Rally the Clan

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.

Screenshot - 11_18_2015 , 1_14_17 PM

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.

Tulach Àrd!


71 thoughts on “Rally the Clan

  1. traceymfs says:

    Thank you Beth, you have taken the baton and started the first leg. May I post this in a few FB sites. This is an important point and really needs to be expanded upon, intelligently and with honour and dignity.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Please do. Some people will take this as an ‘attack’ – which is not how it is meant at all! I hope we get some of those ‘still waters’ stirred up and more active to balance the voice that currently has the focus.

      • I agree with 90% of your statement. My 10%……….If we were given more viewing of Sam’s acting, then maybe the fans could comment on more than his face and body. I am way too busy to do this, but one fan timed Sam’s screen time the first half……one and a half hours out of eight !!!!!. Something seriously wrong with the lead male actor receiving so little screen time. His acting ability was given two episodes to show us. And even then, E16 was all about shock value, ground making history, and trying to win awards with it. Over and beyond what was needed to convey his acting talent. Those who have read the book, know how powerful Jamie TELLING his horrific story was. Our imagination was enough to leave us emotional wrecks for days. Could they have shown less and conveyed more? Absoultely !!!. So much of Jamie’s character was left out, and don’t even get me started on changes of his character. Yes, Cait needs recognition, but remember, Claire’s story is also about why she stayed in the past…….Jamie and Jamie alone.
        I certainly know how great looking Sam is, and have been concerned this would overshawdow his real talent. Ron seems to have a problem with Jamie’s character. Why? He has to realize that no matter how he changes his character and how little he gives Sam to portray him, Sam carries the show. If Ron had put that talent along side Cait for the majority of the time, and allowed Sam to show he is way more than sexy, then Ron would have won that Emmy he so wanted. Instead, he put all his efforts in letting the SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR win it for him. Poor choice Ron. Tobias is a great actor, but if you REALLY read the book, you would know he is not the main character……far from it.
        By making those choices, it is all on Ron’s shoulders (not Starz) who has turned Outlander into just another show with sex and violence as our entertainment. And his efforts to reach the younger male audience????? I have no idea how what he did was to accomplish that.
        Why not give them the warrior Jamie, the funny Jamie, the depth of Jamie, and the kind of man men want to be. And then they would see what it takes to make a woman like Claire tell her story And give them some valuable pointers for their own relationships.

      • rynawolfe says:

        Not really the argument I want to get into here. This particular push was / is about marketing and perception.

        Every fan is going to see the show differently. I’ve personally talked to people that had not read the books (yet – most I met were in the bookstore looking for Outlander when I ran into them) that felt the TV show had done a wonderful, powerful thing with the story. All were particularly impressed with the Wentworth episode. I know that one frustrates many ‘book people’ because they feel it was way overdone, however, for those who haven’t read the books – not even the first one let alone all the flashbacks in the other seven – this was a very necessary thing. The viewers, the ones who didn’t have all the rich background of the books needed – NEEDED – to be able to experience Wentworth and its horrors WITH Jamie. This is an event that shapes and haunts him the rest of his life. That had to get across, be seared in to the viewers just as it was with the book people.

        I don’t begin to claim I understand all the hows and whys of Ron’s decisions about this show – but it is first and foremost a television show. Sam was cast because it was felt he could bring Jamie to life on the screen and I think he has done that. NONE of the characters have the depth of the books, they can’t. Nature of the beast. What many of us hope to accomplish is to get STARZ to realize they have so much more to work with than Sam and his sexiness. Strong characters, rich history, adventure, good role models – that will draw in a bigger audience, make them more money and perhaps more willing to expand back to 16 episodes and more seasons.

  2. albertarose says:

    I agree totally

    • I thought we were talking not only how the show can draw more viewers, but why Cait is overlooked and Sam is not, because of his looks alone. How can my comment about Sam being allowed more opportunities to show his talent, not be part of this discussion? If you want to draw more viewers than women lusting over the eye candy, then why not show them something else, along with depth of that eye candy? It seems every article written about Outlander, good or bad,everyone agrees with…… until a negative reply about Ron Moore shows up. Putting him up as a genius producer/ director/ writer, will only make him keep doing the same…….the very problem this discussion is about…..how to draw more viewers. Because evidently the way it is……not doing the job. Who else is responsible for deciding how a cast member is depicted? Starz? As was stated, Starz is going to promote what the viewers want…..more Sam, or rather more of Sam’s body. And only Ron can change that perception. I am not trying to start hate remarks coming my way, but are all article writers afraid to say anything negative about Ron? Yes, he brought to life a book series we have dreamed about for years. But this should not keep him from hearing ways to improve the viewing range

      • rynawolfe says:

        Ok – interesting turn you took here. The discussion was about how Outlander is being portrayed on SM by FANS and marketing – not content. You chose to make it a session about bashing Ron. Personally, I have no experience in producing a television show and only a very little bit working on a set and acting. I’m not defending him, I don’t always like his vision, but I am not going to be so arrogant as to say that someone with Ron’s credentials is ‘wrong’ either. Ron may be the main guy and in the end it’s his word – but people need to remember there is a whole staff of writers and something like 8 other producers that all have a say and pull for how things go. Diana is in that mix and does let them know if something will truly be a problem and then there is Terry. There is plenty of material from season 1 for the fans to draw from to show Jamie as a strong character – same for Claire and many others. The majority of the fans – at least the ones really active on SM have chosen to latch on to Sam’s sexiness and promote that more than everything else combined. The discussion here was how might we be able to balance that somewhat with other positive aspects about the show.

