What exactly is it that we do when we look at Richard Armitage?

After a conversation with a friend last night this post began to percolate in my mind. The more I think about what exactly it is we do when we look at Richard Armitage, the more I come to believe that there are primarily two schools of thought:

Objectification versus Appreciation

Objectify: to treat as an object or cause to have objective reality.

There are those who believe that when we look at fan videos or photographs of Richard, we are objectifying him by reducing him to a two dimensional being. That by looking at him in a context that doesn’t include his acting or his personality, we are somehow dehumanizing him.

On the other hand we have those who see what we do as appreciating his beauty.

Appreciate:

a: to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of<appreciate the difference between right and wrong>

b: to value or admire highly <appreciates our work>

c: to judge with heightened perception or understanding : be fully aware of <must see it to appreciate it>

d: to recognize with gratitude <certainly appreciates your kindness>

As with most things, I don’t think this issue is black and white. There is probably a spectrum between the two categories. However, I tend to believe that most fans fall into the “appreciation” category.

For instance, when we look at a photo, gif or even when we take extra notice during a scene in which Mr. Armitage takes off his shirt, I would say that we are in fact grasping the nature, quality and significance of all of the hard work it took on his part to get his body into such shape.

When something about a particular image grabs hold of our attention, is it not because we in some way highly admire the beauty of it?

In particular I like the third definition of appreciate, along with it’s example…”must see it to believe it.”  I would relate this to the audiobooks that Richard Armitage has read. Numerous times I’ve seen where fans have said that they would love to see Richard play Lord Damerel in Venetia. The ability to watch and see him as the character would indeed heighten the experience.

And the last definition…”to recognize with gratitude.” I would argue that most of us are in fact grateful for the beauty of Mr. Armitage. Sometimes when I’ve had a bad day, just looking at a picture of him smiling lightens my spirits. It isn’t just the image itself that causes me to smile though, it is the fact that when that particular picture was taken, there was something going on that caused him to smile.

For myself, I find, especially after looking at my examples, that I rarely just look at images of Richard without some other thought besides, “ooh pretty,” and I would imagine that the same is true for most people.

Ultimately, I think the perspective one has is a matter of worldview. Those who look upon what we do as objectification probably hold a worldview in which admiring physical beauty is something shameful, something for which they should feel guilt and remorse. When such people speak in absolutes, I find it frustrating, as though they are trying to force their worldview onto the rest of us. However, when I’m able to step away from the frustration, I find that it makes me sad–sad that instead of being able to appreciate beauty, they take something that should be good and instead turn it into something dirty, something objectionable. It seems a pitiable way to live.

*Definitions are from Merriam-Webster
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72 thoughts on “What exactly is it that we do when we look at Richard Armitage?

  1. obscura

    This is beautifully articulated! Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks, Obscura. Sometimes I worry that I don’t articulate things well, so I’m glad this made sense.

  2. Jas, you took the words right out of my mouth. I think that those who keep asking “should we be doing XYZ thing?” are really asking “should *I* be doing XYZ thing?” I also find it interesting that religious objections to fandom activiities seem to center on the abstract harm to RA’s “human dignity” when he’s lusted after rather than the actual real world harm of, say, watching an entire series for free on YouTube rather than making sure the parties who made the series (including RA) get paid for their work.

    • Jazzy, I agree with you. Most of the time I think such questions about “we” are more about “I.” I sometimes wonder if people feel better about themselves if they try and make it about a group of people rather than just about themselves.

      Your point about abstract harm and real life harm is excellent, and one I’d never even considered. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a fan discuss the moral issue of watching things in some illegal manner as potentially harmful to RA, although as you point out, it could indeed cause him losses in potential earning.

    • Servetus

      Agree emphatically on the payment issue, even if the distribution system we have needs work. I kind of feel like it’s my obligation to buy anything I watch “for free” if what I see is sub rosa.

  3. Leigh

    Very well said! I definitely appreciate, and in every sense. I don’t think I could begin to imagine Richard as a 2D object. When I read or hear “objectification”, I think of the way some men look at pictures of provocatively posed naked women and think only of the physical attributes. What I feel, what I do, is radically different.

