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Discussion/Meta When is it "okay" to hate a character? What makes you dislike a character?

Discussion in 'Characters & Cast' started by Doctor Grimes, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    This is a weird question, but hear me out.

    When is it okay to hate/dislike a character? On Tumblr, sometimes I see posts in the vein of "If you hate Carol/Glenn/Michonne/etc., I don't trust you." Or that if someone hates a particular character, they're innately a bad person.

    To a certain extent, I agree there are characters I just couldn't fathom "hating" -- either because they're too good (morally), too well-acted, too interesting, etc. When I see hatred directed at these characters, I also instinctively go, "What is wrong with you?"

    But, at the same time, that is me speaking with a bias. I'm never going to be able to easily understand why someone would hate one of my favorite characters. The exception to this is Rick (since I acknowledge he's fucked up plenty of times and can definitely rub people the wrong way, even though I love him to pieces).

    My personal opinion has always been: it's a balance between the degree of dislike and the "reason" (if there is one).

    When I see someone "hate" a character, it's often extreme. Vitriolic, over-the-top, etc. With that sort of reaction/emotional response, I would expect to see some kind of justification for that hatred that is logical.

    Using an example of a likable character, let's say Glenn, I would think, "How could someone hate Glenn?" Of all characters. He's just innocuous. He's portrayed by a great actor, he's never really thrown a wrench in the works, he's never even done anything morally unjustifiable. At worst, I could see someone think he's bland/uninteresting/annoying -- all of which don't constitute hatred. In my eyes, he hasn't done anything meriting such a negative emotion.

    Speaking for myself, I won't lie. I do think it's suspicious if someone can't provide a logical/inoffensive reason for disliking a character -- especially if the character is non-white and/or a woman -- then it does reek of some personal issue or hang-up. For example, if someone hates on Andrea because she's "a slut." There are reasons to dislike Andrea without bringing up her sexual history. To do so makes me think, "Okay, you're just a sexist." At which point, yeah, their reason for disliking a character (ex: Andrea) is offensive and illogical. Or if someone hates on Carol or Michonne for certain things they've done while they would give a pass to a male character for the same exact thing.

    But then I think to myself, what makes for a genuinely unlikable character? Who is it "okay" to dislike? Are certain characters off limits? Is it okay to dislike a character "just because"? Is it only a problem when the person is on a personal crusade to end that character? Is it a problem if they keep their dislike quiet?

    It can be exhausting sometimes justifying a dislike (or even hatred) for a character. Sometimes it should just end with "I don't like character X" and that be that. I understand wanting to know why, especially if it is a character like Glenn (for whom hated seems such an extreme and illogical reaction) but then does dislike need to be justified? Sometimes dislike is personal (illogical, but not bigoted or prejudiced). It could be a character reminds the person of someone they dislike in their personal life. It could be something as silly as they way a character talks which could be like nails on a chalkboard for their ears.

    Anyway, this got long, but what is your take? Do you instinctively judge people who dislike certain characters regardless of their reason? Do you think some characters should be immune from dislike? Do you think any character can be disliked provided there's a good reason?
     
  2. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    I will say I find it absolutely revolting when people wish for a character to die/hate a character solely because of a character's fan base -- especially if the character is a person of color. I don't see the logic in it at all. I get fan bases can get under the skin, but a fan base has nothing to do with a character, and the only crime they're guilty of is loving their fave just as much as any fan loves theirs. It smacks entirely of racism because there's also a greater probability of the fan base for that character being predominately (or largely) comprised of people of color. So it's not just hatred of the fictional character (of color), but spiteful hatred of real-life people of color.
     
  3. balladsinthebluegrass

    balladsinthebluegrass Hold to things that are bright.
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    The two most morally upright people on the show are Glenn and Michonne, and I strongly side-eye anyone who hates them. :carl2: Yes, others have called Glenn boring, and I can understand that. But there's a difference between being bored by a character and hating him. Tara bores me to death, but I don't despise her. I do, however, somewhat resent that screen time is wasted on minor characters like her, and that alone could lead others to hate. That kind of uneven storytelling can lead to hate for even the major characters. I hated that Carol took up so much of the focus in 6B, though I have calmed down since. If Michonne was the star of nearly every episode, I could understand why some would feel antagonistic towards her. Still, that feeling is one step removed from hating the character himself or herself.
     
  4. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
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    Great idea for a thread....To me, the key word is 'hate'. That connotes a very high level of engagement and one that incites emotions like rage and frustration and that may seep into one's personal life.

    To hate a fictional character that is written for a television show....well there are triggers or buttons being pushed for certain.

    Full disclosure, for the past year or so, I've hated Daryl as a character. Or so I thought. I've always thought that my hatred stemmed from the fact that he was an original character who had overstayed his welcome, stole story lines from other characters and was poorly acted by Norman Reedus. He annoyed the hell out of me and I wanted him off my screen.