        I have to disagree that this is all on Ron’s head. Or the writing team or STARZ. WE as fans can change the perception. It is fans choosing to put the memes out they are, not Ron. He has nothing to do with the fans choices. Right now if some guy did a search on Twitter for Outlander to check it out, what he would predominately find is a bunch of women oozing over how Sam is one of People’s 10 sexiest men (or that was true yesterday when I wrote the blog – my timeline is looking much different today).

        As far as making suggestions to Ron and the team for how you (or anyone) feels the show should go, here is my best advice:
        1. Drop all comments about Season 1. It’s over, done, aired and on DVD. Let it go.
        2. Don’t bother trying to make a case for anything having to do with S2 – it’s too late. If not already filmed it is already mapped out and locked in. Nothing you say now will change the direction they are going.
        3. If you truly want a voice, you should be working on things you want to see for S3 and getting those out there. If you want to influence the decision makers you need to be working where their heads are planning and I can almost flat guarantee you they are done with planning S2. They are looking forward to the next round and how to make it work.

  3. Karen says:

    I agree but my issue is that Starz is lazy in their promotion and that they are alienating fans that would like to see them acknowledge Caitriona and others for their accomplishments. They blew it today by failing to get their tweet correct about the image awards and failing to acknowledge it on FB. And yes many of us have been very vocal about it for a long time but it falls on deaf ears!!!!

    • rynawolfe says:

      STARZ has done amazing things promoting the show and OL gets way, way WAY more promotion than even Black Sails which is another huge hit for them. They also lean heavily on SM to promote the show. Problem with that is so MUCH of the SM out there right now is all about Sam and his sexiness. My feed probably has 3 – 1 conservatively tweets about Sexiest man vs the WIN awards. That has nothing to do with STARZ…that is ALL the fans. If the PR teams see the main focus of the fans is all about Sam and his sexiness – that is what they will focus on. It was commented on Twitter that, if we want that to change then the fandom needs to change it’s tone or at least get an equally strong voice out there to counter all the ‘sexy’ stuff and shipping.

  4. Sade Love says:

    Everything that was said above was so true. Sam is sexy as hell, but what about his acting. He is an amazing actor who has brought Jamie to life. Then, no one ever gives Caitriona any credit. She IS the show and works the hardest and she’s gorgeous. She carries this show completely and all everyone wants to talk about is Sam. Caitriona deserves ALOT more credit than she is given.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Have you seen this? WIN Awards FIVE nominations for ladies of Outlander! Yet the Sexiest Man thing has taken over my TW feed today. That’s great and all but sort of blasé at this point.

      • Julie says:

        Caitriona Balfe’s performance in the entire Garrison Commander episode was tremendous, especially sitting across the table listening to Black Jack, just her face and his voice! I get teary and goosebumps just recalling! #BravaCaitriona

      • rynawolfe says:

        So we need to make a big deal of this….Tweet memes of this, put it on FB, on Tumbler…..show all the stuff that makes this such a great story and show so that others will see it when they search social media for Outlander!

  5. Sophia Robin says:

    Caitriona deserves a vast amount of credit that she is deprived of.

    • rynawolfe says:

      That, again, is on the fans. When the Radio Times poll had them against each other, instead of pushing for Cait to win a big award for a change (and we easily could have done) they pushed her aside for Sam. He is in so many of those polls it would have been nice to promote her for a change. If we want more mention/promotion/validation of Cait and other aspects of the show – it has to start with the fans.

  6. Heather says:

    I feel a large part of the problem lies with who is viewing thw show. So many viewers are young and have never actual picked up the series and read it. If you take the time to do this as the viewer you seen past the “sexy” and look for that character you loved in the books. Is Sam sexy absolutely, but he is also so much more. Same goes for Cait. Starz needs to take the time to promote this series to the fans who were fans before the show ever came along. As a reader of the series I feel in love with the action, history, and the true love story. Promote it that way because this is a story that is more than just a sexy man falling for an intelligent woman.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I don’t know that the majority of the viewers are young and haven’t read the books – they are just the most vocal group! What I am trying to do here is wake up the part of the fandom that is less vocal to make themselves heard. Sam is well represented, but we need – as a fandom to promote Cait better and Tobias and all the other actors and people that make the show possible. We need to have the PR people understand we want more than the ‘sex’ aspect and that they would garner a bigger audience if they would back off from that a bit and promote the adventure and history and connections/relationships.

  7. 26LettersAK says:

    Another one hit out of the ball park Beth! Saw the conversation this morning with TD and want to say thanks for being point guard on this. My writing skills are … well just aren’t near as fine as yours. The thing about Outlander that to me has been important since I began reading the books in 1994, is that it is about a relationship that goes through so very much over the years and maintains its core strength somehow. The Jamie and Claire characters rely on each other to get through the challenges in their lives and celebrate fully mentally, physically and emotionally.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thank you for your kind remark…..There are others to contribute and ANYone can help by RTweeting comments and blogs and pictures that promote things other than the sexiness of Sam! Don’t get me wrong here, I like looking at Sam, but I have other guys I like to see promoted too! Roy Dupuis is my BIG one (Sam doesn’t have his maturity to add to the sexiness factor yet), Zach McGowan, Theo James, Jai Courtney and many others. If we can promote the other parts of Outlander that are vital and interesting it will only help the entire show.

      • 26LettersAK says:

        Beth I am embarrassed to say I wasn’t familiar with any of the actors you mentioned. Egads, either I don’t watch many movies/TV or keep up with what is going on out ‘there’. Yes, agree that vocalizing these thoughts via SM is a good start. I have to say that the whole ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ thing seems somewhat silly. And good grief the kilt thing AGAIN? Here is a smart, thoughtful, talented (and yes quite lovely) actor and that is it!?