    • I remember hearing that someone was complaining about a behind-the-scenes Hobbit vid set to classical music (replacing foreign language voice-overs) and featuring slo-mo action of the guys practicing sword work, tumbling, etc. This person said something to the effect it exploited or debased Richard.

      What???

      He has a beautiful body that he works hard to maintain, a body that has elegant and grace and it’s a JOY to watch him in action. You see how much effort and training and natural ability it takes to make certain scenes believable on camera. I didn’t feel guilty or bad at all that I enjoyed watching it and that I appreciated it. Richard and the fellow actors were working and fully aware they were being filmed.
      I have never in my life, on my best day, been able to move with such athleticism and grace and by golly, it’s a treat to see someone who CAN.

      Now what in that exploited or debased Richard or any of the other actors involved??

      I guess I just have a hard time understanding where people are coming from sometimes.

      • Jane

        If appreciating that is wrong, watching the beautiful bodies and beautiful movements of male and female athletes and dancers is also wrong. What makes me uncomfortable is taking something completely out of context and turning it into a titillating screencap or gif, e.g. Lucas undressing before meeting Oleg. But then, they knew why they did film him that way and he knew it and agreed. They didn’t show how Harry changed clothes in a similar situation, and if it was only about getting a psychological message across they could have done.

    • My view of objectification is very much like yours, Leigh. I think that is why I dislike when people generalize what we do in such terms. In general I don’t think objectification is necessarily a bad thing, but those speak about it normally seem to do so in the most negative of terms. Like you, I would say that for the most part what I do is appreciation, not objectification.

  4. I believe there is something innate that responds to beauty. Maybe that’s a sunset on a beach (I was just looking through my photos from last fall on this rainy, chilly winter’s day), Maybe it’s jonquils blooming (those are on my kitchen windowsill, a sure sign spring is coming). Or perhaps it’s the truly magnificent smile, a smile that is reflected in those blue eyes, that Richard Armitage–an undeniably beautiful individual–possesses. There’s something in these images that touch our spirits, our souls.

    Looking at beautiful images, reading inspirational words, hearing a beautiful voice speak or sing; all these things are uplifting for me. Because I also battle a chronic condition causing pain, fatigue and other health issues, I need a daily diet of beauty to help keep me on an even keel just as I need certain medications.

    In that sense, Richard Armitage is good medicine for my body, mind, and soul.

    Lovely post, Jas. Thank you and good to see you back. 😀

    • Exactly, Angie! We do have an innate response to beauty. I think that we each have different ways of enjoying it, but that doesn’t make one way superior to another. In a situation like yours where you are dealing with chronic pain and such, I can see where enjoying beautiful things would serve as a kind of medicine.

      • And this sort of medicine doesn’t require a visit to the doctor for a prescription or offer the unpleasant side effects of conventional meds. Even with what I have invested in DVDs, books, etc. I still come out ahead of what many drugs can cost you!

  5. Snickers' Mom

    I’ve been thinking on this topic as well. I was reminded of the 60 second interview he did with Martin Freeman where he said he was vain and didn’t want to gain weight, even for a role. He wasn’t concerned about his work in this instance, he said it was “proceeding from or showing pride in or concern about one’s appearance,” (dictionary.com vain definition number 2).
    Here is where I’m going to make an assumption. If Mr. Armitage is proud of how he looks then he likely wants people to notice and think positively of it.
    So basically I’m saying that liking how the man looks is giving him what he wants!!!!!! 😉

    • This is an interesting idea, Snickers’ Mom. I do think that in general, people who describe themselves as vain like to be admired for their physical attributes. Just because someone is self-effacing or even shy does not mean they don’t appreciate that people find them attractive or that people take notice of the hard work put into their body. This is just me speculating, but I would imagine that a man who describes his younger self as a string bean with a big nose probably finds some comfort in being thought attractive, even if it does cause him some level of embarrassment.

  6. Fantastic post. This what I hear with those types of posts: “anything smacking of sex and sexuality is only good within the confines of my own beliefs. Lustful thoughts are shameful. If you feel differently, you are automatically debasing the man unlike me, who strives for higher and morally superior feelings.”

    I’m not sure if that’s exactly what they mean, but it’s what I hear. Then they are baffled when the message is not embraced. It’s insulting and yes, pitiable in the end.

