• Dealing with the Media PSA

    A few days ago I tossed up a casting call for a documentary.  I didn't really research the company, which I admit, was my bad.  I tend to get a lot of things from the media, so I'm pretty jaded to all of it at this point.

    Some of the New York bronies + Bejoty have put togeather a quick PSA For you all to browse through.  It gives some good tips on dealing with the media as a whole.  This fandom is growing at an astonishing rate, so it is only natural that several TV agencies will be all over it.  Please take a few minutes and read over the information after the break.  Knowledge will benefit us all.

    Now with a live reading for the lazy ones out there. 

    Hey everypony. We know that some of you were wondering about why Sethisto had pulled that post regarding the TV production company’s interview request from Chicago. Well, the reason he did so was because this company produces TLC's “shockumentary” TV series called “My Strange Addiction”, in which they film people with weird fetishes and fixations.

    Now, we know that some of you have emailed them for a request to be interviewed. Please understand, however, that they will be most likely be looking for a “weird” brony, possibly someone with a “pony fetish” or the like. Of course, this sort of person wouldn’t be representative of the brony fandom in general.

    It’s important to remember that when talking to the media, we need to put our best hoof forwards. Despite the immense popularity of MLP:FiM on the Internet, the average person still has not heard of “bronies”, and-- if and when this production company finally produces a program on bronies-- it may in fact be many viewers’ very first exposure to the concept of a “brony” at all. Therefore, whoever represents us on such a show will be the ambassador for our entire little subculture.

    Needless to say, if bronies make a bad “first impression” on the viewing public, the result could be a PR disaster that could affect all of us. If the first interview subject chosen is awkward, creepy, or even simply unattractive (let’s face it, TV is a visual medium and people are, sadly, judgmental about this kind of thing), people both on and off the Internet will end up mocking us all.

    This is generally a fun, kind, light-hearted subculture, filled with people who just like to enjoy themselves. We’re a harmless bunch, and we enjoy doing good both amongst ourselves and for the world at large. That should be the message that we want to get across here. Particularly if they are first exposed to our ranks via an intentionally sensationalistic program such as “My Strange Addiction”, the brony-na├»ve viewer is going to go into this thinking “Men? Men who like My Little Pony? What, are they gay or something?”-- and that’s a best case scenario. Worst-case scenario, they might assume that we are sexually repressed or-- even worse-- pedophiles. We need to anticipate these misconceptions, and pre-emptively counter them.

    While we can’t tell you not to go along with the production company’s request for interviews, it’s probably best to recommend caution. If you’re considering being interviewed for the show, think: “What would the average person think upon seeing me on TV? What would the bully from my fifth-grade playground think? What would my mom think?” If the answer to any of those questions is anything less than stellar, perhaps you would be best to simply tell the production company “no thanks”. Remember, the goal of this program is to entertain its viewers, and sometimes, a train wreck is the greatest sort of entertainment. As our subculture begins to garner more and more media attention, we have to all be wary of our public image. If anyone is to represent us publicly, it should be the most photogenic, intelligent, well-spoken, most “normal”-appearing bronies we can muster up, since whomever appears on TV as a representative of the brony community will be taken as exemplars of typical bronyhood.

    As a reminder, the viewing audiences of TV shows can be brutally judgmental. For instance, talk show hostess Wendy Williams has been mocked for being tall and broad-featured, and has been slurred as “tranny” and “Wendell” by anonymous trolls on the Internet. Her fellow hostess Oprah, despite stellar success, is regularly mocked for her (past or present) weight. TV show guests, as well as hosts, can be subject to this kind of intense and mean-spirited scrutiny and mockery. Even perfectly ordinary-looking, ordinary-sounding people can be, and have been, raked over the coals for minor and very ordinary imperfections.

    This isn’t meant as a piece of scaremongering, but simply a reality check. Television exposure may sound glamorous, but it can be brutal. Even the slightest perceived flaw can, and will, be picked apart and brutally mocked by anonymous trolls, both on and off the Internet. If you’re considering appearing on TV as a representative of the brony community, make sure that you would be a good ambassador to the world. If you have any doubts, just politely decline the opportunity.

    Yours truly,

    Purple Tinker, Cabal, & Bejoty