Teen Wolf Continues Burying Its Sterek Queerbaiting! Viacom Removes “Are They Gay” Video
For years it has been very clear that one thing Teen Wolf can’t handle is being told that it queer baited numerous fans around the world. The awesome “Are They Gay” video analyzing Sterek ended up becoming the most recent target.
Many fans started watching Teen Wolf because of Sterek. The Stiles and Derek pairing felt like a beacon of hope for a sexually underrepresented demographic. It made sense for fans to invest in Sterek. Even the cast and crew were urging them, too. But things started to change once hints of queerbaiting started to pop up. Instead of accepting that they misguided their fans, people involved in Teen Wolf started to push them away. I guess they were hoping the show would continue being successful without Sterek shippers.
Unfortunately for Jeff and co., the Sterek shippers ended up creating their own fandom, separate from whatever mess continued to occur on the show. By the looks of things, Sterek will continue to prosper long after Teen Wolf ends with 6B this month.
The Sterek fandom is a delightful world to be in. While they support each other and create content, they also don’t back down from a fight. You try to tell them that they’re delusional and the show never queerbaited; they will come at you hard with all the receipts!
One such video that talked about the blatant queerbaiting on the show was created by AreTheyGay. If you had a chance to see it, you would know that the creator did a great job analyzing Stiles and Derek’s relationship. And yes, the conclusion is more or less that the show and its cast queerbaited a large part of its audience.
But as Teen Wolf wants nothing to do with Sterek shippers anymore, the video ended up being hit by Viacom. I hope the creator of the video finds a way to upload it on Vimeo or some other platform. It deserves to be seen. According to him:
I made a video about Stiles and Derek perhaps being in love. I worked on it harder than any other video, it took ten months to make, and I was really proud of it. I uploaded this video, and monetized it, knowing that it was Fair Use. The law says that you can use a piece of media for commentary, criticism, analysis, or for any “transformative work”. And yes, you can even use the piece of media if you’re still getting money. Immediately after uploading it, I got a an automatic content ID infringement notice. No biggie, this happens all the time. So I go through the appeal process, and Viacom says no. That’s fine, that’s happened before. I do the final appeal process, and they say no again. They give me no explanation, they just say “nope, the video isn’t Fair Use”. But it is, it clearly is. My videos are all in this format, and I’ve had no issues getting strikes. And now if I file a counter notice, it becomes a legal process, and I don’t have the time or money.
So, why Viacom? Is it because I pointed out the blatant queerbaiting and issues that I find with Teen Wolf? Is it because you don’t like that I suggested they could possibly LGBTQ+? I don’t know. But it wasn’t because I infringed on your content.
And what I find even more funny, is that the only time I’ve had to defend Fair Use this much was when I had an email battle with a British-Company-Notorious-For-Queerbaiting-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Two companies that were clearly involved in queerbaiting, that I pointed out queerbaiting against, have had issues with my videos. Is it just a greedy company that doesn’t care about fan content or the law? Are they afraid of what I had to say? I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. All I can say is that I’m disappointed. Really disappointed.
I’m not surprised. Disappointed? Of course! Sterek shippers have not been ‘useful’ to the show for a long time now. I guess The Powers That Be now look at them as an annoyance that keeps yelling that they were queerbaited. I also think they can’t understand why these shippers are upset. It’s not like other networks haven’t been queerbaiting audiences for years. Something that was evident in Bryan Fuller’s speech while accepting the Outfest Achievement Award.
Times have changed. Fans have become more vocal about what they want and when they’re being baited by networks. Sterek shippers will continue to voice their opinions when necessary. The networks should get with the program already. Fans don’t take straight-washing and queerbaiting anymore. And rightfully so!
Did you see the Are They Gay Sterek video? Feel free to share any thoughts.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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14 thoughts on “Teen Wolf Continues Burying Its Sterek Queerbaiting! Viacom Removes “Are They Gay” Video”
First of all, thank you for writing about this. The issue of MTV and the queer baiting of ‘Sterek’ in Teen Wolf has, by and large, been relegated to the annals of fandom.
As you have said, the fandom has disconnected themselves from the show. I think that this is so that they may continue to enjoy the relationship of these two characters, without the sting that Teen Wolf brings to them with every single episode they continue to air.
