Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wish He Was Here

After more than a year of riding a wave of support from his fans Zach Braff tells one supporter that he’ll take his money but not his criticism. The Scrubs star, who famously crowd-funded his latest film Wish I Was Here, proves once again that celebrities are only on social media to feed their massive egos and line their pockets and don’t want to take any flak from the unwashed masses.

@EveningTheScore, a Zach Braff fan who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to fund Wish I Was Here, tweet Friday night “These clips are making this movie look more and more campy. This isn’t Scrubs, @ZachBraff. Lock it up.”

Less than ten minutes later Braff direct messaged @EveningTheScore saying simply, “Quite rude. Unfollow me.”

Zach Braff has 1.43 million followers, of which I am (at least for now) one, no one expects him to know each one or realize that this particular follower has donated to his cause and tweeted in support of him and his film multiple times over the course of the project. He could not possibly know that this follower proudly wears his WIWH Kickstarter t-shirt, probably a little more than he should. And he most definitely cannot be expected to know that this all came on the eve of him excitedly viewing the film for the first time.

However, there are still numerous things disappointing about this situation. I’ll set aside for a moment the cowardly nature of a DM versus a public reply; which @EveningTheScore did immediately to apologize to the fragile Bullets over Broadway actor.

Braff revealed again the imbalanced relationship between celebrities and their “fans”. Celebrities provide entertainment and distraction to their audience. In turn they are not only compensated financially but receive adulation, energy, and power. They feed on this like Charlize Theron’s character from Snow White and the Huntsman. Social media has allowed them to bask in their own glory to unprecedented levels. However, this has proved to be a double edge sword as it also exposes them to Internet trolls, cowards themselves, who hide behind pseudonyms and false avatars.

There is no defense for the unconscionable comments and attacks you read on the Internet on a daily basis and I’m not advocating for that. However, there is a perception that to be a fan you must love/accept everything and anything that a person, group or organization does without question. That is clearly what Braff is after. I’m here to say that you can be a fan of someone; you can admire them, appreciate their work and even contribute financially without surrendering your thoughts and opinions.

I would say to Mr. Braff, if he was here, if you are going to dive into the deep end that is social media you had better put on your big girl pants because not everyone is going to mindlessly worship you. If you can’t take one critical comment from a true blue dyed in the wool fan then you probably shouldn’t be on Twitter because if you are that delicate I shudder to think of the day when you can no longer count on the 1.43 million pats on the back you are looking for.

Full disclosure @EveningTheScore is my little brother, which does not in any way excuse this 555 word overreaction to Zach Braff’s 4 word overreaction.

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