      • rynawolfe says:

        Guess I’ll forgive you. LOL Roy is the first actor I really went ‘fan girl’ over and I had the opportunity to meet him. I have a page set up for him here on the blog site so you can learn more about him. Many don’t know him as he chose to base his career in his home of Montreal Quebec – but he’s very worth the investment of watching. I’ve recommended him as a way to get through Droughtlander to several people. Zach plays Charles Vane on Black Sails (also a STARZ show that doesn’t get NEAR the press Outlander does from them). Have a great pic of him and Sam at some event and he seems a very nice guy. Theo James plays FOUR in the Divergent movies. He pulls off playing an 18 – 20 year old at 34. Jai was also in Divergent as an 18 – 20 year old, but went on to star with Bruce Willis in the last Die Hard movie and was in the movie adaptation of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novel. All good actors and good looking guys worth looking into their projects. Have fun!

  8. albertarose says:

    I sent an answer/opinion and it went phoofff into cyber space.
    I love the Outlander book series, and the tv series is ok. I like the actors, all of them, good and bad.
    I would like to know more about them, how they got started in the movie business, likes/dislikes etc.
    Sam is a great actor, and he is Jamie from the get-go, but so is
    Cait as Claire, without Claire there is No story. You can’t have one without the other.
    She is a terrific actor in her own right.
    I think Tobias should get some kind of award for his acting, it must be difficult to play 2 parts, when one is so powerful as the
    The costumes are wonderful, lets hear about the research that went into getting them correct.
    And I wish people would get off the band wagon about kilts and what is under them. Any man who puts on a kilt has the same workings there that Sam does. You see one, you’ve seen’em all .
    ( says this Old nurse). But it is tiring to see that as headlines
    all the time. I am sure Sam is getting fed up with it too.
    I doubt Starz is going to listen to anyone, they have a cash cow in Sam, and they will use it to the end.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Agree to all the above. All we can do is try. Try to get a louder voice on social media to at least balance what is out there now. Start threads/discussions about the very topics you mentioned then people NEED to participate. Hashtag these periodically so people searching find pics/discussions of something besides the sexy guy. Small steps, going forward rather than sitting back.

  9. Micki says:

    I have worried about all these things since the casting of Sam. It bothered me the focus was on Sam/Jamie and not Cait/Claire who IS the main character. It is funny though that when I discuss the book or show with anybody I don’t usually mention Sam or Cait or Graham or Laura. It’s always Jamie or Claire or Dougal or Jenny. What I find myself stating the most is the wonderful way in which Diana writes and the amazing way in which Ron is bring the book to life. I wonder if others do the same thing? Maybe the anonymousness of social media brings out the “animal” in us.

    • rynawolfe says:

      The actors bring life to the characters so they are vital – but they are still people. They still have lives and deserve respect and privacy. I’m not in any way close to Sam – so I can’t tell you what he’s thinking. If it were ME in such a position…………… all the attention would be nice in some ways but I’d find myself wondering if all the adoration is JUST about my body and if for some reason that isn’t kept up to par (accident, ill health, etc.) would all the fans suddenly disappear. Maybe he doesn’t think like that…I’m not even a guy…but he is smart and I think he knows what is what. I give him credit for that. He and Diana play on things so well together and I have a feeling most of us don’t ‘get’ their jokes – not really.

  10. Denise Penrod says:

    Very well articulated. Outlander is a wonderful program with a great ensemble of cast and crew. Not one person is an island. I think the cast and crew know this. As far as changing behaviors of others, I think it is done by speaking out just as you have done. I hope the climate changes where certain individuals are given accolades based upon their talents etc. It saddens me that People Magazine did not do a better job at profiling Sam Heughan. Thank you for raising the bar regarding how we should express our regards toward professional actors and human beings.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I hope people understand I am in now way making light of Sam, who he is as a person or his contribution to the show. I admire him very much. I just think there is more to him than a sex object and more to the show than Jamie. The show is GOOD – though die hard ‘bookies’ have some issues with changes. For people that don’t KNOW the books it’s working very well and I’d had to lose potential fans due to childish tantrums or it seeming like just an orgy about Sam.

  11. agatha1980 says:

    I applaud your post which makes the next thing I’m about to say rather unfortunate. The fans are responding to what they have been given by Ron et al. Sex and the sexy highlander. Period.

    • rynawolfe says:

      As the original conversation that started this yesterday had posted – several times – CHICKEN / EGG. Which really came first? Diana’s comments early on – sure. She knows her readers and what sort of ‘wow’ they expected from whoever would play Jamie so she worked to assure people Sam could do it. Almost immediately the pictures started – there weren’t as many as there are now obviously, but enough. The female fans of the book on social media pushed on Jamie’s sexiness – this was picked up and used as marketing. Round and round. The fans have to take some of the blame here. For the first season, ok, the show is established and for the most part I think we all agree that Sam has the chops and ‘sexiness’ to portray the beloved Jamie. What I and several are hoping for is that we can start moving away from that a bit (a lot) and focus the fandom & thereby PR on other attributes of the show. It may seem an overwhelming task, but I think a lot of people doing what they can make difference. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    • Content of this comment was deleted by the owner of the site

      • rynawolfe says:

        Connie – this blog was a positive step towards doing something good in the fandom. People can participate or not in that effort. Totally up to them. You have insisted on turning it into a Ron bashing session which is not positive or productive. I asked for positive ideas for how people could better present the show on social media. If you want to stay on that topic, I’m more than happy to have your comments. Constructive discussion is always welcome here, bashing is not.

