This ad ran in today’s VARIETY:
An Open message to:
Irene Chaiken & Showtime Networks
We listened. We subscribed. We watched.
We then became the driving force behind The L-Word’s Season One success and unprecedented renewal.
So why aren’t you listening?????
Marina Ferrer, as played by Emmy-worthy Karina Lombard, is a vital part of your success!
Keep KARINA LOMBARD!
Or COUNT US OUT!
Over 4,400 Showtime subscribers can’t be wrong: www.petitiononline.com/Karina/
For More Information, visit www.savemarina.com or www.karinalombard.net
Paid for by Save Marina! Campaign and Karina Lombard fans Worldwide!
I’m not bothered by fans expressing their enjoyment of a particular actor or character… what ticks me off is the tone of this note. It is so similar to the kinds of emails and letters we get from a vocal minority of fans every day…
Some fans think they own the show and the characters, that we are their employees, that they are the executive producers of the program they are watching. Note the key line in the ad: these fans aren’t just watching the show, they have christened themselves “the driving force behind the shows success,” not the acting, not the writing, not the direction…not the tens of thousands of other viewers who aren’t part of their newsgroup. I also like the line” “So why aren’t you listening?” In other words, these fans are chastizing the producers for not doing as they were told.
I must have missed the revolution. When did TV shows stop being the creative expression of a handful of artists… and instead the property of the most fanatical viewers? Since when do David Milch, John Wells, Steven Bochco, Dick Wolf or even Irene Chaiken need “fan permission” to make creative decisions on their shows?
Don’t worry, Marina fans. If they boot her, you can still have the last word. You can keep her alive in the fanfic!
17 thoughts on “Your Show Belongs to US”
Thank you for this. I have been hearing about this little “Campaign” from my s.o. ad nauseum and the length that these “fans” won’t go to is absolutly mind boggling. I don’t know what’s more astonishing, the fact that people have so much disposable income for a cause that the actress herself isn’t even putting into, or that they have so much time in the day to spend on this sort of thing. And now I hear that they have taken this campaign to Native American boards in hopes of claiming discrimination, which, as 1/2 Lakota, I find offensive.
As to your comment about carrying on in the world of Fan Fiction, as a fan fiction writer myself, I would hope that they wouldn’t cross over. Chances are, these are the very same “fans” who will dictate to fan fiction writers what they should, or shouldn’t write. No thanks, we have enough of those already!
Re: Your show Belongs to us….
There is so much more to the message/ad that was placed by Karina Lombard fans. When a show chooses to get rid of their most popular character, something is “wrong.” Karina Lombard was voted #1 in about 7 online polls.
There are alot of rumors about Karina’s leaving, but they are just rumors. I do know for a fact that Karina would like to return to the show. The L Word is on Showtime, which is cable and I believe its the views that pay for cable,thats paying their checks. I believe we have a right to voice our opinion.
A writer like Ilene should be elated that a character she created is so well liked. She should take the ball and run with it. Instead she’s trying to shove, something else down our throats.
I just posted this in response:
The problem I have is that people in the entertainment industry—and here I include actors, athletes, writers, directors and more—anyone that is working to produce something that ultimately requires the masses to spend money on it inorder for it to make ma profit.
These people, reguardess of how popular, how rich or how famous, still work in a service industry. Thier careers, and thier paychecks depend on the fans. If we stop watching a show, or buying the books, or going to the games, then they will cease to have a job.
No that does not mean that they need my permission to do anything. I do not deam myself that important or powerful. Ilene Chaiken (and the rest) can write, produce and direct her artistic vision if that is her choice.
I think the point being made by the fans is that if you alienate your fans, you are also running the real risk of also killing your project.
They should just be aware that we are the ones ultimatly behind thier paychecks.
“I believe we have a right to voice our opinion.”
I do, too. But I also believe writers have the right to express their creativity however they like… and if it means writing out a character that no longer interests them, that’s their choice. I’m not saying that’s the case here — I’m just using that as an example.
You wrote: “A writer like Ilene should be elated that a character she created is so well liked. She should take the ball and run with it. Instead she’s trying to shove, something else down our throats.”
She’s not trying to “shove” anything down anybody’s throat… she’s exercising her creativity, running *her* show. Maybe she feels that the relationship between the bartender and the sexually-angst-ridden newcomer has played itself out as far as it can go. That is the exec producer’s perogative. You don’t like it, don’t watch. But tell the writer what he or she must do simply because you watch the show.
You wrote: “I think the point being made by the fans is that if you alienate your fans, you are also running the real risk of also killing your project. They should just be aware that we are the ones ultimatly behind thier paychecks.”
