Are You There, Tyler Hoechlin? It’s Me, Empathy
You may have heard the news, our favorite fail!Tweeter has done it again! Alternate titles for this article included: “Think Twice, Post Once” and “We Need to Talk About Tyler Hoechlin.” As our favorite werewolf fumbles his way through social media, I just wanted to take a minute to address our future Superman.
Can I call you Tyler? Thanks, you’re so sweet!
And you are sweet, aren’t you? At least your life is sweet, isn’t it? Look, I get it! You worked hard to get where you are. You made your own opportunities and you’ve gleaned so much inspiration that you want to share that with the masses!
Because if they work hard and just push themselves, then they can make it too, right?
It is true, that you’ve worked hard to get where you are, but the part of the equation that I think eludes you is the fact that it was more than TED Talks and inspirational quotes that pushed you to your successes. Your work ethic put in just as much collateral as your handsome white face, your pretty hazel eyes, those Christian abs and the junk that hangs in between your legs. Along with the fact that you were raised in a completely financially stable environment, these factors are part of what set your bar to be so gosh darn high!
But that isn’t the story for everyone.
And those people who are struggling daily just to get by, can’t relate to someone who seemingly refuses to relate to them.
Let’s add some context. Today (for some reason) Tyler Hoechlin shared a video featuring a quote from Barack Obama. It’s a quote that’s been making the rounds about the effectiveness of internet discourse. It’s definitely something I would expect from Tyler.
Now, my opinion is that this is a solid point, but it’s talking about the petty arguments we get in when distracting from actual issues. And we let minor “victories” distract from actual action to make change. We potentially alienate our allies. I get it.
I don’t believe this applies to modern-day atrocities at the hand of our government, nor does it extend to criticism of the people in charge, but rather it’s about the way we treat each other. I think it could have used some nuance since it seemed open enough for those perpetuating this issue to bend it to their whims, but overall, good times.
What confused me was the disclaimer that preceded the video:
I mean… ok? Wait, who asked you…. did someone say some-
Let’s actually back up a little more. Cut to, Nov 8th, 2016. It was the night of the election that saw Hillary Clinton fall to the current President Donald Trump. Many took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction and Tyler Hoechlin decided to tweet this:
We could easily write this off as majorly tone-deaf. The night was high in emotion and several people saw the beginning of their lives being changed and here was a privileged Hollywood actor saying “hey guys, be cool.” So on its own – not a good look. But then, in response to criticism he was receiving on the first tweet, he decided to double down:
The sass! I remember reading this and wonder if he even read the tweets, or just reacted to being misunderstood? Which, honestly is its own form of white privilege, but I digress. Yes, some of the replies were very emotion-filled, but had he taken a moment to consider the depth of why people might be upset? This tweet doesn’t display that level of introspection. In fact, it came off as entirely disrespectful and dismissive.
So we have a star, that during one of the most politically divisive moments in history, decides to try and toe the line. And not two years later, he’s… well, that’s the problem.
Hoechlin, what are you doing?!
Were you having a conversation with someone about this video before posting? It’s not like you to be immediately defensive, but this came out of the gate waving a flag of “I’m NOT with HIM” and I gotta ask… why? Do you have a gaggle of conservative friends and family who would be angry if you leaned a little to the left? Do you think Superman is in the GOP and you’re just getting ready?
Then, you say it’s not because of who said it, but would it be a bad thing? President Obama one of the most inspirational speakers in the last decade. His message wasn’t even partisan, why the need to disavow? And would it kill you to lean one way or the other politically? I mean, let’s be real, if you’re a republican, hide that ish until the next election because ain’t nobody got time, but if you’re more moderate or you know… believe in human rights, then I don’t see the drama in declaring that.
Because of the indecision, it leads to a problem that a very good friend of mine pointed out and is much more succinct than this angst-ridden open letter:
“I think that tweet makes me side-eye it because it’s basically like he’s saying “Hey, I know this is from Obama and a whole bunch of you hate him, but he really does have some good things to say sometimes.” So it feels to me like he’s trying to make comfortable the sort of people who already hate Obama. Which would probably be fine if people hated Obama for his policies or whatever–but we know that’s not why they hate Obama. So this tweet reads to me like he doesn’t want to upset his racist followers, but at the same time he wants to leave politics out of it just in case his racist followers think he likes Obama or something. It’s so messy, when literally all he needed to do with RETWEET WITHOUT COMMENT.” – Lisa
And honestly, unless ya boi is trying to be Taylor Swift, I don’t see the need to go out of your way to assuage a racist fanbase.
So I know you are wondering what the point is of this entire letter. I called you an entitled white boy and then followed up with examples of you being woefully tone-deaf on Twitter. Where am I going with this?
I like you. I really do, and I think you’ve come a long way and have grown incredibly as an actor. What bothers me is that growth seems to stop when it comes to be considerate of others. Or rather… I do believe you’re considerate of others when they fit into your bubble. I know empathy is within your purview, but it only seems to apply when you can find something directly to relate to. Otherwise you come off cold and I truly don’t think that’s your intention.
And where is your manager or agent (OR ME) to guide you through this? Why is no one texting you like “bro, delete that, repost”? Why aren’t you demanding to be held accountable?
Because regardless of your intentions, the message received is a lesson you should have learned to avoid ages ago.
“Tyler Hoechlin is just that very….”moderate” type of guy, it feels like. I mean sure he’s all about “love all judge none” but it is SO tone deaf and is more like “just let people be and do what they want” and it’s like FUCK NO, we’re not gonna let horrible people be horrible people with their racist views and monstrous behavior. That’s not how it works, Hoechlin. And sure we can get what he’s trying to do and he’s probably been getting that message from [family/friends/fans] and it’s bullshit. And either he’s realized it’s bullshit but wants the comfort of that blah, middle of the road view, or he still thinks it’s the most wonderful and right view there is. Either way it’s annoying.” – Claire
“Tyler Hoechlin and a whole lot of people honestly do this whole “I don’t want to subscribe to one side, I’m in the middle, I’m neutral”. Like, no. There are sides. There’s dems and repubs. Pick one and stand firm in what you pick. But god HELP you if you pick the wrong side, and you KNOW which side is the wrong one.” – Cole
When privilege is continued in the face of absolute diversity, it becomes willful ignorance. To pretend that people aren’t affected by what you say is to assume you’re tweeting into a vacuum. And the thing is that we care! But we are fans who have lives that have been affected by this administration mostly negatively. You can preach unity and love while still respecting the feelings of disenfranchised fans.
This isn’t me canceling you, it’s not me telling you to shut up, it’s me telling you to be strong in your opinion because that’s the only thing that gives it integrity. Tell us how you feel and actually personally connect to these statements the way that you’re asking of your followers.
Do this and you’ll build a rapport of inclusiveness and tolerance. You posted a video about trifling internet fighting and not being judgmental and prefaced it with a judgment that no one asked for or even initiated. Give us the same benefit you’re asking us to give you.
I’m very excited for what you have coming next. Crisis on Earth and, it was just announced, your Superman would have its very own show in development on the CW and we’re very excited for that.
By engaging and being more open and personal, you’ll find more people will be happy to co-sign.
Unless you’re a closet conservative, again, keep that mess under wraps until after this Dump is out of office!
[Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece by a contributor and does not necessarily reflect the collected position of The Geekiary.]
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