I have been watching this latest shitstorm that has hit the fandom. Unforch, I've seen all the same old shit that I thought we'd managed to leave behind. I've been holding off, before inadvertently contributing to the whole mess. By now, I don't believe writing about this can possibly do any more damage. It's already been done, thanks to all too many hot heads that engage keyboards before thinking.
This latest drama storm began when Chew Fox and her mate, Tom Cat, accepted an invite to appear on the Tyra Banks afternoon talk show. Here is a copy of the invitation which was mass mailed to Furry accounts on MySpace and Facebook:
Subject: The Tyra Show
My name is Brooke and I am an Associate Producer for "The Tyra Show." We are in the research stages of an upcoming show and I'm looking to speak with furries in relationships. If this applies to you or anyone you know please give me a call at xxxx or email me the best contact information for you: brooke.townsend@yyyy. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you.
Here is the end result:
In the aftermath of this showing, we had all too many Furries sending hate mail to the couple. Chew Fox was banned from Fur Affinity with a particularly nasty comment, then unbanned, and the resulting dramastorm caused Fur Affinity to crash, due to excessive traffic. If you really must know, then Google for it.
This kind of shit is simply uncalled for, and is unacceptable. They were trying to do something nice for the fandom. They made a mistake. Period. End of discussion. It could have happened to anyone. It also is not that big of a deal.
There is a lesson in there, if you care to learn it. Our fandom has gotten some really decent press these past three or four years. In the vid, they mention being Furries for six years. That would be 2003. They already missed the vast majority of the bullshit press when they discovered Furry. If they mean that they got involved after seeing THE infamous CSI episode, then they missed all of it.
There are enough new members now, and enough time has passed, for all too many fandom affiliates to have forgotten how the media once fucked Furdom over every chance they got. Also, enough time has likewise passed so that there is a whole crop of new viewers who may very well have never even heard of Furries. The nature of the reporting may have changed, but the nature of the press has not. It is still about getting that sensational story, and Furries may very well be seen as a source of WTF for a whole new audience, most of whom have never before been exposed to us. I sometimes mention Furdom on mundane forums, and get asked by more people than you'd think "What is a Furry?" If I know it, and you know it, you can be sure that these media people know it as well.
This means that you can not let your guard down when approached. This article: Media Relations for the Furry is as apropos today as it was back when I wrote it. Perhaps even more-so these days.
To reiterate, if you are thinking of doing a media appearance, make damned sure you know with whom you are dealing. As for Tyra Banks, Tom Cat and Chew Fox should have looked up older episodes. I highly doubt that Tyra Banks' attitude displayed here was any different on any previous show. The snarky voice and the attitude that makes you want to slap that smirk right off her face is not unique here. That, right there, should have been a major warning sign that this was something to avoid. Obviously, they did not do that, and wound up in a most uncomfortable situation.
When you decide to appear on television or in print, be very careful about what you are doing. You are putting your face, name, and reputation on the line. You are also putting Furdom's reputation on the line as well. Regardless of what your intentions are, always be ready for nasty surprises.