    • Thanks, Judiang. I typically hear pretty much the same thing you do. Maybe they simply can’t understand why what they write is offensive. I’m know I’ve written things that offended others, even when that was not my intention.

      • obscura

        I tend to doubt that people who feel this way their language in any way offensive, but would they care that such objectifiers and debasers as they describe might be offended anyway?

    • obscura

      I have taught a History of Sex class, and one of the things I have to start with is to urge my students to try really hard to step back from their ingrained beliefs about sexuality (particularly Christian beliefs – thanks Augustine of Hippo) if they are going to be at all objective about the perspectives on sexuality held by other cultures. It is a very hard thing for some people to do, so I don’t know why I take these finger pointing episodes personally (and I did this one). Since I study pre-Christian culture for a living, where there is little prohibition on nudity or sexuality, my filter is admittedly low on these issues – imagine my surprise when an adult student complained that a textbook was pornographic…my response – “The title of the class is the History of Sex – what did you expect to find in the textbook?”

      I doubt that the fact that I or anyone else who doesn’t believe that sexuality is inherently dirty or sinful makes a practice of debasing or negatively objectifying anyone because of it. Like any other blanket argument, that one turns out to be full of a lot of wholes. I am going to strive in the future (because I fully expect that this type of thing will come up again) to be less irritated and more sympathetic to how much that individual is missing outside of the blinders.

      • obscura

        I’m not indicting Christians (that would be kind of dangerous in that I am one ) ) by the way…just pointing out that this kind of perspective on sexuality is not uncommon in many Christian sects (and since the author of the blog in question identifed herself as such)

        • Obscura, I can’t speak for you, but I think part of what caused me so much frustration over the most recent finger pointing episode was that the person doing it chose a health resources blog in which to share her thoughts and used her profession to try and bolster her opinion.

          Like you, I think having a different perspective on sexuality doesn’t mean we think it is acceptable to negatively objectify someone. I would guess, although I can’t speak for others, that would be the prevailing opinion.

          When it comes to Christians, I think you are a better person than me. I too am one, but I find that the most vocal of them in this fandom are the people I need to just avoid. I don’t begrudge them the right to be fans in a way that fits their personal beliefs. However, they anger me when they attempt to make the rest of us conform to those beliefs. More often than not I find myself wanting to point to biblical passages about “the log in your own eye,” and “judge not lest ye be judged.”

          As to that student who complained about the book being pornographic, did he miss the class name? LOL

          • obscura

            :). Should have put heavy stress on strive…I am pretty doubtful of more than moderate success in non irritation at intolerance and judgementalism. The psuedo professional tone bugged me too in that 1. It implies validity via “science” and 2. You can’t have it both ways, IMO you cannot blend social science and religious morality…one kind of cancels the other out for me. We have avoidance of the evangelizers in common I think.

            Student and textbook porn…woman with issues…never had a male student complain about “racy” content yet….

            • Yes, the psuedo professional tone was a big part of why the post was so frustrating. I don’t know how aware you are of academic religious institutions, but many seminaries now offer counseling programs. So you have a lot of counselors out there who combine science and religion. That’s fine if you have patients who come to you specifically because of the Christian/Science combo, but such people shouldn’t be applying their brand of counseling and psychoanalysis to the rest of us.

              LOL! I should have known that it was a woman who complained about the “pornographic” textbook.

              • obscura

                Yeah, that didn’t come out quite right – (I really need to not compose thoughts in the produce section 😦 ) Psychological counseling can certainly be implented by clergy, or within the confines of religious thought – I have no quarrel with that. I think what bothered me in this particular case was the description of parasocialism in a sort of clinical fashion followed by what I read as a pronouncement by the author that those who participate in such behavior are somehow morally corrupt…humanity debasers….

                The flip from clinical “science” to subjective judgement (I may betray my ignorance here, but aren’t clinical settings ideally free from such judgement) was jarring to me. I wonder if part of my issue also stems from the fact that I know very well that MANY people (present company definitely excluded) do not always employ sound critical reading/thinking skills – they read something like this, in the context that it appeared and immediately accept it as truth – no questions asked. (obviously, a blogger can’t control how every reader interprets issues, but addressing that issue, in those terms, in that forum seems somehow disingenuous to me.)