And you are one of just a handful of the MILLIONS of people who watch the show… most of whom, I suspect, could care less whether whatsherface comes back or not. Look at the cast turnover on LAW AND ORDER… or MASH…or CHEERS… or any number of hit series. It happens for lots of reasons… and the shows go on… sometimes becoming even bigger successes as a result.
We just had a big cast change on our show… Gloria Reuben has been replaced with Vivica Fox (among other changes). Some fans are upset, some are excited. We’ll see what happens…
Lots of folks said CHEERS would die without Shelly Long… that GUNSMOKE couldn’t survive losing Chester (Dennis Weaver), that Wayne Rogers leaving MASH would be the show’s demise… and they became even bigger hits.
If a writer spends decades on his “great American novel” and the public doesn’t buy it, it quickly goes to the $1.00 book bin. Or becomes doorstops. Or gets used as coasters or put on the bottom of a table to be used to make it level.
Writers, producers, directors, actors, and TV/Movie stations need FANS much more than FANS need writers, producers, directors, actors, and
TV/Movie stations. Without us, your only means of communication to us would be: “Would you like fries with that?”
Re: Reply – Your Show Belongs to US
Since you gave us some examples of writers/producers making changes in a show. Let me give some examples of where fans made a differences:
When Happy Days first came on enry Winkler was a minor character with his white cloth jacket. We all know that The Fonz ended up one of the main characters in the show. This was no thanks to fans taking a liking to The Fonz.
When Star Trek: The Next Generation first came out, it featured Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher. Now, Gene Roddenberry and the other PTB decided they didn’t like the way her character was working out, there were rumors of her being difficult and clashing with Roddenberry, so they got rid of her for the 2nd season. They replaced her with Dr. Pulaski. (I don’t know the actress name) The FANS were so upset that they started a MASSIVE writing campaign and in the end, Gates McFadden was asked back in the 3rd season. And she stayed through the 7th season and she is also in the NG movies.
True, are numbers are small, there is almost 5000 signatures on the petition. That’s the signatures of the very few people that come to the internet looking for information on Karina/TLW. I really think the shock of Karina not returning won’t hit until the series starts up in February 05.
The think the vision of Ilene Chiaken may be ruining her chances to cash in on Marina & Jenny being the gay Luke & Laura. A writer expressing their creativity is a great thing but something you have to stop, look and listen.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to responds, we “The Fans” never get a chance to communicate with someone from the industry.
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
I am only responding to your comment that “MILLIONS’ watch The L Word. Not according to Showtime’s own figures. The show was renewed after its premier based on 930,000 viewers (Showtime’s count).
Repeatedly, Mr. Greenblatt and others have referred to those January 18 numbers when talking about the success of the show. Even after the finale, Mr. Greenblatt continued to refer to those numbers as justification for his show being a continuing hit.
Were I a president of entertainment with a fledgling program, I would press any and every larger number which reflected more viewers rather than continually referring “back” to the show’s premier. Where are the latest numbers which reveal continued growth? I find their absence curious.
“Writers, producers, directors, actors, and TV/Movie stations need FANS much more than FANS need writers, producers, directors, actors, and
TV/Movie stations. Without us, your only means of communication to us would be: “Would you like fries with that?”
Using your logic, what would FANS have to be FANATICAL about without writers? We create the characters and worlds you become so passionate about…without us, you’d have nothing to read or watch between asking customers “would you like fries with that?”
Yes, creative artists like an audience… and need an audience. But that doesn’t mean the audience owns the work or dictates the creative choices. The attitude expressed in that Variety ad, and by some fans, is that we serve at your pleasure. That once we create a character or world, we no longer have control of it… we cede it immediately to the most fanatical of our viewers or readers. I think that attitude is ridiculous…and far too many “fans” have it.
There is also another notion… that because a loud minority of fan want something, they assume they reflect the desires of ALL the fans. I find that attitude ridiculous, too.
Thanks for the correction. You’re right… I was thinking in network, syndication, and broadcast cable terms. Very few pay-cable shows reach MILLIONS of viewers (“the Sopranos” and “Sex in the City” being notable exceptions).
There’s another issue the “Katrina fans” aren’t considering… there may be other reasons why the character isn’t coming back. Maybe audience testing shows people hate the character. Maybe the actress is difficult to work with. Who knows?
