Fandoms in Society
Without followers or fans pop culture would be nowhere. Fans are what keeps the productions going, how revenue is brought in, and also, they determine the popularity of a piece of pop culture. “To be a fan is to be excited, be interested, be devoted, and knowledgeable about a piece of the world. Increasingly it means to be a member of a community, or a Fandom” (Future of Fandoms, PBS). Fandom groups have been on the rise in the world and they have a chance to change the way society and its norms. Fandoms have given people a chance to come out of their shells. A fandom is defined as a term that used to refer to a subculture composed as fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share common interest” (Future of Fandoms, PBS). These people are the ones who haven’t really been accepted by society and are often not welcome in it. Within these fandoms. All different types of people come together that share the same interest. These people are able to feel free and express who they want to be. There are fandom groups for the show called My Lil Pony where super fans can gather and dress up in all the colors like the characters from the show. However, what throws people off, is the population of males that want to show their interest of a show that society thought was made for the interest of little girls.
Fandom groups, like those who are fans of My Lil Pony, are able to fully express themselves at events like Comic-Cons which are events held all over the country where those who are interested in anything fantasy and sci-fi and celebrate original comic books. Fandoms like the transformers, which society thought was an action show made for boys, has grown a large following of females. So much of a following that fans have created their own character, a female transformer colored in pink. There are many fandoms that that have gone onto the imagination of the fans. Jenkins argues that, ‘fans should be regarded not as passive consumers of popular media, but as active producers of content who ‘poach’ elements from media in order to create their own stories which address issues they care about.” Jenkins also argues that these fandoms create a neo-folk culture where the fans are given the power to create their own stories they want and their own culture. However, are they going about it in the wrong way?
At these large events sone fan art is shared and even sold. Some fan art contains of spin offs or spoofs of its original. For example, Star Wars is a movie series that was created by George Lucas and is one of the most popular movie series ever to be made. This type of popular gains the attention of many fans and people even make their own production in ways they wanted to see things happen or make the changes they wanted to see. But other popular shows, such as Family Guy, made and an episode that contains a spin off and an animated version of Star Wars. The first episode they made, called Blue Harvest, gained the liking and popularity from the fans of Family Guy, so they came out with a trilogy of Star Wars spin offs called “Laugh It Up Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy.” Creations like these are what the original creators’ producers dive into the Copy Right Act of 1998. Luckily, Family did get George Lucas’ permission but many other fans out there with their own spin offs do not and they are at risk of getting sued by its original creator, who they are ironically the follower of.