The issue with the ‘IT’ fandom and boundaries.
I finally saw ‘IT’ and whilst Twitter had spoilt the majority of jokes and memorable moments from the film, I still found ‘IT’ fairly enjoyable. Once I walked out of the cinema I had regained my fear of clowns. I was also in awe of the acting abilities and comedic timing the cast had, especially the child actors. For me I don’t usually find child actors that enjoyable to watch but these kids were genuinely funny and talented.
When ‘IT’ came out, I had noticed that the film had gained somewhat of a fandom which centered around Bill Skarsgård who played ‘Pennywise’. Even though I had found it strange that people were attracted to a clown that abducted children I knew the internet was a place where almost anything can become the center of attention for a fandom. However, in the recent week I’ve been noticing that the fandom has not only expanded to ‘stanning’ the child actors but shipping them and treating them like adults.
I personally am not one for shipping characters below the legal age in my country for various reasons. I’m almost 19 and these actors are children. However, if people under the legal age feel as if these characters must be together I understand it. I was part of a fandom when I was 15–16 and I shipped two members of a band but I realized that it was wrong because in this context I was shipping real people. These two members were just friends and as a fandom we were forcing our wants and desires on them perpetuating that they were more than friends.
However, doing things like this isn’t okay. You are shipping minors and even if you are under the age of consent, it is creepy. Please put yourself in their shoes, you’re 13 and total strangers are shipping you romantically and sometimes sexually with your friends. That is uncomfortable for anyone let alone actual children. Nearing my 20s I’m aware of how people in fandoms who are young tend to be immature but I don’t think they’re that immature to realize this is crossing a line.
Jack Grazer who played ‘Eddie’ in ‘IT’ commented under a video talking about how he lowkey likes boys and it angered some stans. How dare he say he’s okay with a fictional ship but when we comment on his actual sexuality and relationships we’re crossing a line?? Yes, you’re crossing a line. His personal life should be none of your concern and none of your business. You’ve chosen to stan minors but they have not chosen to have their lives exposed to the public.
Pre-teens and young teens are immature. You cannot be shocked that minors will not treat this the same as an adult actor would. There’s years of acting experience and an obvious age difference between let’s say Chris Evans and Jack Grazer. The reactions to being shipped with your actual friend wouldn’t be the same. If you expect the maturity of someone in their 20s and 30s then go stan someone in their 20s and 30s. It’s that simple.
You cannot be seriously be blaming Jack’s girlfriend for his comment because you can’t understand that teenagers aren’t comfortable with people dictating and discussing their sexuality and relationships for them. It’s almost like the fandom exhibits cognitive dissonance and cannot resonate with the idea that you can enjoy minors performances in a good film without being a creep?
I understand if you’re part of this fandom and you don’t do this that you’ll say I’m reaching. Well according to the few of many screenshots I have you’re wrong. Instead of being offended that I and many other adults are calling this out maybe call it out as well. Say people who do this aren’t part of your fandom, understand that this is creepy, overbearing and even predatory if some of these stans are over 18.
Author: Han Angus
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.