    As I've matured as a viewer and as I've participated in this fandom more and met some fantastic people, I've learned that I don't truly hate Daryl. And I never thought I would say this, believe me. I may be annoyed with him, annoyed and frustrated by the writing choices made for his character and very annoyed by the man who plays him, but I am no longer engaged to the level that I was last year where I can call it hatred. Hell, I'm even willing to raise my feelings to tolerance if he actually gets a decent story line this season that doesn't steal from Richonne and Carl!

    Hatred takes energy. It takes passion, commitment and deep emotion. I don't want to speak for others on this board but I think what many of us are calling hatred is instead, boredom, frustration, cynicism and resentment that a character is 'stealing' screentime from our favorites.

    I participated in the Jessie hate threads over on the 'other' site but I truly never loathed her. I thought she was an incredible waste of screentime and was played by an actress whose talent was questionable at best, but it's not like her character kept me up at night. I was thrilled when she was off my screen. Does that mean I hated her? I just don't know.

    Having said all of this, I know there are people in this fandom who hate a character because of the hate they may or do carry for entire groups of people in our society. Their hatred stems from what they have decided they hate in real life and THAT is toxic and needs to be curbed in every way possible.

    This post is already too long so I'll stop here but I'll be back!
     
  5. Clutterbuck

    Clutterbuck Finding Bigfoot™
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    I've always taken things like this "On Tumblr, sometimes I see posts in the vein of "If you hate Carol/Glenn/Michonne/etc., I don't trust you." As "I love this character so I can't/won't deal with people who hate them" which I get, I guess, because while I get how people can hate Rick I don't want to talk to them. :lol: I just see it as not wanting to associate with people who seriously hate a character you love.

    Honestly I don't think any character should be off limits when it comes to dislike.* We're all different and we all have things that rub us the wrong way for whatever reason(s). Sometimes certain personality traits just irritate me, for example, so if a character has them I may dislike them because I don't like things that annoy me. I don't think I judge people for disliking a character but if it's a character I love or one I think is pretty "good" I may wonder why they dislike them but I'm not going to think you're heinous for "I don't like Character X"

    Dislike and hate are two different things though, to me. If you severely hate a character and express it I think you should have a logical reason. Like, if you're screaming how a character is a laundry list of insults and should go get hit by a truck I kind of hope your reason isn't "I don't know."



    *It goes without saying I think that this is all provided that someone's reasoning isn't offensive.
     
  6. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    The screen time argument is a great one. I liken that more to "resentment" than outright hatred. I really dislike Daryl (sometimes hate him) and I also resent his screen time. I really like Carol, but I resent her screen time in 6B (though I also am cooling off on this as time has gone by). To me, those are different sentiments, but I can understand how the resentment could worsen to an outright dislike/hatred for others -- especially if they believe that character's existence is the reason characters they like are getting shafted. It then becomes, "Well, if Carol were dead, then XYZ would get to do more." The desire to see the character gone spurs a dislike.
     
  7. vicarious70

    vicarious70 Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    Well hate is a strong word and definitely don't like using it, but if a particular character annoys me or rubs me the wrong I always say I dislike that character, I never say hate because there's nothing they have done that permits me to feel that vile. Favorite characters even push the envelope with me that I can't stand them sometimes but I can eventually forgive them and move on.
     
  8. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Couldn't agree more. Hatred takes so much time and energy and speaks of an agenda. I am trying to curtail my dislike of Daryl's character because I already feel I invest too much energy in being frustrated by his perpetual existence. Like you said, it's not even so much hatred of Daryl, but agony, fatigue, and resentment over the choices the writers have taken. I used to like him. It's boggling. I may begin to regard him more neutrally if he's taken in an interesting direction, but as it stands, I see him as an anchor weighing down the entire series.

    I never hated Jessie either. I disliked her presence, I found her boring and poorly acted, but I never hated her. She was just... blah. Like you, I also participated in the "hate" threads, but it was more to pass than time than any sort of outward malice. It was also just frustration over the arc and what it was doing to Rick.
     
  9. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    This is very true. It could be a PSA that the blog is unwilling to confront negative opinions about their faves, which I totally understand. I like being in my happy bubble as well.

    Somehow I have a feeling I would be ripped apart if I made one of those for Rick though. :lol:
     
  10. balladsinthebluegrass

    balladsinthebluegrass Hold to things that are bright.
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    I think Jessie was the only character I have well and truly hated. Hated, hated, HATED! I wanted to see her die a slow, painful, gruesome death. 99% of the reason behind this adhorrence was her insertion smack into the middle of the process of Rick and Michonne falling in love. If she had been kept away from Rick, perhaps her abuse arc been worked out with Carol, for example, she would have been boring and annoying, particularly for her piss-poor mothering, but inconsequential. So, I hated her solely for getting in the way of my ship. Also, her fans were annoying as all hell, but as Doc pointed out, it may not be fair to hold that against the character. It did lead to me feeling even less charitable towards her, though.
     