  12. CJ says:

    Amen! Excellent write up and I couldn’t agree more. He is sexualized WAY too much and his finer qualities get bypassed, not to mention all of the other merits of this fabulous production. Thank you!

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thanks! What I and others who have written similar blogs in the last 24 hours are hoping is that this will raise some awareness and start a new trend. Go out and push comments/discussions/memes/pictures on ALL social media that focus on things other than Sam & his sexiness. We need some balance here both for our sanity and for the sake of the show. We will never do away with the other and, really, would we want to completely? Sam enjoys attention and is easy on the eyes sure enough – but there is so much more to him and the show to focus on!

  13. Denise Valentine Miller says:

    Thank – You from the bottom of my heart,!
    It’s been so hard to share and explain my Outlander addiction to my husband..that I love the story..the cast..,( all of them)..Scotland.. When all he see..is soft porn as he calls it!..I would love it..if they did a spinoff on just castle life at leoch…it’s so much more than just Sam and Cait..( who doesn’t love Ned)

    • rynawolfe says:

      There is a great movement going on Twitter right now to tell STARZ who you are & why you support a strong woman like Claire in the show. It’s a great idea. Use the hashtag #IAmAnOutlanderFan Let people and more importantly STARZ know that we expect more than sex – strong female characters, good story, adventure, history – we have a voice we need to start using it.

  14. sassypants25 says:

    I will AGAIN put out my open offer to ALL….If you create a gif or meme & tag me in it, I WILL, repost & editorialize it on Twitter….You all have seen the vote memes & I can usually says something specific about the chosen moment. Examples: https://twitter.com/Sassypants25/status/664288699719352320 and https://twitter.com/Sassypants25/status/662485860487573504 ; I can’t make great memes or Gifs, but I WILL RT & Quote on anything good I’m tagged in….I would love to help out ladies! We can DO THIS!

  15. Re says:

    You have nailed the truth in everything you said. When I said it in Twitter early this year the response was vicious. WE set the tone of what networks, PR and media think we want. We are a focus group that needs to widen focus. Also, all of the stress on Cait’s beauty and how she carries off clothes- she’s trying to shift from modeling to acting, JHRC.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’m actually really curious about her take on the whole Scotland vs England thing when she is Irish. She is a very bright, intelligent lady who likely has a lot to say given the right chance to do so.

  16. katejlongo says:

    I wholeheartedly agree Beth. I have been a part of the Twitter conversation and have started using the Hashtags. Twitter is hard for me for some reason, I get lost.

    I hope it is okay with you that I posted the link to your Blog on a FB page. I am not worried about the unpleasantness that will result. I have had many of my Stop thinking Sam is your property, lover, friend, etc posts bashed and some even removed.

    I am happy to help in any way I can, just let me know.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I don’t mind at all having links to my blogs posted elsewhere – the more the merrier (as long as it stays courteous). We need to find some good, powerful hashtags and link them with the #Outlander hashtag to work at putting a broader perspective of the show out on social media. Best way to help is keep things moving – RTweet things, post links in new places, have positive conversations. As Dalton said in RoadHouse “Be Nice”. 🙂

  17. Ninian says:

    I agree.

    Have you seen this? I think there is a good point of view of sex in Outlander. Outlander & Lady Porn

    I am a “book person” since 2002 and my opinion is that Clare is a much stronger character in the books.

    I don’t like the way Starz do PR in Twitter. Usually they are the last one tweeting “news”, mostly retweeting cast members tweets. Argh.

    • rynawolfe says:

      It was a very interesting blog. I hope no one thinks I am against sex in Outlander or Sam being a hunk of a guy. Neither is true. I very much appreciate that aspect of Outlander – I am just getting tired of that being the predominant everything on SM. This blog & discussion started from people wanting to shift the social media focus to other really great things about Outlander – not take anything away.

      There are going to be many, many things different from the books. Everyone has their own vision reading the books so I doubt there will be any book person that doesn’t have some issue somewhere with the series.

      One thing to consider – Twitter really isn’t meant to be a PR platform in a major way like that. It’s a good way to disseminate information quickly. It engages people. If we want to see a shift in how things are marketed in the main marketplace, we (the fans on SM) need to show what is important to us besides Sam and his great body/smile/etc. The fans can play a big part in that and already do – just not always in the most positive way.

  18. Astrid says:

    Super blog entry! The women’s movement worked hard to eliminate the objectification of women, but now we’re doing it to men. That’s not what the women’s movement was all about. I too enjoy the series for all the things you mentioned–great plot, fabulous sets and costumes, great acting–not simply because Sam Heughan makes a very hunky Jamie.

    • Claudia says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve often felt uncomfortable reading tweets that sexually objectify Sam. If the tables were turned and men did that to Cait on SM, we would be up and arms. Hey, like many of you, I think Sam is one talented sexy man, but he is more than that, and we should respect him. Posting a compliment and making lascivious comments are two different things.

      • rynawolfe says:

        None of us can change what others will do/say/post. We can only govern our own actions. I’m hoping if more of us that feel this way starting flooding SM with positive stuff about ability and character and so on, it will balance the rest.

    • rynawolfe says:

      So let’s make sure when other stuff gets Tweeted or posted to share it and spread that out as far as possible. I have a few ideas for some memes, but my computer situation can be SO very screwy! I do what I can when I can – if everyone else does the same, people will notice!