It’s okay for fans to say “hey, we like the character, who hope she comes back.” It’s quite another to demand her return…
I really fail to see the difference between the ‘creepiness’ of an attentive fan base activity versus the attentiveness by a member of the professional writing community toward the same activities. By definition, fans tend to be subjective and gushing but the professional writing community, well…let’s say you should be noticeably different. You are giving this subject a great deal of press time which makes an armature permanent smirk wearer like myself wonder why. Could it be that this subject is bringing actual traffic to your otherwise ignored column?…..thereby, putting one of your postulates to a sincerity test. If the traffic is worthy of your efforts than the traffic is substantial and represents a larger group of fans and supporters than you give credit.
Or, your attention to this Karina Lombard fan effort could be precipitated by an ‘off the record’ request from Showtime and TLW to quash the efforts of Karin’s fans, again placing serious scrutiny toward another of your postulates: that Showtime nor TLW is worried or concerned about her fan efforts. And, please, save the ink in writing that production companies never intercede in this way.
Mr. Goldberg, a suggestion: if you wish to offer that an effort is hardly worth the electronic paper of the web page than you yourself should not pay heed to that very effort as proof of its unworthiness. Maybe not creepy but certainly not sound thinking either.
Creepy = Elvis lives; Monroe suicide obsession; Madonna kissing for affect; and Marina taking three bottles of pills over a character that has a “creepy’ similarity in appearance to ‘Cousin It’. That’s what is creepy, Mr. Goldberg…..K?
“The attitude expressed in that Variety ad, and by some fans, is that we serve at your pleasure. That once we create a character or world, we no longer have control of it… we cede it immediately to the most fanatical of our viewers or readers.”
Nobody is saying the creative community ‘serves’ at our ‘pleasure.’ As a writer, you & others certainly have the creative control to do whatever you want with your creative property. Selling that product to your audience is a bit different. As viewers, we have the same right to say we chose not to watch. And with Showtime, we take that a step further and say we choose not to pay for the programming.
When we told Showtime that they can “count us out” we meant just that.
Think of us what you will, this is still a democratic society in which you can write what you want and we can view/read what we choose.
Nobody here has ever claimed ownership of this show or it’s characters. Ultimately, Showtime & their writers will determine the direction of both. But if we choose not to watch, as consumers, that is our prerogative.
“Or, your attention to this Karina Lombard fan effort could be precipitated by an ‘off the record’ request from Showtime and TLW to quash the efforts of Karin’s fans, again placing serious scrutiny toward another of your postulates: that Showtime nor TLW is worried or concerned about her fan efforts. And, please, save the ink in writing that production companies never intercede in this way.”
Yes, that’s exactly what happened. Showtime and the production team behind “THE L WORD” read my blog every day and respect the awesome power I wield over the viewing public. They immediately asked me to silence dissent among Karina fans… and paid me a substantial amount of money to do so.
And you’re absolutely right, this kind of thing happens every day. Any time you read a blog that criticizes fanfic or a fan campaign, you can be certain the studio and network are really the ones behind it, using either their power or their money to influence debate.
“Ultimately, Showtime & their writers will determine the direction of both. But if we choose not to watch, as consumers, that is our prerogative.”
On that, we definitely agree!
After being captivated by this thread, I wandered over to the MSN group mentioned above and found this missive from Karina Lombard’s press person. It says:
“First and foremost, we would like to thank the fans for their
support of Karina Lombard. Karina enjoyed her time on “the L word”
immensely, and is looking forward to new opportunities.
At this stage, we feel that there is little to be gained by running
a third ad in the same vein as the previous two. We hope the fans
will see this point of view, and will act according to the best
interests of Karina Lombard.”
Karina is looking forward to moving on. Karina wants the fans to stop buying ads in Variety. Karina wants people to act in the best interests of her career. To clarify, that means: Hey, crazy TV obsessed people, leave me the fuck alone. I want to continue to work in Hollywood and this stupid campaign of yours is ruining my chances of ever getting another gig. Please, God, don’t turn me into DeForrest Kelly.
Of course, since Lee is actually working for Showtime, The Man, Big Oil and The CIA, this is all probably part of some insidious plan.
I DON´T KNOW SPEAK INGLISH, ASI QUE, ESPANISH.
SIGO LA SERIA DESDE ESPAÑA Y MEXICO, Y ME GUSTÓ TANTO QUE COMPRE TRES TEMPORADAS (250USD) PARA DESPUES VER QUE KATRINA LOMBARD. NO APARECE EN LA SERIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ME MUERO ME MUEROOOO.
MALA DECISION CORRIENDO A MARINA.
ME PARECE HORRIBLE QUE SAQUEN A KATRINA, ERA UNO DE LOS MOTIVOS QUE YO TENIA DE VER EL SERIAL…QUE DECEPCION!!!