Oral Communication

2021 ISSUE 03: Fandom

As long as we are putting things out into the world – a post on social media, a song cover, fan fiction, fan art – we are bound to receive feedback, whether praise or criticism. Creatives in the various industries are certainly no strangers to this and often bear the brunt of fandom disapproval.

What are the kinds of feedback that are important to sharpen our work? What are the kinds we can do without? 

1. How are the characters in the movie feeling in this clip?

2. Have you ever received negative feedback?


on the challenges faced in the performing industry

“It’s difficult because I do have times where… I feel more androgynous where maybe I want to be little bit more girly and when I go for casting I kind of don’t really fit in anywhere. I’m constantly fighting to look more like people’s expectations.”



on being cyberbullied for her role in Star Wars

“I started to believe them. Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of colour already taught me: that I belonged in margins… valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories… that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them.”

on customer’s criticism when he first introduced vegetable tempura

“They scolded me: ‘We didn’t come to eat appetizers.’ They also told me that making a light crust on vegetables was ‘not tempura at all.’ But… tempura in those days was thick and loaded with oil. Keeping the oil at a minimum would bring out the ingredients’ true flavours for patrons to enjoy. That was my conviction, so I held fast to it.”

Note: traditionally, fried vegetables were deemed as cheap food and were strictly not sold in finer restaurants. Kondō is the chef who made it acceptable and even glamorous to eat vegetable tempura.

3. Should fans have a say in the creative work of writers / singers / streamers / filmmakers?

on how feedback contributes to his work

“If someone is just making fun of me or attacking me for no reason, I don’t bother. If someone gives me criticism, which is constructive, I take it seriously because that’s where I am learning. As an actor and a creative person, it helps me learn and grow.”

on fan entitlement getting out of hand

“The only thing I would personally say that creators owe fans is to make their work not racist, sexist, or homophobic, and to not engage in toxic behaviour. Representation is the only thing fandoms are owed, because it’s a fairly moral imperative at this point in time.

on fans feeling that they, in part, own the stories told in shows/books

“We use stories to make sense of who we are. We use stories to debate our values, fears, and aspirations… There’s nothing odd about [fans feeling a sense of ownership]. What is odd is the idea that corporations want to claim a monopoly over the storytelling process, resist input from their audience… fandom is as much part of the solution as it is part of the problem.”