                This individual has the right to hold these opinions and to process her own fan experience accordingly, but her right to do so does not subordinate our right to do differently. This seems to be the constant disconnect doesn’t it?

            • Servetus

              worse than science. “Health.” Which is the secular religion of our day.

      • lizzie

        With regards to the student complaining about the textbook … it would be a bit like Richard Armitage narrating “The Great Sperm Race” and then him being shocked and surprised that the content of the programme was about sex!!! 🙂

  7. But, .. but, … once we discuss & try define our appreciation it becomes objectification!
    Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    *knocks Armitage of his pedestal*
    Our knowledge & understanding of Armitage is limited after all to what is presented on screen & interviews, that is 2 dimensional, (even The Hobbit in 3D leaves us with a 2 dimensional impression 🙂 the issue is that we attach shame to objectification, when it mostly produces joy & pleasure.
    We feel and are moved and its mostly irrational & unpredictable when it happens and the only people who can relate to how you feel is fellow fans (Excuse me I don’t mean to presume to speak for everyone) and even there those feelings and devotions vary tremendously by a role or aspect of Armitage performance or fan creations. (Mine is fanvids & fanfic for example)

    • Hmmm…Fanny, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. Just because we discuss and define what it is that attracts us to Richard Armitage does not mean we are necessarily reducing him to an object, which to me means that we are not objectifying him. I guess perhaps I misunderstand what you are saying, but an example of how I understand what you say would be: I think my niece is a beautiful little girl, but if I describe what makes her beautiful I’m suddenly objectifying her. Does that make sense?

      I’m not saying that it is necessarily wrong to objectify. However, as you say, it is generally used to convey that what is being done is somehow negative.

      I think you are attaching a much more literal meaning to 2 dimensional that I intend. Obviously unless we’ve seen RA in person, all we have is 2 dimensional things to watch. However, I’m speaking in the sense that we try and separate his physical attributes from who he is as a person and actor. Just because I don’t know all that much about him doesn’t mean I don’t recognize and acknowledge that he is a person with thoughts, feelings, a family, hobbies, etc. When we’re talking about objectifying him as 2 dimensional I see that more along the lines of forgetting that the beautiful person in the photo is actually a real person.

      • For me, if I see a person as something purely for my pleasure and/or comfort–if I see them as only a thing to be used and not a fellow human being–than I would say I am objectifying them. I try to never forget the humanity of anyone else, even someone I personally might find a bit monstrous (which is certainly not the case with sweet Richard).

        One of the reasons I enjoy looking at RA isn’t just the fact he’s so beautifully knit together, but it’s the inner qualities that I seem to see in his eyes, his smile, his demeanor.

        And of course, we all have different tastes as to what is attractive, sexy, and so forth and a lot of it’s subjective, not objective. Vive la difference! 😉

      • Servetus

        insofar as all description is reductive (a map that reproduced everything in reality would be a useless map), all discussion or analysis of anything is somewhat “objectifying.”

  8. Joanna

    It’s a pleasure to read your posts,Jasrangoon plus all those thoughtful comments..*sigh*…I like it here:)

  9. Well stated, Jas!

    I have a question, one that I should probably pose to the person who thinks that appreciating and admiring Mr. A in the many forms available is dehumanizing him. But I’ll ask it here, first …

    Is it dehumanizing my husband if I take great joy not only in looking at his picture, but making a habit of photographing him? I happen to think my hubby is quite a handsome man, quietly sexy in his own way. And I keep pictures of him around me so that I can admire him when he’s not here. I heartily enjoy watching videos of him. There are others that enjoy doing the same thing. Are they dehumanizing my husband by appreciating his physical being?

    Is it dehumanizing my children if I make videos from images and audio clips of them? Are the other people who watch, and enjoy, those videos also doing that? Am I doing that when I watch a home video made by someone I don’t really know, and enjoy the look/sound/action of the people in it?

    Really, isn’t the work that RA does, the pictures he poses for, etc, the same as anything we might do at home, just on a much much larger and more professional scale with a bigger distribution?

    For it to be suggested that appreciating the physical beauty of anyone — not just RA — is making them an object, a 2D object at that, is an insult to any thinking, feeling, loving person.

