Edited: 19 Nov 2015
Edited: 20 Nov 2015 with Note
Folks – between some comments here, tweets, posts on FB – I’m seeing something that concerns me – a LOT. What I and some others are trying to point out here is that this is a FAN issue. STARZ has done tremendous work to promote Outlander and given the show and the actors way more coverage than I think just about any of their other shows. OL got 16 episodes to open with which is almost unheard of in the current trend for 10/11 episode seasons. Marketing picks up on what the fans are doing and saying….. and the vast majority of what they see is Sam and his sex appeal. Please read the post below understanding that what is being discussed here is all on US the fans of the show! It is us that sets the tone in SM – no one else. One of the struggles OL has always faced is the perception it is a ‘bodice ripper romance’ which turns many people off. Looking at my timeline most days on Twitter and all the pics and gushing over Sam/Jamie – we as fans of the show/books are not helping that perception. I can’t and wouldn’t want to force anyone to my way of thinking – people are going to meme Sam – I’m just looking for some balance.
Not sure what it is about stumbling over Twitter conversations with a certain person as a participant that get me blogging – but it seems to happen fairly often. She is just very inspirational I guess! LOL
The discussion I stumbled over was talking about marketing and Outlander. There were a lot of important bits and side threads that deserve discussion and interest and hopefully I and others will get ambitious and start shining some spotlights!
The one I want to pounce on first is a frustration from a (fairly large I’m thinking) part of the Outlander fandom with how promotion of the show seems to be focused primarily on Jamie/Sam and his sex appeal. It was brought up in this discussion that STARZ PR sees this focus from the fans and so that is what they give us and promote.
If we want this to change, if we want to be given other material and a different focus to the PR materials released, WE, as a fandom, need to show that to STARZ. Right now all they are seeing is “Sexy Sam”. Sam this and Sam that….pictures/memes/tweets etc. about Sam, often less than fully dressed and stressing his sexiness. We need to balance out all the tweets (and other post types) about how sexy he is with all the other stuff he is. Honestly – I like Sam a lot and think he is a tremendous actor, but I’m sick of seeing little besides his objectification. He is being reduced to nothing more than a body to be drooled over and that is a sad injustice to both the man and the intelligence of his followers.
We need to see more stuff like this!
As fans, not only do we need to promote Cait, the other actors, costumes, sets, all the awesome pieces that make up the whole of the show – but we need to STOP objectifying Sam. Promote his ACTING chops – not his looks/body. Talk about his fitness program and push for people to be healthy, all the work he does to raise awareness and money for blood cancer research. We need to put memes, posts, Tweets and so forth out about THAT sort of thing, and we need to flood social media with it. And not JUST for Sam; Caitriona, Tobias, Graham and all the rest also need to be given our support and attention.
We as a fandom are doing a disservice to Sam as a human being if this is all we can focus on. I mean, he is in the People’s Mag Top 10 Sexiest Men. Great. He IS sexy on many levels, looks only being one of them. But if you look at HIS write-up compared to the other guys?! All about what’s under the kilt! That is just so wrong! He got 2 sentences compared to the other guys and one was about the kilt crap. Check out the differences in the write-ups in the top 10.
One thing you need to be aware of – it may well get nasty, vicious and messy. The contingency of fans that only want the sex symbol stuff are entrenched and very vocal. They don’t like anyone or anything stealing the spotlight from their golden boy. When Sam and Cait were up against each other in that one vote, anyone who dared suggest we promote Cait for a change over Sam got slammed – hard. If you dare to suggest that Sam isn’t their personal toy or shouldn’t be objectified you get called names, nasty comments and sometimes outright lies told about you. Be prepared….
Sex sells and Sam is a hell of a package – I get that. But it also demeans. It demeans the person being flaunted, whatever they are attached to and, ultimately, the people that are focused on it to the exclusion of other just about all else.
I’m not on Instagram or Tumbler. From the few things I have seen from there I don’t want to be. If some of the more level-headed fans are on those platforms, please carry the battle through to them. We need to promote a strong voice, that there is so much more to Sam as a person than sexiness – that there is so much more to the show than sex and a sexy highlander
I totally agree that Sam is a tremendously good-looking, sexy guy. Obvious, I’m not blind and I am still breathing. I’m not saying never mention that or acknowledge it. What I am saying is this: there is already an avalanche of material out there about Sam and his sexiness which is why that is what STARZ PR pushes. What they see the fans focused on is what they will focus on. There needs to be a strong voice/presence pushing awareness for Sam’s other attributes, Caitriona, the writing, the costumes, the sets the hard work and dedication. That stuff isn’t as glamorous or ‘sexy’; but it is vital to the show as a whole. We have a huge percentage of fans out there that are grounded, intelligent people that want the main course not just the desert, but we are the weak voice right now. That needs to change – so go change it. Please in the comments, make suggestions for how we can achieve this voice. Some specific hashtags maybe?
Promote this, spread the word and come up with your own creative ways to do the same.
Look – I know everyone is going to do what they want and I can’t stop them nor would I want to. My writing this particular blog was to point out something that concerns me as a fan of a truly great show. People are still going to post GIF’s of Sam in the pond as Jamie and the sex scenes and of him with his kilt so you can almost see too much and go on and on and on with it. Fine. Their choice – all I am pointing out is that there is so much more to both Sam and the show. I don’t want some guy that has heard about Outlander going to Twitter to check it out and 95% of what he finds is SEXY SAM and drooling women. Nothing wrong with that – just needs some balance so he doesn’t run screaming away without ever giving the show a chance.