My Thoughts on Tommy Oliver Dropping MLP
@Rainb0w_Dashie Too bad they’re stuck with people like you as fans
— Tom Oliver (@TommyOliverSays) June 10, 2015
Above is a twitter interaction between me and Tommy Oliver in regards to his Fimpressions video covering Appaloosa’s most wanted, a video in which he goes on a tirade about MLP, the show’s quality, his feelings towards both and the fandom as well. The video can be seen below.
I posted my tweets before I went out trail riding for the night, and while I was riding I thought about what I had said and started to feel bad. Mostly because it wasn’t a very nice thing to say, but also because it could be something he could’ve taken as confirmation bias, as in “See, this fandom isn’t loving or tolerant”. I came back home and was going to draft some kind of apology when I remembered he posted a follow-up video, one in which I made another snarky comment around the same time, which is also below:
In it he explains that he hasn’t liked doing reviews, felt pressured by his audience (kinda), and that he had wanted to stop for a while. Watching this video started to sway my opinion re-enforced my desire to draft an apology until I came across a line around 5 minutes in:
“…But I kept on crawling back to the horse fandom for the easy money.”
Which made me do an emotional 180. Basically he brought all of this upon himself, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Goin back and re-watching his rant I actually have a lot to say about it.
My Thoughts on Tommy Oliver dropping MLP
OK, so his bullshit starts a minute and a half in where he takes a page out of the Frozen Food Critic’s book and stages a faux-freak out. He halts his entire review at the “skip the bad” part, says “cut the music” like there’s someone in the room controlling the music when in reality it’s him adding the music in post production and turning it off in sync with him saying to.
My first point comes when he says “…as someone who constantly harps on the narrative integrity of this series”, which is pretty much the sole reason why I’ve never liked Tommy Oliver.
He’s too negative. He apparently has a reputation for being negative, which he discuss in his follow-up video, but it’s a reputation for a reason. He’s a very negative, critical person when it comes to a show that you really don’t need to be negative or critical about. Every time I’ve watched one of his videos he’s made some flippant remark about how the show isn’t ground-breaking and amazing when it comes to the episode’s writing. He doesn’t say that directly, but his tone does. Like when he calls the Dazzlings flat and boring characters because their personalities are “over-done”
This isn’t fucking Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or some kind of show that’s held up for it’s phenomenal character-development, plots, story-archs, and settings. It’s a cartoon about techni-color ponies made to sell merchandise and is held up because it was developed by a team of writers and voice actors that had a major involvement with the cartoons we watched as children, has great music and animation, and makes us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and has helped a lot of people through emotionally troubling times as well as bring them together with a network of like-minded individuals.
You don’t NEED to be overly critical and constantly harp on it’s narrative integrity, because there is none. It’s a cartoon about horses. Not a social commentary on the flawed health-care system of America.
He rambles on a bit about how he thinks the series puts more weight on the individual happenings of episodes and less about the over-arching lore; The latest in a sting of examples which he conveniently doesn’t list. He goes on and on about how the show doesn’t care and how he doesn’t care and that there are so many shows that actually do care, which makes one wonder: Why aren’t you watching them then? Why are you wasting our time bitching in front of a camera when you could be watching all these shows that nhave So much more narrative integrity than MLP? Why are you wasting our time with your stupid problems?
He pulls out a lot of generalizations like “I can’t remember what made the show so appealing” and “maybe the first two seasons really are better” and if your eyes haven’t completely rolled out of their sockets he drops this line:
“Between steven universe, working on writing and drawing, and a new youtube project, I have MORE than enough things to occupy my time than talk about a show I largely don’t care about anymore”
In his follow up he says that he needed to burn the bridge because he’s wanted to walk away for a while now but he kepts “Crawling back to the horse fandom for the easy money” quote “Everything that followed was a hollow money grab that anyone paying attention could tell”.
This motherfucker has the gall to say the MLP writers don’t have any narrative integrity when he just admitted to not having any journalistic integrity.
Now calling reviews ‘journalism’ might be a bit of a stretch, since it isn’t directly related to news, but it is still delivering information related to news to an audience, in this case presenting a formal assessment or examination of new MLP episodes to an audience.’
Onto journalistic integrity.
Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional “code of ethics” or the “canons of journalism”. While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of—truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability—as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.
