Why Was This Steven Universe Artist Bullied Off Twitter By Her Own Fandom?
15 August 2016, 11:46 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09
When your fandom is all about love and acceptance but you're still a bully.
Steven Universe is a very popular television programme. You know this because you’re a person on the internet. Or because you're a part of the Steven Universe fandom. Either way, you’ve seen the GIFs; you know the score.
Since you probably know something about Steven Universe, you're likely aware that many of the show’s themes revolve around kindness and acceptance. That’s why it makes almost no sense that one of the show’s artists has been bullied off Twitter...by fans of the show.
Steven Universe storyboard artist, Lauren Zuke, deleted her account last week after deciding that she could no longer put up with "people who think because I work on a TV show that I owe them myself all the time."
im catching up on the lauren zuke discourse now and this is honestly just rly sad and upsetting pic.twitter.com/jNlf7PpATI— Powered up! (@arcordo) August 13, 2016
The Reddit thread that explains the entire situation is...long, full of conspiracy theories, and heaps of "in jokes". But here's the main takeaway. Some fans are upset with Zuke for an episode of Steven Universe called "Beta". Some fans are accusing Zuke of "queerbaiting" the characters Lapis and Peridot. And some fans are saying she favors one ship over another.
It's real internety stuff, guys. Try and keep up.
Other fans are upset over Zuke's treatment, especially considering what their fandom is all about.
Lauren Zuke and her treatment by the Steven Universe fandom is appalling and a perfect example of fan entitlement at its worst.— Marianne Miller (@mariannemiller) August 14, 2016
Lauren Zuke leaving Twitter makes me sad. :(— Jeff Ball (@jeffthatnoise) August 13, 2016
Steven Universe is a show that shows you how to love, and be loved. Do that more.
Accusing a queer woman--working on one of the most queer positive shows ever made--of queerbaiting is insane to me. #LaurenZuke— Sabrina Cotugno (@arythusa) August 13, 2016
It perplexes me that people were accuseing Lauren Zuke of queerbaiting... When she.... herself.... is queer......— Roya @ LA (@rsdream12) August 13, 2016
Steven Universe has been praised for its role in carving out a safe space on television and in pop culture for queer representation. For a queer artist to be chased off of Twitter for not making *precisely* the show that SOME fans wanted is proof that fan entitlement has truly spiraled out of control.
Most fans can enjoy Steven Universe for what it is--a programme on television that they have no control over. Other fans...well, they've yet to learn that lesson.