  19. 26LettersAK says:

    Beth did you ever listen to this review by NPR TV critic Eric Duggins? It has more to do with Blount Talk, a new STARZ show that went on air in September. (http://www.npr.org/2015/08/21/433544078/starz-hopes-for-breakthrough-hit-with-patrick-stewart-comedy)
    The critic pans most of what STARZ has done and when he mentioned Outlander, he basically dismissed it as a ‘romance’. Now I have asked myself over the years what draws me back to the series for over 20 years and I know it’s Diana Gabaldon’s way with the word and how she takes the story and turns it on its head and then brings it back around and ties all of it together. The character development, the story and dialogue etc. etc. etc. Full disclosure, yes I have many dog-eared pages of certain scenes that I do read again. So there is that as well. It brought me through a rather challenging time in my life when I first read it and it continues to be a companion. I have ‘met’ some wonderful gals via SM because of the show and DG and SH and have even lost weight as a result of inspiration generated by Mr. Heughan’s Peak Challenge event. So why is it that it hasn’t quite cracked the ceiling of say a show like Game of Thrones? I, for one, have neither read those books nor watched the show. From the little I know, I do not think it is my cup of tea. But it has resonated with many more people than OL. Why is that? The writing for OL is great, the production value sublime, the talent superb. Is it that ‘romance’ label that just seems to drag along like an appendage? Is there not enough blood and gore (there is enough for me). As the discussion and chatter continue on objectifying the actors and whether or not the writing portrayed the character(s) correctly, it occurred to me that if a = B and B = c then a = c where a is a romance, b is female and c is not important. Ms. Gabaldon writes an excellent piece in the second volume of the Outlandish Companion on categorizing her books over the years as ‘Romance’ versus ‘Fiction’ versus ‘SciFi’ and have to admit that if it’s under the ‘Romance’ label I would tend to walk away. Yet the love story is mostly what brings me back for more. More speculation on time and can it be changed, more wondering if someone will figure out how the travel works, more hoping certain characters will grow up, and more wondering if others will be ok for at least a little while. Perhaps most people don’t care about these things or only want certain aspects portrayed in the show. I think that in today’s climate the fact that the show even got green-lighted is a plus. Am hopeful that it can be an example of what is important to some and might change some minds out there. Have gone on way too long and not sure if I came to any conclusion, but here you go.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Thank you so much for your insight. I know the ‘romance’ angle has always been a problem, and part of my concern with the constant stream of Sam pics/GIF’s. Plays right into that which is sad.

  20. Lily says:

    I’ve been following this topic on TW since the People mag thing came out. I never jump in, just enjoy the dynamic between TD and her followers. I’ve been a book reader since 1991, and while there was alot of sex, it didn’t drive the story for me because there were so many layers to what I was reading. I fell in love with Jamie and Claire a long time before they were cast and there was a face to go with a name. I think Sam is perfect, he embodies Jamie for me, and it’s not all about his face or kilt or the sex scenes. Cait as Claire was a harder sell for me, but she has won me over. I’ve always thought of Claire as being more matter-of-fact than sexy in all the book sex scenes, so I didn’t enjoy some parts of the wedding episode. Also didn’t need to see the Jamie/BJR episodes, and believe me it’s not because I’m easily offended! Just too much BJR, who to me didn’t need the extra screen time (sorry Frank fans).
    What we are seeing is how two actors handle instant fame. TW says it’s because Sam seeks the attention while Cait doesn’t talk to fans as much, maybe Cait just doesn’t enjoy SM as much as he does? I find it ironic/funny that the same people who are agreeing with TD on TW are the same people asking Sam for b’day wishes, virtual hugs, whatever. The show is still very new, I’m waiting to see season 2 and hopefully beyond. Claire and Jamie will be getting older fairly soon if it goes 3 seasons, let’s see how Ron handles the sex at that point. I think he’s done an amazing job for the most part. And don’t forget about all the other great characters on the show…Jenny, Ian, Geillis, and all the ones that haven’t been cast yet. Hopefully Diana has some input in the direction the show takes, I’ve read that she doesn’t, but don’t know how good the sources are for that kind of info.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I think there are a lot of factors for why Caitriona is quieter on SM than Sam is – but I won’t get into them here. Not what this is about. I’m hoping this will start a trend of postings that will show the show for more of what is has to offer BESIDES Sam 🙂 I think that is very well covered at this point. I also ask, respectfully, to always use courtesy and common sense. We are, as it has been said, fanmily – we won’t always agree but there can always be respect.

  21. Kathleen Phadden says:

    We all would like to see more time devoted to the Jamie character. Not just because we want more of Sam’s acting, but because Jamie is a central character. Without both characters the story is lost. In the second book we see Jamie playing a much larger role.
    Hopefully Ron D. Moore has kept true to the book. I think he will do the best job he can on the series and has done a great job so far within the parameters allowed by the limited length of each episode. As mentioned in an earlier post we did have 16 episodes for the first book. We can only hope that there is a 3rd season ( from our lips to God’s ear) and we will see a lot more of Jamie’s story for the post Culloden years until Claire’s return.
    I can certainly agree with Ron’s comment that it will take 2 seasons to cover book 3 which has an enormous amount of action
    . I hope that everyone will come to realize that TV (and Starz is certainly TV) advertising generally does not portray series in anything less that a sensationalized way. Networks are trying to hook our interest and lets face the facts sex sells. Comparing Outlander to Starz other “historical” series Ron, the actors, writers and crew have done a brilliant job not sensationalizing those parts of the book. Yes, the torture episode was graphic but also heartrending because millions of readers have taken theses characters to heart.
    As for postings about things other than Sam’s good looks, and unless you are dead you couldn’t miss them. There have been lots of comments about the costumes, the use of Scotland itself and the other actors. We have groups such as the Hueghligans, the Caitriots, Murtaugh’s Maidens, Outlander Obsession etc. devoted to the various characters. Lets allow for a free flow of comments without arguments about which character is more important or which character is being ignored and celebrate that there was a production company willing to take on this huge project.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Well said Kathleen. The only thing is the ‘groups’ tend to be FB oriented and not everyone likes or participates in FB. It’s not my favorite platform though I’m functional there. I’ve also run into some frustrations with various groups – but that is likely more on me than them.

