’s not some kind of scam that’s being run to trick people out of their money then it also gives room for sexual predators to move in and prey on easy targets. Young girls who are so blinded by their love of the show that they don’t realize that hanging out with a 45 year old women who wants to read them erotic gay fan fiction is a very weird thing to do. It also has the potential to harm many more people, and of course, the actual cast of the show. Things can get out of control super easily with a situation like this, especially when it’s being encouraged by the creator of the show and to some extent the actors themselves. The actors who I’m pretty sure aren’t super aware of how bad it gets behind the scenes. Even if one can plainly see the “deer in the headlights” look that Hugh Dancy obviously gets when he’s accosted by these people, he probably doesn’t know all the details.
I would highly doubt that Hugh or Mads actually know the extent of how deep this runs for these girls who are tracking them down. That we have women who 100% believe that these men are gay for each other and Bryan Fuller is some type of catalyst that brought them together for a secret love affair. That this isn’t fan fiction to them that this is reality. That these Fannibals are not afraid at all to send death threats, dox people, or attempt to destroy the lives of any person who doesn’t agree with them. That this is a religion for some these people. That some of them are so invested they are writing letters every day to TV networks to try to get them to pick up the show, that they build literal shrines to these actors and characters in their houses to pay tribute to, that they cosplay constantly and have no actual life outside of this fictional world. No, I don’t think Hugh and Mads understand or even know to what lengths these fans are going to in order to keep this up. Not at all. Some idea? Maybe, but not the exact idea. Which is okay given the fact that I really wouldn’t want them to find out. It would be pretty horrifying.
If people want to admit it, or not, this behavior is definitely harmful to people and could turn downright psychotic at any moment it’s hard to tell. If you take the statistics on stalking, for example, that’s such and unknown variable of danger. There’s actually no way of telling when or if it’ll escalate. Some stalkers always remain at the same level, some perpetually escalate until they commit a crime, some just suddenly lose interest and go away for ever never actually harming anyone. There’s no way to predict this, no way to know who’s dangerous, and no way to tell when or if it will climb to the level of actual murder. This is all backed by data. If this is the case, then who’s to tell me that any one of these people doing the stalking (and there’s a bunch) won’t, one day, decide they can’t live without Hugh Dancy and stab him? If you think this is any sort of overreaction you can look up the dozens of cases where this has happened, including to actual actors. No one ever see it coming because it is just that unpredictable but it’s far from unheard of.
The problem is, that because this fandom is so small and there’s only a couple hundred women doing it, it flies under the radar. No one seems to care. Plus, they are women. They get a free pass. Everyone just assumes they are harmless little wallflowers being “normal fan girls” and I need to just leave them alone because they aren’t going to do anything. Psychological and statistical data says otherwise. As much as I can agree there is no telling if or when they may escalate I can certainly show a pattern of escalation from several of these women. How they were when they first started and how they are now. You don’t actually know how dangerous they are, neither do I, and no one is keeping an eye on them because everyone assumes that it’s stupid to do so. That they are just fans of a show and that’s it. I can tell you if this was a group of men going after two women constantly to hound them for pictures or bug them about a cancelled TV show they did years and years ago, people would take notice and everyone would be a lot more concerned, but it’s no the case with them because they are women. Massive double standards.
People commonly forget that for the entire first season I was a part of the fandom. I was one of them. People commonly forget that I’ve seen this behavior, first hand, on several occasions. People think, for some reason, that all I’m doing here is guessing based on speculation when that’s not what I’m doing. I can tell you from very first hand experience, not only running my blog but in real life, a huge portion of these people are terrifying, some are psychotic, and some are sexual predators. To turn a blind eye to it under the assumption that they aren’t harming anyone (or going to) or they haven’t ever harmed anyone is ludicrous. Why? Why do that? If you see a problem why turn away from it? Why not keep an eye on it? Bystander apathy is deadly and I, for one, refuse to be a part of it.
Maybe nothing will come of this, maybe one day they will all suddenly grow up and realize that this is fucking stupid and Hannibal isn’t coming back, Bryan Fuller is a liar, and Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy are just people who need to be left alone. That day is not today and until that day comes I’m going to keep watching them, because someone should be watching them. They are terrifying.