  11. Clutterbuck

    Clutterbuck Finding Bigfoot™
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    Yeah, I do think it's just getting the message out there that you feel very strongly about a certain character and that your blog is a hate-free zone for that/those characters. I know I've reblogged several of those posts in regards to Rick. :lol: But then again I've gone to great lengths to plant myself in the positive Rick zone on tumblr so I've yet to have an issue.
     
  12. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    Yeah, sometimes fans can and do tint an opinion toward a character when so many of them come across as... the way they do (to be polite haha!) Jessie fans were like that. So many were sending racist hatred, saying illogical things, undermining continuity, presenting bullshit facts, crowning Jessie as the Queen of Citrus -- it definitely made it hard not to paint Jessie with a brush as a result.

    I try to separate the fans from the characters as much as I can, but I won't lie -- it can be a challenge. I don't judge people for being unable to do the same. It's not easy -- and sometimes people have their reasons for disliking a character based on the fans.
     
  13. vicarious70

    vicarious70 Caressing Eugene's Mullet

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    I agree. I can't stand someone that hates Rick because he's in love with Michonne, that's just spiteful. And I've read alot of hateful things said about Rick for the most ridiculous reasons. I try to avoid the negativity when it comes to my favorites, I don't engage in any type of argument concerning them. I know it's hard to not get offended when you read nasty hateful comments about someone you love or even harsh criticism, but we just have to grow a thick skin and let it roll off our backs. Or try our best avoid to avoid it.
     
  14. Silas

    Silas Eating 112 oz. of Pudding
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    I've honestly never *hated* a character so I'm probably the wrong person to answer. Have I been temporarily butthurt at certain characters for ridiculous reasons? Absolutely. But I acknowledge it's ridiculous butthurt and keep the shit talk to myself and maybe with a few trusted friends that are as equally butthurt and I know won't take things to an extreme. Screentime, shit talking my favs, a fanbase - all things that can land a character on my butthurt list.

    But do I honestly hate those characters, truly? Nope.

    I will say the closest I ever came to truly hating a character was Hannah on Dexter. She completely ruined one of my favorite characters. I disliked Jessie too, but I was always confident Jessie was temporary so she didn't bother me quite as much. Hannah completely ruined a show, in my opinion, so yeah I guess maybe I did hate her.

    While I do think it's almost impossible to hate characters like Glenn and Michonne, I'll also say I think people confuse "hate" for "not really caring" sometimes. I won't lie, for the longest time I wasn't that interested in Glenn's story. It just didn't strike me in the feels, he was too "good" (even Michonne and Maggie have killed!), etc. I was happy to see some struggling in S5 in regards to Nicolas and him questioning his own tactics before they arrived at ASZ, etc. I wish fandom made more room for "neutral" feelings towards a character. Sometimes it seems like people only think in extremes - if you don't love them, you must hate them.
     
  15. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
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    I agree about the neutrality. To a mega stan, if you don't love the character or even like them, you're a hater. Neutrality is a totally normal way to regard a character. Heck that's how I feel about almost every character in Game of Thrones. I don't really hate anyone or like anyone. They're just pawns to the plot as far as I can see. (It is also why I have very little emotional investment in that series at the same time.)

    A character like Hannah can be seen as detrimental to the story. In which case, that's a reason for disliking them and wanting them gone. They're "harshing the vibe." But that is, as with all things, a preference/subjective opinion. It's a valid rational for hating a character in my books though. It is why I dislike Daryl right now.
     
  16. Kordas

    Kordas Eating 112 oz. of Pudding
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    I agree with the character fanbase part of your argument. I think hating someone on basis of this alone is stupid. However, sometimes it's only one of many factors. Take Beth for example. When she was just in the background I didn't really mind her. But when she got bigger role in season 4 it became apparent that she's not an interesting character and the actress was easily the weakest link in the main cast. She was getting way more screentime than she deserved (which could have been used developing actually interesting female characters who got pretty much nothing in season 4 like Maggie or Sasha) and then there was almost entire story arc which revolved around her. Her fans screamed about Beth not having enough screentime and shipping Bethyl. Not to mention the whole Team Delusional business which completely turned me off. And while I can't say I hated her, I highly disliked the character and was actually relieved when she was killed off.

    "Hate" is a very strong word I hate very few people in real life. Certainly not anyone I'm in contact with regularly. I don't care about Tara and I would really prefer that she died instead of people I'm even a little bit invested in, but I don't hate her, because one has to invest their attention to the character to hate them and she's just not doing it for me.