      This started because several people were voicing a frustration about the predominance on SM being SAM…and stressing that the only people responsible for the tone on SM is the fans themselves, if they want to see something different they have to make it happen. The PTB are in NO WAY dictate social media – that is all on individuals participating. Since I want to see something other than Sam (though please don’t misunderstand, Sam is a great thing to promote as a guy, actor, human being) I am working to do just that in my own little way in my own little corner. If people want to join in with that – COOL! If not, that’s fine – we just need to keep the responsibility for all this in the proper place.

  22. CJ says:

    Tell it! I’ve been thinking this since following OL on social media. Sure, some posts get my ovaries in a tangle, but mostly I’m embarrassed. For Sam, for fans, for the show. I’m a feminist- no apologies. Seeing anyone objectified at this level leaves me sad. And OL is the best show on tv right now. It has everything! Let’s celebrate it all.

    • rynawolfe says:

      And really all I’m trying to say. I’m no prude, but to scroll down say 20 tweets (straight not opening them where they often have MORE pics/memes etc) and have 17 of those be of Sam gets a bit old. I don’t follow THAT many people on Twitter. I barely keep up with what I follow now OL wise and I also have other shows I like (Black Sails) other fandoms (Roy Dupuis/LFN), author/writer stuff, motivational/inspirational quotes and to a small extent, politics. I am just encouraging people to balance all the Sam postings with other content be they characters, content, actors or whatever from the show. Even a 50/50 spit – Sam 50 and everything else 50 would be nice.

      • You use the word balance referring only to the fans part in this perception. There needs to be a balance in the show …….referring to how a character is cast. Jamie’s character needs more of the depth that is written in the book. His appearances were so anticipated by the viewers….it was Sam’s face and body they focused on. Add to this the little screen time….meaning less time for Jamie’s deep, thought provoking lines. If the fans were given more of this, then a balance on the many fan sites might very well change. As it is now, Fans respond to what they are given…….”dessert” without the “meat”

  23. Susan Watson says:

    Ryna, I do not tweet, but I do respond to topics that “tweak” my interest in the Outlander books and the Starz show. I can understand why young women, particularly those who haven’t read the books, objectify Sam; he is a handsome man portraying an extremely unique male character. I also understand why older women who are non-readers may become infatuated with the actor because he portrays a romantic ideal. Don’t we seek what may be lacking in our lives. . .romance. . .poetic words of love. . .physical protection. . .emotional security. . .loving partners. . .adventure. . .commitment. Now book readers, particularly older readers, who have devoted the past twenty years to following Jamie and Claire, probably are so enthused about finding an embodiment of Jamie on screen that they can’t help but put their excitement into words. That does not mean that they are not equally interested in Claire or other characters or the actors who portray them.

    I am one of the older readers who subscribed to Starz just so I could watch the show. I also have a news feed about Outlander. Every day I find at least one or two articles about the series, usually about Sam and Caitriona, Ron Moore, or some of the other actors, their awards and achievements. Many of the articles are poorly written or erroneous in content. . .that may be because Starz is not properly feeding accurate material to the press. I do not understand why that should be. . .while the fans may broaden their focus in their tweets, the fact remains that unless or until Starz does more to promote the show,with accurate PR, fans will focus on what they enjoy. . .and Sam is that focus. He is actively engaged in his personal projects and he attends fan-oriented events (Italy and Germany). Caitriona seems to be more private, and I have read that fans “shipping” and stalking her have taken a toll on her enthusiasm for public events. I have received many photos of Caitriona in her modeling days on the newsfeed, as well as pictures and articles about Lotte, Graham, Grant, Tobias, Gary and Bill. Now most of the articles are so general in content and repetitive that they are pretty worthless, but that’s all that is available. I agree that Sam is much more than a sexy man, but until Starz promotes the show better, the fans may very well continue to remark on his appealing physical attributes and his equally appealing personal charm. The nomination of the ladies for the Women’s Image Award is an outstanding honor which certainly should bring Caitriona, the writers and directors to the forefront and hopefully get Caitriona a bit more engaged with the public. If so, I think the tenor of the tweets and other commentary will change.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I can’t/won’t fault Caitriona for pulling back from social media. Some of the things that have gone on are abhorrent, rude, intrusive and would scare the crap out of me. The fans have to take responsibility for that – the ones that did stuff way out of bounds AND the ones that haven’t stood up to them saying so.

      I have stated, several times, that my predominant SM feed is Twitter…..so figure that is mostly what I refer to. I have seen some things from Tumbler and Instagram and truthfully – I want nothing to do with either platform. The vast majority of what I have seen has been hateful, hurtful, disrespectful and often just plain mean.

      STARZ has done a tremendous amount of PR for Outlander. I don’t watch TV – I live on a boat and have very limited access to even the internet. However, my two favorite shows that I jump through major hoops to be able to see are Outlander and Black Sails. Both of these are the big hit shows for STARZ. I don’t find even close to the information being put out for Black Sails as I do for Outlander. Also, OL was given 16 episodes for it’s first season – something unheard of in series television right now. STARZ is doing a good job and taking it’s cues from the fans.

      This whole discussion was about Social Media NOT major PR. If you look and really comprehend what I was writing about, I was discussing MY perception on SM (mainly Twitter) and that I would like to see other aspects of the show highlighted to BALANCE all the Sam/Jamie posts. Not do away with them – good god – I’m a breathing female of course I like to see Sam (and many other talented, sexy guys) but I very much want to see more ‘love’ for the other fine actors and aspects of the show.