The principles of Journalistic codes of ethics are designed as guides through numerous difficulties, such as conflicts of interest, to assist journalists in dealing with ethical dilemmas. The codes and canons provide journalists a framework for self-monitoring and self-correction.
I’d say doing MLP reviews strictly for the source of income denotes a conflict of interest. That’s not to say that you can’t make money off of doing reviews, in fact there are many famous reviewers on YouTube who make multiple thousands of dollars just for reviewing movies and videos games, but the difference here is these youtubers have an obvious passion in what they’re reviewing; and the income is merely a benefit, a reward per-se for being so passionate that they were able to cultivate an audience around what they have to say.
With Tommy he mentions he hasn’t had interest in reviewing for the longest time, and the tension shows in his videos. But openly admitting to hating what he does AND going for the cash-grab on top of it is pretty fucking scummy. There are so many MLP reviewers who actually give a fuck about what they do that are more deserving of the spot Tommy Oliver is in, so it’s pretty damn insulting to see people like him and Digibrony build themselves up on a pedestal in the fandom and then burn it down because they didn’t actually want it in the first place; they were just perusing an ulterior motive.
Makes me sick.
And that ultimately brings me to my next and final point.
He goes on to say that the MLP community is “nothing more than a hollowed out husk of what it used to be”. Saying it’s pathetic that he needs to add a “click here to skip the bad button”, saying that people are “Sensitive” because they want to skip his “critical” parts of the review that “take any amount of thinking”. But ultimately it’s this line:
“What they wanted, what they needed was affirmation. Was their parrot to regurgitate exactly what they were thinking so they could feel justified.”
Let me give you a little lesson about psychology and YouTube viewers.
From the point of view of a content consumer, YouTube is mostly a closed system. Although systems are generally a thermodynamics thing, but it’s still a region that is isolated from its surroundings by a boundary that admits no transfer of matter or energy across it.
What I mean by this is that YouTube is an environment where you can create your own region of personalities and content you enjoy, be it Lets Plays, media critics, what have you. It’s a region where you can find content based around your own beliefs or ideas. And People like that. People like to listen to things they agree with, and that’s what they come to YouTube personalities for. Because they agree with what they have to say. These people don’t want to be challenged or burdened by critical thinking 100% of the time. Most likely they want to come home, catch the latest episodes of Game Grumps or whatever personalities they like to listen to, and want to vedge out and come down from their day.
Essential it’s one giant echo-chamber, but smaller and more individualistic depending on the person creating said echo-chamber.
You’re getting pissed off because your viewers only wanted to hear with what they agreed with, when that is exactly why they chose to follow you in the first place; because they agreed with what you had to say. You were a part of their echo chamber because something you said or some belief you had confirmed a belief they already held.
So I don’t really see what the problem is here. Isn’t that something a content creator wants? More views and more subs and more publicity? Because I highly doubt you’ve taken some profound stance where you wanted your audience to think critically about what you had to say or some bullshit like that. I know because you admitted you were only doing it for the money; so in that case one would think they would try to get as many subs as they can get their grimy little hooves on. You can’t have it both ways.
He goes on to accuse the fandom of being insecure in their convictions and wanting to feel justified to stave off the scorn of their peers and the internet for being “obsessed with a children cartoon”, and it just descends into him insulting the fandom from there.
After watching both of these videos, I no longer feel bad about my tweets to Tommy Oliver. I don’t feel justified. I feel joy. I truly am glad Tommy Oliver decided to leave the fandom because he wasn’t contributing to it out of his love for the show, or his love for reviewing, he was doing it simply for the money. He was an overly-critical, negative for no good reason leech that attached itself to this fandom, probably with good intentions at first, just because he was able to scrape some financial independence out of it.
Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with profiting from your work, but Tommy did it for all the wrong reasons. He continued to do work that he hated, was unethical with his reviews, tossed as much libel as he could muster at the fandom in his death throes, and ultimately brought all of this upon himself.
And to Tommy, if he’s reading this. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do outside of MLP, I’m sure you’re not a bad guy. You may not think the fandom demonstrates love and tolerance because of the reactions to your videos, but ultimately this is a fandom that was built around cartoon horses and the ideas of being nice, honest, and caring towards one another. We absolutely do not need someone like you being a face in the fandom.