I DID watch this youtube video. They did an excellent job in documenting the issues around the show. They showed the actual canon aspects within the show itself that had been developed, and they also showed correlation of those events in the context of other romantic couplings that are found in canon on other shows. They also illustrated the use of Sterek to market the show and boost its’ ratings. I cannot recall if there were allusions to other factors that may have attributed to the queer baiting. I think if there was something about that, it was not truly explored in any depth in the video.
As with most frank analyses of this show, the queer baiting conclusion was inevitable.
Perhaps this is me, but I have noticed that memories, both good and bad, are strongly attached to emotions. That is, it’s easier to remember something that is associated with a strong emotional response. For myself, I can recall events in vivid detail whenever strong emotions are involved, even if they happened many years ago. Even though most days I cannot recall where I left my glasses.
What Viacom did to this video is very reminiscent of their futile attempts to stamp out Sterek in 2014.
For many in the LGBTQ community, and to a lesser extent the fandom community, what happened during that time will be forever imprinted in our minds, and will continue to evoke an emotional response whenever triggered. The sense that we are bizarre, weird and twisted people, that our lives do not deserve even the slightest dignity of acknowledgment. That we are as unimportant, and as irrelevant, as the gum on some executive’s shoe.
I myself, am grateful that their time is coming to an end. My only task left to do will be to discontinue my subscription to the LGBTQ channels that decide to air this show in syndication. Because I know that this pariah of an organization is going to try and market this garbage as positive LGBTQ representation. This is an even bigger insult to LGBTQ as a whole, and I will support no organization that tries to peddle this in any way other than trash TV.
Stiles and Derek made the show and their scenes together were the best. Tyler Hoechlin and Dylan O’Brien bounced off each other and had chemistry no other characters touched and were fan favorites. Tyler Posey hated it and had his infamous hissy fit (Posey has continually baited and given the finger to the gay fans). Davis supported Posey and scenes of Derek/Stiles were all but forbidden, STEREK became a dirty word, fans were used, abused and dumped, the audience plummeted. STEREK will be around long after Teen Wolf, Posey and Davis are forgotten.
TW =/= MTV =/= Viacom
The people at TW likely don’t have any say in the BS that MTV and Viacom pull. Quite the opposite, MTV and Viacom can force the TW people to do things they don’t want to do/prevent TW from doing things they want to do as corporations and sponsors foot the bill/provide them with resources.
An interesting point, but unfortunately, without any additional data, that point is irrelevant.
TW is a product, a product produced by MTV, which is a subsidiary of Viacom.
The queer baiting is in the product itself. It does not matter who or what elements led to that product being what it is. It does not matter what the intent was, what the product was ‘supposed’ to look like or what it was supposed to do, nor what invisible and undocumented factors that led to the outcome of that product being what it is.
The product not only queer baited, but the manufacturers then attempted to cover that up.
Take an ignition switch on a car. It does not matter what specifications were given to the vendor to make the switch. It does not matter if the vendor knew the switch was manufactured poorly. It does not matter that engineers knew that the switch was defective. It does not matter which executives decided to be silent about it.
None of that matters, because people still got hurt and died because of the defective switch.
And all levels of the corporation, attempted to cover up that truth. They used misdirection and lies, and even threats of countersuits to the victims that were challenging the quality of their product.
In the absence any forensic analysis to determine root cause, all levels of the debacle are assumed to be at fault.
Your point is taken, and I would probably agree with you – in theory. But there is no evidence to support your statement at this time.
If you have evidence that exonerates TW of any culpability, I would welcome the publication of it.
Teen Wolf, the actual show itself, has never queerbaited. Nothing in the episodes has ever done a “no homo.” Showing chemistry between two characters that don’t end up becoming endgame doesn’t make it queerbaiting. If that were the case then Steter and Pydia would also meet that standard a long with a ton of other potential pairings from Teen Wolf and other shows/movies.
On the other hand, the PR surrounding the has absolutely queerbaited. All those “do this poll/contest/whatever and we’ll give you Sterek,” the fandom awards, etc were queerbaiting and that is on MTV and the PR team. The PR team has nothing to do with the content of the show itself, they’re just there to suck in as many viewers as possible by whatever means they can.
The actual show queerbaited many times within canon, so did the actors and the showrunner himself.
The actual show has them pulled many no homo within canon too, and so did the actors and the showrunner himself.
To still want to support the show is one thing, but covering up your eyes just to protect your twisted perception of reality is another thing entirely.