    *glances around* Ummm … I’ll get off my soapbox now. 😉

    • obscura

      Is that a Dove soapbox? I was up there yesterday 🙂

    • Snickers' Mom

      Well, because the mood moves me I’m going to play devil’s advocate. Your husband and children are known personally to you and you have a deep relationship with them versus a surface knowledge. Seeing their images evokes memories of shared experiences beyond that of just admiring their image, it’s a much deeper experience.

      • But then again, haven’t most of us seen Mr. Armitage’s work a number of times and come to feel as if those characters are real and somehow “known to us?” Have we not watched his interviews, read articles and established at least a “para-social” relationship with him? And having watched him, do we not share these photos with one another and remember with pleasure (and sometimes sadness) those “shared experiences?”

        Is that para-social relationship as deep as those which we have with our nearest and dearest? No. But
        I will be frank. I have grieved when those characters suffered far more than when some not-so-near and dear to me passed on. They have had a greater and more positive impact on my life.

        I will say it again, it’s more than merely the image of a handsome face and fit body for me. There are lots of “pretty boys” out there who more or less leave me cold.
        It’s what I perceive to be inside the head and heart of this individual that makes him especially attractive to me.

      • That’s very true, Snicker’s Mom. I do have a deeply-rooted relationship and shared memory with them. Point taken. 🙂

        But what about those who look at and admire the pictures and videos, who don’t have deep relationship with me or my family? A stranger, who sees a picture of a family member in amongst many other photos –family and otherwise– and remarks, “My, he’s handsome.” It’s not a deeper experience for them. It’s very much a superficial knowledge. Are they objectifying the person in the photo?

        I’m probably not explaining this very well … sorry. Don’t want to take up more space on Jas’s blog with it.

    • Zan, I think you may have answered your own question towards the end there. 😉 Seriously though, the only difference I see is that perhaps with family members and knowing them well, a person would be less likely to took at them as a an object. But I would agree with Angie, in that for most fans, we have invested enough time in getting to know the characters and also have watched and read enough of Richard’s interviews to be very aware that he is a real, multifaceted human being. As such I think it would be hard to reduce him to just a pretty face to be admired.

  10. I was one of the targets of the Twitter bullying regarding the ‘degrading’ video of Richard’s training session for The Hobbit; Janet and Janine were the other two. It ruined my New Year’s Eve [the first time I have welcomed the year all by myself] because I was too emotionally vulnerable that night – having just lost my father in October – as those of you who have had conversations with me know.

    Then, two night ago, I stumbled upon the post that accuses us who are frank in our admiration of Richard’s beauty of not only stripping away his ‘human dignity’ but of offending God greatly by doing so. That’s where I drew the battle line. I will not have my faith questioned and remain quiet.

    Therefore – as I promised the psychologist who wrote the article (who professes to be part of the Armitage Army and to like us) – I will respond to her arguments with a seriously researched article. It will be published during FanstRAvaganza. Of course, then I’ll be told I am projecting, that it strikes a chord because it is true (otherwise, why be offended and not let the comments slide as a sign of my indifference).

    Well, if I wanted to go on an endless journey of self-recrimination, I wouldn’t need any help…but that’s a topic for an entirely different essay. See you all there on the week of my 50th birthday, I refuse to be silent any longer. Bring the popcorn so you can enjoy the drama that will most certainly ensue!

    • Berta, as you can see by my above comment, I was flabbergasted over that negative response to the Hobbit video. I confess I haven’t read the article by the mental health pro. I have reached a point in my life where I don’t want any help on that endless journey you referred to, either. So bring it on! 😀 I will look forward to it.

    • Berta, I’m sorry that you were bullied over a video. I just watched said video for the first time and I have NO IDEA how anyone can call it degrading. I thought it was wonderful to be able to better see the graceful movements of the various cast members in slow motion as it highlighted the hard work they all put in. Honestly, I think the fact some people found it degrading says more about what they see when they watch it that the video itself.

      Stumbled upon is a great way to put it. Had the tweet containing the link to post given me a better idea of what I was going to read, I would have avoided it all together.

      I look forward to reading your thoughts on all of this during FanstRAvaganza. I’m sure you’ll have lots to add to the discussion.

