Looking for some quick and easy…

… after reading the Dark Swan interview?

Turning to Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), what’s Emma’s reaction to him trying to save her? Could he be the one thing that helps her hold onto hope?
Yeah. It’s interesting because, so far, what you’ll see is that Henry (Jared Gilmore) is Emma’s kryptonite as Dark Swan, because that love is so pure and so strong and similar to how Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James) was kryptonite to Rumple’s Darkness. There was something about that bond that makes it hard to completely lean into the Darkness, and so I would say Henry has the most powerful effect on keeping her from wanting to lean into the Darkness. And then Hook is the next most powerful force after that in the sense that she does truly love him, and she doesn’t stop loving him just because she’s now the Dark One, similar to how Rumple continued to love Belle (Emilie de Ravin) even though he was the Dark One. She does still have genuine love for him, but that’s mixed in with her new capacity for manipulation and for selfishness.

It’s always a complicated thing between Dark Swan and Hook because it’s a mixture of her true feelings with her new capacity for these darker deeds. It’s a complicated dance whenever Emma’s dealing as the Dark Swan with Hook because her feelings are true, but her decision making is based in a bad place now. That clearly affects them, and it clearly affects whether or not he can trust her decision making, and he knows that because he has been dark, and he was a villain at some point. He knows better than anyone what it’s like to struggle with that. I don’t think that there’s any concern about them loving each other. I know that he’s going to fight with all it takes to try to save her, and he’s not going to be put off by the fact that she’s dark. He knows what she did and why she did it, and he knows what they’re all up against, and I think he’s going to really lead the struggle to do all that everyone can to redeem her and bring her back from the Darkness. [x]

Apart from the fact that this is part of an obvious PR game that’s supposed to confuse us and throw us off the scent, I’ll add a more fun spin.

There will be three versions of Emma, the White Swan, the Grey Swan and the Dark Swan. So basically, when JMo gives an interview, she can pick either one of those mindsets and talk about Emma’s feelings without lying. It’s just not the complete truth. So maybe this is just White Swan perspective, where she is desperately holding on to a version of reality that will inevitably be lost. The Dark Swan will be the one confronting some difficult feelings. Including feelings regarding her relationship with Hook, the White Swan might be trying to convince herself as much as anybody else.

Other than that there are two instances in the interview where she refers to being or not being allowed to say things, reminding us all there’s a clear PR playbook everyone sticks to. She’s the designated confuser this season apparently. How very darkly appropriate, no?

ouat aren’t really kind to their viewers noh? imo. I’d take “no comment” than deliberate confusion any time… or no PR at all.

I know, I keep comparing the way they handle PR to the way the fandom self-organizes. We’re all about trigger warnings and correct tags. Knowing key elements of the story, or the themes or triggers helps us to decide which one is for us and which one isn’t. We recognize the part of us that consumes fiction to feel something we think we need to feel or want to feel. Or think about.

We consume it for that purpose and we know we do. I think many people consume the show with that same purpose, especially the people around here who decided to dive in deeper.

Then the show is a commercial product that needs to stay on the air and attract as many viewers as possible. It’s in their best interest – from one perspective – to keep as many people engaged as possible – no deterring warnings. Which is exactly the opposite of what fandom does. (Considering OUAT is one big cross-over fanfic with a budget behind it, I think it’s only fair to compare it to our fanfictions.)

I don’t kow, maybe things’d be different if old boys club Hollywood were more of a female-heavy space like the fandom is.

they should start a seminar if they want more people engage in their PR, like as if they want a discussion to happen… a heated one. You know, like in a class, when a teacher grins when there are more students debating with each other and heat is rising until a shout fest happens, then teacher stops it because teacher doesnt want blood, and then say “good job class, we have a lively discussion today, we’ll carry on tomorrow”

because i feel like their PR is the one making the fandom problems bigger.


They are completely uninterested in the well-being of their fans. This is essentially a discussion about media and responsibility. It’s about ethics. Right now, the fans are not seen as a group of individuals, we are approached in a dehumanized form and reduced to a cogwheel in the system. We serve a purpose, to generate a buzz. We’re part of the PR machine, we’re not even the target audience. We’re used to amplify their messages and get a less dedicated audience talking.

There’s one aim and that is to stay on the air and keep people watching. There’s shared blame here, you can point to other dramas who did and do a better job, but if you look within the family-oriented (but is it, really?) fantasy genre, then there are other factors at play, that maybe other shows don’t have to deal with.

