Over the past few weeks, the Supanova Pop Culture Expo has gained some extra attention for inviting actor Adam Baldwin to their show. Starting next month, Supanova’s events will cover Australia and Baldwin will appear at the Sydney and Perth shows.
In the past year, Baldwin has become internet famous for his offensive views on women and transgender people amongst other things. He has compared gay marriage to incest, wondered if Barack Obama actually wanted Ebola in America and was a major instigator of #GamerGate. If you’re unfamiliar with #GamerGate, then I envy you. These views and Baldwin’s leading association with a hate group that has made people afraid for their personal safety caused thousands of people to petition Supanova to cancel his appearances. Because if this is what he actually believes, how would women, gay, transgender and most other pop culture fans feel entirely comfortable with a person like this in attendance? Nevertheless, Supanova doubled-down on their booking of Baldwin. Have a look at some of the comments on that page. Go ahead, I’ll wait. In addition to that Facebook post, have a look at the comments on a recent ABC Drum article criticising Supanova. Again, I’ll wait.
Hello Adam Baldwin supporters, I’m talking to you now. First of all, I get it. Firefly was amazing. Out Of Gas and Objects In Space were phenomenal episodes. I love still not knowing what the deal is with Shepard Book. The firefly-class ship has such a cool design. I still get teary-eyed when River says “My turn” in the movie. I get it. I completely understand.
If you are cool with Adam Baldwin’s views then you are living in denial of the pain and trauma he has caused so many people. If you agree with his views, then…look I need to make it plain: you are a horrible person. You…you do understand that, right? Abusing people, dismissing the validity of their existence or legitimacy of their viewpoints because they are not like you is horrible behaviour for a grown adult human being. People have a problem with Adam Baldwin because he treats people as lesser human beings. Is this what your mother taught you? You weren’t raised by wolves, right? When you have kids, is this what you will teach them? I’m shocked that I am typing these words. I just assumed these were inherent things that a person learns as they grow up. Otherwise, if we didn’t, we would be fighting for scraps of meat in the street.
Immediately dismissing criticism, not even acknowledging that it exists or calling someone “butthurt” are solutions to nothing. They don’t help anybody. These are the attitudes of a child who stomps their feet because they don’t want to go to bed. I refuse to believe, at your soul, away from the trappings of the internet, that you are that person.
Another aspect I see is supporters dismissing any sort of abuse against women or transgender people by claiming this whole thing is about “ethics in games journalism”. If this is what you honestly believe, I would really appreciate the answers to two questions.
1. What specific example of the violation of ethics, as you see them in games journalism, are you talking about?
2. Why do you care so much about video game journalism to the point where families have been scared for their lives?
If you can look at all these reasons that I’ve listed and still agree with Adam Baldwin, then we have something to work with. What I mean is, if you honestly judge the actions of Adam Baldwin to be openly ugly towards other people and legitimately say “I still don’t care”, then we have a place to start from and a platform that I understand. I know what kind of person you are. But I’ll bet there’s not a lot of you that truly feel this way. In your heart. For the rest of your life.
Because right now I’m confused. Firefly was an awesome show but there are people just like you who are really afraid to attend Supanova because they might get abused or god forbid, assaulted. And that’s because all the support that I see for Adam Baldwin has been some variation of what I mentioned: violent threats, horrific insults or insane theories that don’t hold water when viewed in the light of day.
Personally, I’m sad I’m not attending Supanova this year because one of my childhood icons, Dolph Lundgren, will be there. No matter what you’ve heard from people over the years, you have never met a bigger fan of Dolph than me. Dark Angel (aka I Come In Peace) is a fantastic sci-fi movie and his work in Rocky IV, The Punisher, The Joshua Tree, Masters Of The Universe and even total garbage like The Expendables is wonderful to me. A god among mere mortals. So even with all that in my mind, with decades of rabid fandom to finally meet this guy, I can’t simply ignore the fact that Supanova are okay with Adam Baldwin and his horrible, insane views. I can’t do it. I’ve seen enough terrible abuse and twisted attitudes in my nearly 40 years on this planet and I can’t support anything that resembles such behaviour. Not even close. As such, I can’t support or attend Supanova.
My question is: why can you? Despite what we want to dream, Firefly is never coming back. And Jayne Cobb wasn’t that cool.