    • bollyknickers

      I don’t think she is a psychologist – from the letters after her name, she’s a social worker. But i guess that is semantics – either way i’m surprised and disappointed she chose to be so negative about a community that is so positive for so many people. And i’m sorry you felt bullied for the video, Berta – if it is any consolation, it is on my favorites list on my phone and has given me a lot of pleasure. So thank you for that.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue in the last couple of days. i unearthed some research about para-social relationships which states that actors actively encourage interest from fans by engaging with the media, doing photo shoots, using open body language, getting a stylist…to name but a few of the things we have seen Mr A doing very recently. It’s human nature to become attached to faces we are exposed to often to (except it hasn’t worked for the Kardashians 😉 ). In short, RA does the photo shoots, media etc.. because he wants us to look at him and to be interested in him because it makes him bankable. In my view RA is extremely clever about his media exposure – he reveals enough of himself to make us warm to him, without becoming so familiar it impacts on his private life or (as he has said) on our ability to believe in his characters. He is in control – and FWIW, i think he is pragmatic enough to know that fan video’s and blogs go towards keeping the interest in him alive – so how is that degrading?

      • Very well put, Bolly. I think sometimes certain fans have this view that RA is some naive and possibly mentally challenged young thing who is being manipulated right and left by the nasty old press machine and his fans who take advantage of him and steal his dignity. What??

        As Jas has pointed out before, he is a grown-ass man, who’s been in this tough business for a long time, and who is intelligent and savvy enough to know that marketing himself is part and parcel of the entertainment business.

        And let us never forget it IS a business and somebody’s got to “put their bums in the seats” at theaters, watch the TV shows, buy the DVDS, and so forth to make performers bankable.

        Richard charms us with his delightful sense of humor and beguiling modesty and the obvious passion he has for his craft. RA looked, for the most part, awfully comfortable and confident to me during that Hobbit press junket. I’d say he was having a grand time of it, as grueling as it all was, and happy to participate in promoting a role and production of which he was justifiably proud.

        He keeps back enough to allow him that valued privacy everyone is entitled to and he retains that air of mystery that is so alluring to many of us. The Kardashians could take a lesson or two from Mr. A’s playbook. *shudders at thought of that family and the fact it continues to breed*

      • Well said, Bollyknickers.

        I find it interesting that you found research that shows actors encourage the para-social relationship that fans have with them. Even more interesting is how you can point to specific things that RA has done of late that show he isn’t somehow an exception. I think sometimes people forget that the fan creations help keep actors in the spotlight during down times, such as when they are filming or just taking a break. In that way, fans are doing actors a service.

  11. Where is the edit button on this?! I meant to say “I will NOT have my faith questioned and remain quiet.” Sorry about that!

  12. Great essay post and comments! I steered clear of that “human dignity” post link in the RA Daily assuming–rightly so from the comments above–that it was another self appointed ABC (Armitage Biddie Committee; I didn’t coin that) person on the rampage.

    When we fans appreciate that Richard Armitage is beautiful inside and out, an exquisitely talented actor and storyteller, socially aware, honorable, gentlemanly, and a drop dead gorgeous man, who inspires our hearts to yearn and love and who inspires our minds to creative endeavors, it is a very good thing.

    For anyone to try to twist our deep respect for this man, Richard Armitage, and his artistic projects into something perverse, is perverse themselves.

    • I sometimes think people see what they anticipate seeing, not necessarily what is actually there–if you catch my drift. And for some reason, certain individuals apparently *need* to see something foul or unhealthy in aspects of the fandom with which they themselves aren’t comfortable.

      And then they proceed to raise a ruckus about it in an effort to make others equally uncomfortable. It’s a great shame, really.
      And your reasons for not reading the human dignity article are mine, Grati. 😉

      • Angie, I think what you describe is something we probably all do. We see everything through the filter of our own worldview. So when someone sees something–let’s say a fanvid–that doesn’t fit their beliefs in some way, they don’t always, if ever, try and see it from the perspective of the person who created the video. While the person with personal hang ups may see something they think is objectifying, the creator probably saw their work as a celebration of beauty. As I said to Berta earlier, I think this says more about the person doing the criticizing than the thing that they are criticizing.

