I was going to start off this update by saying that it was "funny" that I referenced the Middle East in yesterday's headline considering how things have gone since then, but it feels more frustratingly ironic. Because much like the valiant efforts to bring peace to the region that have failed over the years, so too has "The Great Twitter Peace Accord" that The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich rightfully took pride in yesterday. Yesterday, we covered Hissrich's willingness to actively engage with those who confuse their opinions for facts just because someone else agrees with them, and folks who enjoy being rude & taking cheap shots from a distance they normally wouldn't take if they had to deal with their targets one-on-one. In this case, Hissrich looked to take on the social media cesspool known as "dudes scared of strong, independent female characters kicking ass & taking charge." And it would appear that things ended with an exchange of ideas and some "agreeing to disagree" but otherwise? It looked like we had a decent first step… and then we saw this earlier today:
And of course, with that came the folks on the sidelines who either want to bash Hissrich for engaging in the individual who we're not going to name because they don't deserve an ounce of attention, or who actually side with the individual because of whatever deep-seated personal issues they have that have nothing to do with anyone or anything named "Geralt." As for the individual who we're not going to name because they don't deserve an ounce of attention? To no one's surprise, they filmed a video to respond to Hissrich in what we're assuming is an effort to feel validated and get their numbers up.
While there was a lot to unpack over the course of the past few days heading into our coverage yesterday, (you can get a full accounting here), it was what we thought at the time would be Hissrich's final message on the matter that really drove the point home for us initially. Hissrich chose to engage the hate, not back down, and in the process diffuse it by reminding folks on social media once again that actual human beings make these shows and that should never be forgotten.
That said? Hissrich needs to be one of a million hammers out there, hitting back when this kind of stuff goes on whether it's in film, television, video games, comics, or whatever corner of the pop culture landscape it is that you come from & call home. This idea that you shouldn't engage people like this because it only "inspires them" and "gives them the attention they want"? So what's the other option? Because history shows that appeasement does not work well. Hell, we just celebrated the one-year anniversary of what appeasement can result in when a gaggle of tin foil hat-wearing Trump lackeys staged a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
Hissrich's willingness to meet the trolls in neutral territory to talk and possibly sway them from their trollish ways was never meant to be a sign of any changes to the core of who she is. Or as she puts it a hundred times better in a recent tweet, "my open-minded, reach-across-the-aisle, debate-welcoming self is still a triple-vaxxed feminist BLM liberal who lives in Hollywood." The Witcher showrunner's advice to everyone looking to engage moving forward? "Adjust your expectations accordingly":
The Great Twitter Peace Accord has been fun, and I hope will continue for a long time.
Also, my open-minded, reach-across-the-aisle, debate-welcoming self is still a triple-vaxxed feminist BLM liberal who lives in Hollywood, so. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) January 13, 2022
So for what it's worth, Lauren S. Hissrich? You have our support & you have our respect, and we hope the trolls never win. We know you've been doing your part. Time for others to start doing theirs- us included.