- “To be handed an award by, by this woman [Ellen] is just, uh, incredible. Um, thank you so much for this, this just means the absolute world to me. It—it is an honor to somewhat represent you out there. And it is so flattering to be exploited in your fanfiction. Um, I can’t tell you, it is the ultimate, uh, high five! So thank you so much! Thank you to our amazing crew, thank you to our wonderful fans, and the—the Klainers, the Gleeks, all the names you have for yourselves, it’s just amazing to—to be the subject of your fandoms, so thank you, thank you so much from the bottom of our heart! And to our amazing crew and cast, thank you guys so much, I appreciate it. Thank you, thank you.”
(Added: Sometime later I saw the video of that speech.)
I'm going to pick out the "And it is so flattering to be exploited in your fan fiction." I had a "What?" reaction to that. Obviously I don't know what he goes through with it, except for seeing his reaction to that comment by John Green. Apparently people send fan fiction to him, which I wish wasn't done. My view is that fan fiction should stay the secret that it was, but it seems far too late for that. I read about Blake's 7 on Fanlore, and those actors became aware of slash fiction. That was a long time ago. Maybe it's that I thought that ideally actors shouldn't know about it.
I wish people wouldn't write Real Person Fiction. I realize there's nothing I can do about it. I've seen defenses of it. It seems to creep some actors out, which I feel bad about. Also, it seems to me that it would be a slippery slope for some fans who like that to go to thinking that it's so in real life. The idea of people thinking fictional relationships are real disturbs me. The fans I've seen say they like RPS also say they know it's not real. For me, that's a few people I've seen saying that. I don't know how it is with others.
I don't have a problem reading about characters. They're clearly not real. The first fan fiction I read was when I looked at P.L. Nunn's website, www.bishonenworks.com. It was Weiß Kreuz fiction, which has absolutely nothing to do with reality. They are pretty bishonen, though. I don't know if I should make more of a distinction between that and characters that actors embody, but I don't make a big distinction. Perhaps that was helped along by how many X-Men comic books I read, and how I'd picture the comic book characters when people who hadn't read the comic books were writing about the movie characters. It wasn't real people to me.
Before reading fan fiction, I'd had many years of reading original fiction romances. The characters are words on a page. That carried over for me, too.
I don't know what he meant by "exploited." My take on "exploited" makes me feel bad for him. The actors of Alles was zählt and Verbotene Liebe knew there was fan fiction written about the characters, and they'd seen some fan videos. Jo Weil did a funny impression about what the slow-motion kissing in the videos looked like. I had watched some of the more infamous Alles was zählt shower scenes before I ever heard about Glee. The first time I saw a clip of Deniz and Roman of AWZ, it was the shower scene in episode 751. The first episode of Glee I saw as it aired was "Original Song," and it gave me certain expectations. Not AWZ expectations, but perhaps more Tom and Olli (of VL) expectations. Of course, back then Olli was in college and Tom was in medical school, so they were a few years older. I knew there had been a backlash about Tom and Ulli. The actor who played Ulli was about twenty-three at the time, and Jo was probably twenty-two or twenty-three when he started playing Olli.
Olli wore reasonable clothes the first time around. The second time around the people in costuming picked out some unflattering outfits for him. Even Jo wasn't sure what was with all those scarves, though he diplomatically said that what Olli wore wasn't what he'd wear himself. The joke in some fandom circles was that those scarves would look better around Olli's wrists.
Jo and Thore got questions about whether they were dating, from the media, too. Thore was probably twenty-four or a bit younger when he started playing Christian. He looked his age. Thore made it clear he was straight, but was a good ally.
Deniz was supposed to be seventeen when he met Roman, though Igor was more like twenty-seven. Roman was ten years older, but there wasn't that much of an age gap between Dennis G. and Igor. AWZ was daring even for German television, though, I think.
The kinds of reactions actors got for playing gay characters were not new to me as an audience member. Dennis G. did not get the credit for his acting skills that he should have for playing Roman. I don't think Glee is that much of a comedy, and Kurt is often crying, but there are funny moments.
So I've said where I came by my reactions to fan fiction. I knew about the No Limits website years before I knew about the Scarves and Coffee website. I've read fan fiction about characters, and then met the actors who played those characters. The Gays of Our Lives event was unique. The reactions from fans and media are not new -- Tom and Ulli got together in 2000 -- but perhaps the scope is.