        When something like the article that keeps being referenced comes up, I try very hard to put my own perspective aside and see it from their point of view. In this case, I have no problem in admitting that I failed terribly. The forum, tone and continual justification of what offended people in the comments section made me unable, and even unwilling to give her opinion serious consideration.

        If only we could learn to deal with our personal hang ups in private, without dragging the fandom through the mud, the world would be a happier place. Live and let life!

    • Well said, Grati. I wasn’t bold enough to say that, “for anyone to try to twist our deep respect for this man, Richard Armitage, and his artistic projects into something perverse, is perverse themselves.” But I agree with it wholeheartedly.

      Unfortunately, like I told Berta, the twitter link I followed in no way prepared me for what I was going to read. I think this is an instance where ignorance may have been bliss.

      I don’t remember who coined Armitage Biddie Committee, but I love it. 🙂

    • Grati and Angie — exactly.

  13. me

    1. OT, thanks for allowing me to post it here.
    “Lionsgate boosted ticket sales for “The Hunger Games” in what analysts say was Hollywood’s most aggressive online marketing push. The studio stoked interest among the film’s core younger audience by starting a year early with a near-constant use of Twitter and Facebook, a Tumblr blog, a YouTube Channel, and live streaming of the premiere on Yahoo.” (Reuters)

    So I was wondering whether I am the victim of a marketing manipulation ploy from a film corporation that wants me to look at “actor ABC”‘s images to boost their sales. I mean, who are these people who spend their days on tumblr etc. blogging images?! How many are real fans and how many are paid to promote a “product”? My answer is 99 % and 1 %, respectively. However, the idea that 1% are paid bloggers still makes me feel uncomfortable.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/us-oscars-business-idUSBRE91L0JE20130222

    2. From what I know, an actor does not receive any money from the sales of the DVDs of movies (s)he made years ago. These money go to the rights’ holder, the company who bought the DVD rights. (This is why I don’t feel guilty watching ytube clips.)

    • This is OT, but I’m going to allow it. Studios have to market their product. Most fans I know aren’t going to complain if a professional blogger puts out an image of the actor or film that they are so looking forward to seeing.

      As to your second point, I would recommend doing a little more research. More and more actors and even directors are getting back-end deals added to their contracts. This can include part of the proceeds from toy licensing, dvd sales and more. Here’s an article that provides some evidence of this:

      http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/2010/03/top-hollywood-earners-201003

      So truthfully, watching things on YouTube or downloading torrents, or any way that doesn’t involve paying for the item can indeed take away from the monies that the actor, director or whoever has earned.

  14. Bit late to the party here so I have nothing to add…just wanted to say that I agree wholeheartedly with you Jas and that this has helped me get something straight in my head that has been bothering me for some time. Good job! 🙂

    • Welcome to the party! Late comers are always welcome (even when it takes me a while to reply). I’m glad that this helped you get some things straight. The straightening out of my own head is why I wrote it in the first place…it seems like putting my thoughts into words helps.

  15. Servetus

    My viewpoint on this has come to differ, but I think I’ll blog it myself. I’m glad you wrote this.

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  17. Jane

    People are different and fans are different. They will do what they can do and as long as it isn’t illegal there is no way of stopping them, so best just not to look at the stuff one doesn’t like. A set of rules of what is tasteful and respects an actor’s dignity or privacy can be applied on blogs and moderated message boards but beyond that it is just not possible to regulate fans and tell them that their way to appreciate or discuss an actor is wrong. RA may not have asked to be objectified and may not be comfortable with it, but by putting himself out there as an actor and public person he enables people to objectify him and there is little that can be done against it. Stop being beautiful, I assume. Put on much more than twenty pounds.

    • I like this, Jane: “A set of rules of what is tasteful and respects an actor’s dignity or privacy can be applied on blogs and moderated message boards but beyond that it is just not possible to regulate fans and tell them that their way to appreciate or discuss an actor is wrong.”

      If people think other fans are being disrespectful of Richard or diminishing his dignity, they might be happier if they primarily frequented places that have such moderation in place, rather than hoping to bend other fans to their way of thinking.

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  19. katie70

    I told Son 1 when he was being bullied, that people who bully have something that they don’t want other people to see, so they pick on someone else to keep them out of the spot light. This should be everyone’s rule, if you don’t like it then don’t watch it or do it.

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