It's Casual, Man! What the Big Whoop Blog is, and what it is not
It is a testament to the exceedingly high quality of the commenters here on Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place that you seldom give me anything to write about. That’s both a good and a bad thing, because when you’re a blogger, as I am, you’re always looking for something to write about.
That changed today. I wrote a blog post called “Why Must Everything be Hopelessly Tainted?” where I recounted how my family recently discovered the animated show The Loud House and were overjoyed to find something that pleased the whole family before I discovered that Chris Savino, the show’s creator had been fired from the show for sexual harassment.
I wrote about how discovering that the brain behind The Loud House was part of the seemingly endless succession of sketchy men being accused of sexual harassment tainted my enjoyment of the show and cast a shadow over something I’d recently fallen in love with.
I did not write that The Loud House should be cancelled. I do not feel that The Loud House should be cancelled. Heck, I’m still watching it with my family. But that did not keep a commenter who, interestingly enough, had never seen the show, from getting very angry, self-righteous and indignant over what he apparently saw as my insistence on punishing everyone involved with the show for its creator’s transgressions.
For this reader, I wasn’t a blogger meekly expressing his own subjective opinion, even though I continually used words like “my” and “I” to describe my extremely subjective experience of being disillusioned to discover the creator of a kid’s show I liked had been accused of sexual harassment repeatedly. No, I was an angry “ranter” hurling thunderbolts at everyone involved with The Loud House for not meeting my impossible ethical standards. I was a self-righteous moralist, a fiery Online Puritan burning down everything in my path.
I wrote in the blog that finding out about the sexual harassment allegations changed the way I saw The Loud House, just as it’d be impossible to watch The Cosby Show the way it was watched in the 1980s knowing what we now know about its creator and star. In this commenter’s mind, this meant that I was putting Cosby’s alleged crimes on equal footing with those of Savino's. Here’s the thing: when I allude to John Lasseter and Bill Cosby in an article about my personal disillusionment with the creator of Loud House I am, in no way, shape or form, suggesting that these are analogous situations or equal in any way. I’m merely grouping them together under the very broad category of men accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
I don’t write that what Bill Cosby did was very different than what The Loud House creator did because I assume you already understand that, and similarly understand that I understand that. Similarly, I did not write that I did not think that The Loud House should be cancelled and that its cast and crew be put out of work over one man’s transgressions because I didn’t think I would need to point that out. I did not think my comments about personally being a little bummed to discover a writer I liked might be a sex criminal would be interpreted as a loud, angry, blanket condemnation of everyone involved with The Loud House.
I don’t think that everyone involved in an organization should be held responsible for an organization’s actions, or the actions of an organization’s leader. R. Kelly, for example, headlined the Pitchfork Festival long after it had become apparent that he was a prolific sex criminal. This may have overlapped with the two years I worked for Pitchfork/The Dissolve. Should a receptionist at Pitchfork be punished, or fired because of this decision? God no. Should it affect the way Pitchfork is viewed as an organization? I think the answer is yes, just as Savino’s actions should affect the way his show is seen.
I’m not entirely sure why this comment affected me the way it did. It may have been the length. It may have been the stridency and anger and self-righteousness with which it accused me incorrectly of being strident and self-righteous myself. Or it may have been because the comment accused me of being someone I’m not, and having opinions I do not have, and angrily, strongly and unambiguously making judgments that I did not make and would not make.
I suppose I was also flummoxed by the comment to the point where I felt like I needed to write a blog post about it because I feel like this commenter is now going to see me primarily, if not exclusively, through the prism of what he thinks I stated strongly and unambiguously in a single blog post—namely, that everyone involved in a project created by someone accused of sexual harassment or assault should be publicly tainted in the public eye permanently regardless of their own innocence and also that all forms of sexual abuse or harassment are the exact same—but really did not, at all, rather than, you know, the twenty years or writing that preceded it.
These blog posts are just my opinion. I will be the first to tell you that my opinion is not very important. It’s not important to me. It’s not important to the people who might hire The Loud House alum. My opinion has value in this context pretty much because it fuels my writing and, hopefully, sparks an interesting conversation. And isn’t that the whole point of a blog? Let’s continue to talk to each other smartly, and respectfully, and with empathy and sympathy and not hurl angry accusations at each other based on profound misunderstandings and an equally profound level of miscommunication.
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