Due to the events transpiring in Venom Issue 11, Donny Cates took to Twitter to share he is receiving death and injury threats from Symbrock shippers. It is another unfortunate example of how certain people end up giving shippers a bad name and how quickly certain writers are willing to throw shippers under the bus.
Minor Venom Issue 11 spoilers follow. We have warned you.
The eleventh issue in the current Venom comic book run featured some surprising changes in the relationship that Eddie Brock and the Symbiote share. These revelations led to writer Donny Cates getting “multiple death/injury threats” over the latest issue.
Giving you a quick recap, it turns out Brock was being manipulated (physically and mentally) by the Venom symbiote. Even Eddie’s memories were altered. Of course, Eddie wasn’t happy about it and it led to a falling out between the two.
Cates made it clear Symbrock shippers are the problem.
So, let’s unpack all of this. Shippers getting a bad name and being held responsible for turning fandoms toxic, due to the actions of certain people, isn’t new. I saw a lot of it in fandoms for Supernatural, Teen Wolf, and Voltron, to name a few.
For many creators out there, shippers are unnecessary and cause a lot of trouble. Also, it doesn’t help when problematic people in the shipping fandom use social media to be extremely vocal and cause issues for everyone involved.
They are the ones who give shippers a bad name and the rest of the fandom, as well as the creatives, are more than happy to go along with it because it is convenient and fits the narrative of shippers being toxic and how what they like (or want) is twisted and weird. It is lowkey homophobia in a way (in certain cases).
The majority of shipping fandoms are made of queer individuals who wish to have more representation in the content they are fans of. These individuals already face a lot of discrimination in the outside world and being vilified in the fandom for the actions of a few is unfair.
It is interesting to see how the shipping community, especially queer fans, is the part of any fandom which is most easily exploited and the most easily thrown under the bus.
Shippers are everyone’s best friends when it is time to win awards and hype content, right? Sigh!
Donny Cates didn’t have to single out Symbrock shippers, but he decided to do it anyway for whatever reason.
As for shippers who are hurt or disappointed by such tweets, as far as my opinion goes, I think it might be time for you to make a decision.
Do you wish to continue reading a story by a writer who seems to be siding with the ‘all-shippers-are-toxic’ narrative or do you think you are better off separating yourselves?
Sterek shippers from the Teen Wolf fandom were able to do it and they have been flourishing ever since.
Don’t let certain creators continue to exploit you and then quickly stand against you the moment they feel it is convenient for them to do so. Don’t allow yourselves to be used like that.
It all comes down to what you think is better for yourself and how you took Cates tweets.
Did you read Venom Issue 11? Let us know.
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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