Re: the Graham Norton thing:
Martin Freeman was splendid. Really, he’s such a treasure and reacted so well to the entire thing (and I’m sure it wasn’t entirely unexpected, they’ve got to given him some heads up). It obviously wasn’t malicious in its intent and was Martin has seen it all before (he said so himself!). We knew this, so I’m really not concerned for Martin’s sake. He’s a grown man, he can (and did) handle it.
My concern and embarrassment is for the fan artists. Some were apparently consulted and got asked for permission, while others (like bearicle) weren’t contacted at all.
Yes, the art is shared in a public forum and is therefore likely to be viewed by anyone. Yes, shipping John/Sherlock isn’t mainstream and some people really don’t get it and it shocks them, and find it hard to believe - so they laugh. I get it, it’s instant comedy gold.
On the other hand, it just strikes me as disrespectful to publicly ridicule fan art on national television. It makes me squirm. The art is taken out of context, shown to an audience who might never would have found it otherwise, and (save Martin’s lovely commentary) the quality of the work and hours put into it are dismissed because of the risqué content.
No, it’s not mainstream. It’s odd (to the normal, non-fandom person). But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It doesn’t mean the artists didn’t pour their hearts and creative talent into it. It doesn’t mean the art deserves to be ridiculed - especially if the artists haven’t agreed to have their art displayed on national television for the purposes of that ridicule.
I don’t know - I guess I’m just not very sympathetic to people making fun of things they don’t understand, especially when it’s part of geek/nerd/fannish (i.e. not mainstream) culture. It’s happened for decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. I can’t just brush it off, even if I’m used to it.
I’m sure that some of the artists don’t care. That’s their prerogative. But as someone who participates in a non-normative culture, I do care. I wish I didn’t.
In short: I don’t think it was a decent thing to do. Did it make sense, from a comedic standpoint? Sure. Should we have expected it, considering that it’s Graham Norton and the art was public and anyone with an internet connection could have found it? Of course.
That still doesn’t mean that it was a very nice thing to do, or something I should automatically be OK with. And thus, I have a right to be irked/upset about Graham Norton’s choice of comedic tactic.