I found this article online, and it makes me sad to think how words can hurt someone so bad....
When you write about television for a living, you sometimes forget just how intensely some shows and characters connect with viewers. After watching so much television, you tend to get caught up in the mechanics of it all. How were the ratings? What's the latest casting info? It sadly devolves into inside baseball and you start to forget what it was like to obsess about a show because something in it captivated a part of your soul.
There have been shippers since before the internet was a gleam in the eye of Al Gore. I have no doubt that in the Sixties people were arguing about whether Mary Ann or Ginger should end up with Gilligan.
But the Internet magnifies everything and it certainly has done that when it comes to fans who care about their favorite television couple. These "shippers" write about their favorites, argue with rivals and can spend hours every day obsessing over every aspect of that relationship they find so compelling.
There's nothing wrong with that. I suspect most writers are flattered that they can create characters and relationships that resonate so strongly with viewers. That passion is a testament to their talent and the talents of everyone on the show.
But that passion can have a dark side. It's easy to let that passion brush away common sense and courtesy. People can say horrible things online and when they're hating you because of something you care about to deeply...well, things can go to far.
CW's "The Vampire Diaries" boasts one of the strongest shipper fanbases in television. The triangle between Damon, Stefan and Elena has sparked ten of thousands of posts and tumblrs and every other possible method of talking about these relationships.
McKenzie was a young woman who posted under the handle "damons-petrova." She had a tumblr celebrating her belief in the "Stelena" romance but it was recently deleted and she disappeared from her usual online haunts.
On Wednesday, her sister posted this note on Tumblr:
My sister, McKenzie Raye has killed herself. I’ve been tons of messages regarding why her “TVD” blog was down and i’m sad to say that this is why.
She followed it up with this longer explanation, describing some of what led to her sister's death:
Kenzie or formally known as “Damons-Petrova”
Kenzie had over 50 messages some NOT anonymous telling her to kill herself, she’s ugly, her blog is awful, and that she was a whore.
I remember the day she made that Tumblr, she was PROUD! Kenzie loved The Vampire Diaries so much. I always could her her screaming at the TV when the show didn’t go her way and it always made me laugh because I always thought it was pathetic.
One day she was bawling her eyes out because she kept getting so much hate and I told her to turn anon off, and she did. Things got better.
The other day Kenzie announced that she was shutting down that blog because she ‘couldn’t take it anymore’. However, she received messages (some practically begging) for her to stay. She just logged off…and I had no idea that would the last time she would log on.
I just want to say that Kenzie loved both “Stelena” and “Delena”. Not once had she bashed anyone for anything. She accepted you for who you were and she was just the friendliest person you could know. She was excited for season 4 you guys, now she won’t be able to watch it.
I've reached out to the family in hopes of getting some more information and verifying the story. But the posts sent shockwaves across the fanbase of "The Vampire Diaries."
Series executive producer Julie Plec addressed the situation late Wednesday on her twitter feed:
First, the petty s***: If your profile contains a line of dialogue from your ship that I WROTE, you should think before you send me hate.
Second: if you are cruel or abusive or rude to me or anyone else in the TVD Family and I witness it, you're blocked.
Third: Thank the rest of you for the love and support you put into the TVDFamily-verse every day. You may think we don't see it, but we do.
I'll update this when I have more information but I wanted to pass this along because it's easy to forget how powerful words can be, especially when used as a weapon. Be passionate about those things you care about. But temper that passion with humanity and restraint.