      How is what I’m pointing out bad or wrong? Am I dissing Sam in any way? Am I saying sex is not part of the draw for Outlander and that we should never speak of it?! God no! I’m just wanting my Twitter feed where Outlander is concerned to go from 95% Sam with 5% everything else to something closer to 50% Sam and 50% everything else. What is wrong with that?

      • Susan Watson says:

        I did comprehend what you are talking about. I thought I explained what I believed to be the reason that fans tweet about Sam more than the other actors. . .I guess since I don’t tweet and will not effect the outcome you hope for, I should not offer an opinion. My apologies. . .I did not intend to make you angry.

      • rynawolfe says:

        Susan…………………..ah…………..ok………………. wasn’t even close to angry. I was trying to answer the major points you brought up. I’m sure all have noticed once I get going I go long (writing) so I do TRY to keep things brief. I get why people tweet about Sam – I do it. I’ve produced many memes for voting and just to celebrate who he is.

        I don’t seem to be doing a very good job making my own point. A great many people use social media as a way to check things out – get a ‘real peoples’ perspective on TV/Movies/Music & performers especially. What I was trying to point out is that all these people turning to social media to check out Outlander (again – I’m talking Twitter mainly as I don’t follow other platforms) is 90% how sexy Sam is. That has nothing to do with the show. They may be using pictures from the show, but mostly showing him naked or in some steamy situation or whatever. This is the sort of thing that perpetuates the ‘bodice ripper romance’ and turns a LOT of potential fans off. We could use a good influx of male viewers but seeing all that just makes them think why bother. Most guys that have watched the show get hooked, but we have to get them there first. ALL I was pointing out was there needs to be some BALANCE on social media.

        I welcome all opinions here as long as they are done with respect and not just bashing. I won’t always agree and discussion ensues. One of my favorite things. I’m very glad you took the time to post and explain your perspective.

      • Mable says:

        95% ?? Maybe you just follow the wrong people on twitter. Take a look on YouTube and do a search for Outlander. The majority of the videos are interviews with Sam and Cait that reflects the PR efforts of Starz. Some interviews are Sam alone but there is also some solo Cait interviews and Tobias too. This indicates to me that Starz PR intentions are to highlight them together and individually. If female fans are tweeting about Sam its because he is an amazing force of nature that has compelled us not because we don’t or can’t love and appreciate Cait and the other actors. Give Sam fans a little bit of credit.

  24. Mable says:

    With all do respect, I think you are insulting the intelligence of Sam’s fans. If you think that all we appreciate about him is his sexiness then you are missing the point altogether. First, a true Outlander fan appreciates all aspects of the show (costumes, music, writing, etc, etc). I see Sam fans on twitter all the time talking about these things. Second, most true fans are fans of ALL the actors. We can drool over Sam AND love Cait and Tobias, Graham, Duncan etc, etc. We can also drool over Sam’s knee porn AND praise and recognize his amazing acting, his philanthropy, humor and compassion. We can fight for him and Cait and Tobias to be nominated for acting awards AND drool over Sam. Here’s the reality. Most Outlander fans are female. At its core Outlander is a story about a woman who chooses not to go back to her husband and stay with a man she was, at first, sexually attracted to. WE are Claire. We love Claire (and hence Cait) and want to be her and we have fallen in love with Jamie (and hence Sam). We’ve done exactly what Starz, Sony, Diana Gabaldon and yes, Ron Moore wanted/expected us to do. The books and show were designed for us to fall in love with Jamie and now that we have we are getting flack for it. When Sam was chosen to play a sexy, smart, brave highlander, the powers that be knew just what they were doing because he fit the bill as Jamie and the PR machine went into over-drive. Sex sells but that’s why I love the show. The sex that it sells is an intelligent, well written, amazingly acted and produced show that doesn’t throw it in our faces. And, it is a romance after all is said and done, let’s be honest. I’ve never heard of the WIN Awards before now and congrats to the great ladies of Outlander on their noms but if you think that’s going to get more attention by the fans than Sam’s Sexiest Man or even Cait’s Girl On Top win or People’s Most Beautiful mentions, you’re in a dream world. Starz and Sony know who their audience is and will continue to play into it and ovaries will continue to explode. So if its Sam that draws people to subscribe to Starz and gets them talking on SM, so be it. At least they are talking, tweeting, Instagraming (??), Tumblr-ing about Outlander and are keeping the buzz going about this great show.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I’m sorry you can’t see the extreme imbalance on Twitter. As I’ve said in other comments – I don’t follow that many and my feed is easily 3/4 about Sam & his sexiness. I agree he is a well put together man, not just physically but mentally and as a decent human being. I – and others – are merely pointing out there is an imbalance on SM. We would like to change that. This is NOT on Ron or Diana and certainly not on STARZ – none of them are tweeting GIF’s of Sam naked several times a day.

      You hadn’t heard of the WIN awards…………doesn’t that emphasize my point? Aren’t such awards far more important and vital to the show overall than Sam being granted the #5 spot of People Magazine’s Top 10 sexiest men?!

      Outlander, at it’s heart is NOT a ‘romance’…..not the way people tend to think. It is an epic adventure that includes history and politics and, yes, a timeless and deep love story. I and the people that embrace this idea don’t diss Sam or the ‘romance/sex’ of the story – we just want some balance on social media that highlights the other people and aspects just as vital to the books/series as the ‘sex’. The ‘sex’ may sell – but the rich tapestry of the whole – the politics, history, personal interaction that are rich and deep keep a larger audience more captivated. If you can’t grasp that I feel you are the one in a dream world.