Does anything talk louder than money? You have a show to keep on the air, you only have so much energy. If there is nothing but the pressure of a business model driving you, then why would you bother? I think most people want to do right by the world, but they’ll stay in jobs working for companies that use cheap labour in 3rd world countries or do other things that go against their own ethics. How many of us aren’t enablers that way? Are we bad people? Do we see ourselves as such? Probably not… We like our jobs, we need the money… We don’t feel we have much of a choice. We’re also tired from work when we get home, too tired to think about the state of the world or do something about it. So at the end of the day, maybe writing a show isn’t so different. You do a job you love, you want to keep it and you do everything to keep it. It takes up all of your energy and if the only people who have power over you are only holding you accountable for things like ratings, then that is what you’ll address first.

So, with a divided fandom, constanly at each other’s throats, instead of pointing fingers at the show and holding them accountable, who is going to even demand them to explain themselves and take responsibility? What voice is loud enough? Louder than the voice of money, an income and a show on the air… 

this is very important. in industry logics, fans are, at best, free labor that they can use instead of paying for promo. at worst, we’re those people who don’t respect their creative genius authoritah and question them and point out their flaws and make their characters, gasp, GAY. that’s the reality. this is also why it’s really important to refuse the labor when they do shitty things. and why it they have a vested interest in the fandom not being united enough to talk back.

however, the trigger warning thing makes me wonder–is that what the weird, heavyhanded PR blunder of “we’re doing a gay thing!!!!11oneoneeleven!” was about? why they handled it so differently than other shows, even on ABC? because they want to convince the hardest-core homophobes to opt out?

I think you mentioned the Trojan Horse strategy used on OITNB? It still feels like that to me, honestly. They know it doesn’t matter what they say to Swen, as far as they are concerned, we have two modes. One half of the fandom starts raging, the other half launches a positivity hashtag. No matter what happens. So PR isn’t really directed at us. Nor is it directed at OQ and CS, but their preferred reading is probably closer to the biggest part of the GA’s reading. They’re more interesting in that their reactions are more telling to gauge GA reactions, maybe? Plus, people who see SQ are hooked because of the “Will they / Won’t they?”

So we can assume the announcement of the LGBT relationship really wasn’t about us or for our benefit, we’re simply not important enough. As you say, why would they do it for this show and not for another ABC show? I’d say possibly because they have worked very hard to keep an audience that the more inclusive shows have alienated and they kept the gay away to keep them emotionally invested in the characters. Also, if they’re doing SQ, they are asking this audience to be emotionally invested in a queer relationship and accept it as a clever, pleasant, emotionally rewarding outcome of the show. It doesn’t quite compare to the other shows in the way that it’s the apotheosis. The people who still hadn’t noticed – because let’s face it, they could be kissing and people would still be ‘gal pals’ – are now clued in that they should actually pay attention to the gay behavior and maybe actually see it for what it is. If Maleficent and Lily did not clue them in, nothing subtextual ever is, so it will come as a shock and out of left field. If they’re building SQ up this season, it’s literally them saying, okay guys, time to see it for what it is. Time to see the gay!

If it’s not SQ, there really wouldn’t be a reason to announce it, unless it’s Henry – which would annoy me because the LGBT fans are mostly women, but it could be decent representation central to the story. And yes, the real homophobes have already left the building after the announcement.

What do you make of the support of ‘Whispers of life’, by the way? If you check the thanks section, it’s basically Lana, JMo & Bobby donating the biggest possible sum and this was the film before Limina. Do you think it could have been there only way to send a message that they cared, but couldn’t do it with anything related to the show at that point? It’s pretty specific about LGBT bullying.

right, the entertainment press is never for the fan base–i mean, they know the fan base will devour it, but it’s communicating to “The Public” about whatever. so that’s who the announcement is for and it tells us about what they believe that audience is going to buzz about. 

and, on one hand the CS and OQ reactions are closer to the GA’s reaction because of the heteronormativity factor. but on the other hand, as shippers they’re going to have an investment in those existing relationship configurations which go away in a SQ scenario (because LBR we’re not getting poly leads on ABC anytime soon). so CS and OQ are going to be MORE resistant, on average, than the GA. 

there is some merit to the idea that they’re trying to flip the switch on the GA and ask them to look for queerness now, though, again, most members of the audience don’t read the press either. 

last but not least, i’d hesitate to draw any conclusions about supporting a film on LGBT bullying other than that they are liberal folks with money to throw at problems and  happen to believe in this one. it doesn’t speak to any kind of deep commitment–they may have it, but we can’t know from that. 

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