Viacom, MTV, TW, the PR and the actors all played a part in the baiting and all played a part in the erasure, that’s the truth.
The emperor is naked, if you still want to babble about how nice their new clothes are the problem is entirely your.
But be aware: you are part of the problem.
The problem is people like you who insist on creating a toxic fandom based on negativity.
If, what I think you are meaning to say – that TW did not INTEND to queer bait the audience – then I think there might be some arguments to be made for that. That is all subjective of course, as no official statement about their intent was ever made by anyone on TW about that. Unlike other shows that clarify their intent at some point, TW has been mute, or at best, vague, on this issue.
I do agree with you about chemistry: simple chemistry between actors does not constitute queer baiting. This video however, was exploring elements beyond basic on-screen chemistry.
The aretheygay video pointed out seemingly romantic development of the characters in canon. Using common tropes that, had they been heterosexual characters, would most definitely signify a build up to this. There was the suggestion that text/subtext in the show might be considered too consistent to be some form of simple queer baiting. I have always thought that too, so it was refreshing to see all of that laid out in a logical, compelling format.
But what you are talking about is TW’s INTENT. Queer baiting is a RESULT.
The question of queer baiting posed in the video is about the product itself, not what the intent was in the production of that product. Car crashes are a result of faulty ignition switches. Intent of the manufacturer of those switches does not change this.
TW has never made a statement indicating what their intent ACTUALLY was. In fact, the evidence that we do have indicates that they, at a very minimum, fully participated in the queer erasure for these characters, starting in 2014.
Even the show runner, Jeff Davis, has never, ever, publicly said that his INTENT was to see Sterek as a canon pairing. He has baited some hints, of course, but he has never said categorically what TW’s intent actually was.
My suspicion is that they are caught between a rock and a deceptive place.
So, all we are left with is the TW product, and this product is what was being evaluated in the video. I don’t recall the video really delving into any BTS theories about culpability and corporate influence. Just the product, and the promotion of that product.
But, as I said before, without knowing the actual facts that influenced the creation of that product, you cannot exclude portions of the organization because you think their INTENT was to not queer bait. There is no hard, indisputable evidence to support that. If queer baiting was an actionable offence, TW would be most definitely named in that lawsuit, alongside both MTV and Viacom.
The whole corporate response, at EVERY level, has been dishonest and deplorable, IMO.
We’ve interacted before on Tumblr and Twitter over Sterek meta, I’m well aware of it and wrote some myself. Our disagreement is in how narrowly or broadly we define queerbaiting and what TW can/should do under the circumstances. I still haven’t written off the possibility that we will get Sterek in some form in these last 10 episodes, so I’m just going to wait and see.
“Sterek in some form”
That would not change a single thing they did, in canon and in PE, and would be a major insult to the fans.
One thing is representation, another thing entirely is extreme damage control and trying to save faces at the very last second, when it doesn’t cost them a single thing and they just have to gain something by playing that move.
Saving faces in front of the LGBT community they exploited WITHOUT doing the LGBT storyline they all teased?
Sterek going canon (i.e. an indisputable, romantic pairing) “in some form”, and the queer baiting moniker being resolved for this show, would be an amazing, miraculous thing.
I applaud your tenacity. I hope you can glean something from the last 10 episodes that will give you that satisfaction. After all the abuses that this show has thrust upon those bizarre, weird and twisted audience members, I’m not willing to put my faith in this show anymore, and I doubt very few people will.
I had the chance to see the video, sad to see it go, it was pretty great and spot on.
Sad situation indeed…but I’m glad to have had the chance to watch that video, since it’s creator always does a good & honest job with his analysis (plus they’re funny too, bravo ;-)). I agree with it & this article’s POV: moreover it’s not even a thing for the LGBTQ+ movement only at this point, it involves the whole public, because it’s a matter of RESPECT, in real life just as on screen, that’s my 2 cents for this mess. Nobody would have wished for TW to do what they basically didn’t truly want to do, but they weren’t honest with the audience (+even offensive WTH?!)& now this behaviour is coming back to bite them…Even if they want to fix something now I think it’s “too little too late”. PS_Another thing that bothered me (but few articles remembered) is that Jeff Davis is openly gay if I’m not mistaken…well if I were I wouldn’t treat the topic more or less as a joke like he did.
Just a quick update: User aretheygay has been able to resolve the issue with Viacom, and the video is now posted to Youtube.
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