      • Mable says:

        Do you truly believe that a Sam fan cannot grasp or appreciate Outlander as a whole? That all we do is post pics and gifs of Sam all day long? Of course we see the adventure, historic and political side of the show. But it is people such as yourself that seem to shy away for the romance of the story. This is an epic love story that ranks up there with some of the best. Why not embrace it for what it is?

        Perhaps, before you berate fans on how one-sided and narrowly focused they are, you should expand your followers to get a better point of view. You admit to not following that many people so how can you get an accurate idea of what’s going on from a small sample size. I am on twitter quite often and follow many fans and yes there are many Sam fans who tweet his physical attributes but there is also so much more from those fans. Don’t pigeon-hole a group of people by reducing them to giggling fangirls, they are lovers of the show and books just like you.

        I believe that while the WIN awards are important, I don’t believe its any more important than other award and nomination. Every award is important for different reasons. For instance, I agree with Sam when he says that the fan awards are very important and close to him because they are achieved by us, the fans, for the show.

        Lastly, if you believe that the politics and historical aspects of the show are what draws people to the show and keeps them watching the you are sadly mistaken. The story is an amazing story that has captivated millions but the romance is what people want to see, its just human nature.

      • rynawolfe says:

        If you want to see my encouraging getting a broader focus on SM and Twitter specifically as ‘bashing’ and ‘berating’ – there is nothing else I can try to say. Besides the initial post I have answered many comments in depth. If this is all you are getting out of what I’m saying then, that is what you will get. I never bashed Sam…. I did say we need to make more of an effort to extol his other virtues. If all I have accomplished is to get people thinking and discussing this issue – how OTHER people NOT fans – get a perception of the show on social media, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

      • Delete my post as before, but I hope you at least read it first. We have to have the rich tapestry and deep interaction, to draw the attention away from only the sex and beauty of Sam. Diana has said Jamie is her most complex character……if the fanatical fans saw more of this, maybe their tweets would change

      • rynawolfe says:

        I did read it – and I explained why it was deleted. I have no problems with having deep interaction, but you turned it into a private bash on Ron. Not even close to what the post was about and that I won’t put up with. Without Ron we don’t have Outlander – so suck it up a little. You may not like all he does with the show, but many, many, many DO. If you want to rip Ron and the production staff apart – find another venue.

        There is a great deal of material in the show about Jamie as a complex, driven, deep character – if that is what people choose to focus on. His protectiveness of Claire right from the start. Stepping in for a young girl so she wouldn’t be shamed so much in front of the whole clan (even if that did prove to be a problem it was a noble gesture) His canniness in acting as balance between Colum and Dougal. His strength insisting his marriage be done ‘properly’ for propriety AND for Claire. His daring and fierceness protecting Claire from Black Jack. His deep pain about Jenny and the finding of that special relationship again….and I’m only half way through the season and skipping stuff. So it’s there…..it may not be quite as deep as the book but it can’t possibly BE that in depth due to time constraints… and yes…. Ron & team could do some things differently. HOWEVER – Ron’s job is to make a successful television show – and that is what he is doing.

        If you want to discuss the ‘rich tapestry’ of the show and what we as fans can do to promote it positively on SM (which is what this post WAS about) then by all means, contribute.

  25. I was not bashing anyone with that last comment. I am truly trying to tell you what the fans you want to change are seeing……sexy Sam and sexy Sam’s body….and sexy Sam….and…. They are only seeing small portions of the complexity of Jamie’s character. The list you made of some of his depth were great……but why so brief ? You cannot give his character justice in the amount of time given to him. As for your list, his homecoming did nothing to show the Jamie Diana created. Claire fell in love with a mature young man beyond his years. At Lollybrach (sp ?) she had to remind herself how young he was, because of his natural leadership as laird. Not as he was portrayed in the show….a spoiled brat she had to chastise as if she was his mother. More time on his character is the only way to show fans this is far more than a romance, with a sexy highlander.

    • rynawolfe says:

      You were bashing in the comment I deleted – and the two before that. If you choose to focus on the shortcomings that is all you will see. If you can’t accept that this is NOT the books but a television series and has restrictions because of that, perhaps you should do yourself a favor and stop watching. I am choosing (and many others are as well) to see the good stuff that has been done and enjoy/embrace the different perspective that the show is giving the fans compared to the book.

      I was ‘brief’ because I have gotten so long winded in all my replies I was trying to give people a break. The show is working just fine for the ‘non-book’ people, can’t you be happy with that at least? That a whole new group of fans are being created and turning to the books to get a ‘bigger picture’? Again….. I asked for some positive ideas for how the fandom could promote the show (that would include the character of Jamie) on SM other than Sam being sexy. Do you actually have ideas for that?

  26. Culloden Mermaid says:

    SAMs appeal is recognized because he is a fine actor in a remarkable story. You mentioned it more than anyone in your article! The avalanche of responses like this is more of a comment on our current society than on the other excellent qualities of the show. Women need romance, they need men and they need gallant loving ones. Our society has all but destroyed this notion. So, women are finding what they need on tv. And they will respond from an emotional/physical standpoint.

    • rynawolfe says:

      I suppose that is one way to look at it. Hard to point out an issue without discussing it. I understand WHY people are fixated on Sam, I’m just saying if we truly want to support the show, gain more viewers to keep the show going (for Sony/STARZ that is the deal….more viewers = more $ so the show gets the next season) we might want to BALANCE what we as fans are promoting. Often it isn’t even Jamie that is being promoted but Sam. I’m just saying some perspective and balance is needed here.

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