    I don't think there should be characters off limits as to hating. Every character, black or white, male or female, young or old might be hated (if the hatred isn't based purely on race or character's sex) and I agree there are many people who seem to hate the character even though they wouldn't if that character was another race or sex (like Doc's example with Andrea - she's considered by many to be "a slut" while possibly the same people wouldn't bat an eyelash if the male character did the same (of course there is more to this situation as Andrea's partners of choice left a lot to be desired, but still...)) and that is definitely not okay.

    However, there are also instances when someone hates a character for some perfectly sound reason and then is called out by others for hiding their real prejudice under false pretenses despite there being no indication of the same person posting earlier comments that would indicate that. That might be true, but you don't know that! I'm not calling the police just because my neighbor has a new car that he says he won in the contest and I don't believe him.

    There are some characters I can't fathom hating (Glenn, Michonne, Maggie, Aaron) but then again there are probably Daryl fans or Carol fans who can't fathom how others may hate their favourites. As long as someone has a valid reason (it may even be petty, as long as it's not a prejudice) they are free to hate the character, but it's pretty normal that I'm not gonna go register on a forum where 90% people love Daryl and shit on Glenn.
     
  17. Armte

    Armte I Drink and I Know Things
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    I agree with you Ballads and time has not lessened my hate for the character of Jessie. The actress, the fandom and TPTB created a perfect storm to answer @Doctor Grimes question of why people HATE certain characters and let me list them.
    • It was obvious to anyone who actually watched the breadcrumbs that Gimple was laying for the Richonne love story that Jessie was the tired old trope of the "road block", keeping the two leads from getting together. So of course all Richonne fans were not going to care for this character.
    • The character ushered in a new level of racism in the fandom. Why would Rick get with Michonne, when he has this blond white women. Now people had a problem with the character of Michonne, "she was a sister to Rick and Rick treats her Michonne badly". Richonne didn't look right together (code word for Michonne being ugly or not the ideal mate for the handsome white lead). The fans of the character of Michonne and the couple lived with all that drama and vitriol for over a year. So yes the fandom and what Jessie represented to them (the ideal mate) had me hating the character even more.
    • The actress herself, she came in on a wave of entitlement with a dash of victim. Her first interviews were cocky because she felt she was the first connection Rick had with a female after his wife (essentially she was now the love interest of the leading man and she acted like it from day one). She was unknowledgeable about the show as fuck. She bragged about taking down Carol and she had no clue about the source material and other characters. Then she played the victim card every chance she got on twitter and fanned the flames of fandom drama. No one could comment on disliking her character or being a fan of Richonne with out AB crying foul and claiming people were attacking her. She then caused her fans to attack Richonne fans and we were reduced to the ANGRY BLACK WOMEN WANTING THE WHITE DICK group (never mind the facts that there are plenty of none black women that ship Richonne). I not only dislike the character but AB antics also made me dislike the actress. My hatred goes so far as to never watch anything she would be cast in again. Since I don't watch lifetime or skinimax I think it will be easy to hold on to this promise.
    In closing hatred is an exhausting feeling but it is like love it stems from passion and deep emotions, just of the negative variety. The character of Jessie hit so many triggers for me I can never separate the character and the actress from negative feelings of racism, hypocrisy, mockery and drama. I will hate this character till the end of days.
     
    #17 Armte, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  18. balladsinthebluegrass

    balladsinthebluegrass Hold to things that are bright.
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    This reminds me: the actor or actress playing the character can lead to hatred or at least a lessening of goodwill towards that character. I find NR annoying and narcissistic, and it colors the way I view Daryl when I watch the show. AB/Jessie is a perfect example of this. AB's sense of entitlement and air of victimization did nothing but increase my hatred for Jessie.
    On the flip side, an actor who is a truly wonderful person like AL or DG causes me to love his or her character even more. :holdheart: It is a joy to read about and think about that actor, and that increases my enjoyment of the performances.
     
  19. MamaGrimes

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    I agree. 60% of my dislike for Daryl is due to Norman's behavior off camera and, yeah, AB's whiny behavior did her absolutely no favors in my book. And, on the flip side? I'll be the first to admit that I cut Rick some slack due to my adoration for Andy. Michonne's character rarely if ever missteps but, if she did, she'd get the same coddling from me because I love Danai. Sometimes, it's hard to separate the two!
     
  20. Caribbeanqueen11

    Caribbeanqueen11 Supplier of Mints
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    LMAO! I don't have anything to add other than what has already been said so eloquently by most of you, but that part of your post @Armte, THIS MADE MY FREAKIN' DAY!
     
    balladsinthebluegrass and Armte like this.