The Witcher: Laying Down Twitter Rules; But Did We Learn Anything?

If there's an award out there for the most original & outside-of-the-box thinking when it comes to promoting a series, I think it's pretty safe to say that Netflix's second season of The Witcher should absolutely be in the conversation. In the interest of full disclosure, I would feel pretty shady if I didn't admit right up front that the site's done pretty well for itself by covering series showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich's attempts to confront & "de-troll" someone who has issues with what they believe is some kind of "militant feminist agenda" being forced onto the streamer's adaptation of the books & video games. Not just because people like to read about a good "social media throwdown" but also because the effort itself became a polarizing one.

Since we last checked in (you can get caught up here and here), there were further back-and-forths between Hissrich and the individual (who we're not naming but you check things out for yourselves here) with the reactions from online fandom mixed, at best. On one hand, there are those who feel like we felt about the matter earlier in the week, that sometimes it's important to confront those who find it way too easy to take cheap shots at those they think will never respond. It's an important way to keep people in check and remind them that there are human beings behind those Twitter accounts.

the witcher
Image: Screencap

But then there are those who think it's another example of bad behavior being rewarded even if the initial efforts were noble- which is where we're at with it now. It's one thing to deep-dive into a pool of fans who have legit critical points to raise and constructive criticism to share. It's another to spend more than a day consistently engaging with an individual whose personal issues with the series speak more about their own shortcomings than the shortcomings of the series. And when the dust settles from all of this, I can't shake this feeling that the individual will be the one who was the only winner in all of this. They're getting the clicks they want. They're getting the social media attention they crave. But worst of all? They're getting the credibility that comes with being able to say, "My point was so legit that even the showrunner from 'The Witcher' had to talk to me about it!". It's a mainstreaming of toxicity & gatekeeping that uses up time that could've been better spent with those actually wanting to be part of a greater conversation and not looking to go scorched earth at the drop of a hat at anything that challenges their fragile feelings of how things "should be." And while I'll always defend the initial effort, the best-case scenario coming out of this is that the status quo was maintained. Worst-case scenario? Another gatekeeper gets elevated while more fans continue to feel marginalized.

the witcher
The Witcher (Image: Screencap)

Some good things that came out of this in the end? The Reddit r/NetflixWitcher community hit up Hissrich via Twitter to offer their advice & suggestions on how she can be a better ally in how she handles her Twitter account. The showrunner also set down the basic rules of engagement and respect when having conversations on her page (see above). But if nothing else came out of this, fans of the series can take heart with a brief update Hissrich shared about the show's production future. Yup, in one week the showrunner heads back to London to start prepping for the third season:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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