I’ve decided to veer away from anime this time, and have chosen something that has seriously touched a nerve in me and made me feel extremely angry and upset.
Bullying (whether it be at school, at work or online) is something that I am very very against, largely because this is something that has happened to me on a large-scale basis at 3 schools that I attended. However I also believe countering violence with violence is just as fruitless, as the victim would simply be playing further into their hands.
Recently I have heard the story of a fan-artist who goes by the name of Zamii070 who uses Tumblr (amongst other sites) to present her artwork, mostly consisting of characters from Steven Universe and Gravity Falls, two shows I really love. But despite the work she’s made, she has become a victim herself, with a sheer mass of fellow Tumblr users, in particular one select group of users, believing her work is simply not enough to please them.
And if it’s not enough to write hate comments in her posts (and we’re talking serious hatred), they decided to go one step further and create Tumblr pages of their own detailing why she ought to be hated:
Directing this amount of hate to a person who is already under pressure due to physical and mental illness is something in of itself. Feel free to find those pages (their usernames will be among the images in the link above): I won’t link them.
The staff behind Steven Universe are just as disgusted by this as I am (however they were targeted too, just because they sided with Zamii), and have given their two pennies over this, as have thousands of people who believe cyber-bullying is just something that has no place in this world. While school and work bullying can be easily targeted and rooted out, cyber bullying simply revels in anonymity. Self-righteousness, perfection, and even using racism and pedophilia as excuses to point fingers, poke fun and obliterate…
…so why her in particular? People have given many many many reasons, right from her age, to drawing characters incorrectly, to cosplay, even because she doesn’t update her page as much as they want her to. But we’ll never know the real reasons. People have said that what she has said about herself and the work/commissions she has done is all bullshit; well if it drives someone to do something like that, it no longer matters. Giving criticism and putting down artwork is one thing, but wishing someone to commit suicide is one of the worst thing I can imagine, and the fact that people such as them don’t care that wishing things like that crosses the line is horrible too. It’s easier to hate someone than to love them, it’s easier to put down someone than to praise them, it’s easier to hide in anonymity than to stand out and say how you really feel……I’m just relieved that she didn’t go one step further.
She is ok now, and recovering in hospital. It is unknown whether she will carry on drawing or not. My thoughts are with Zamii, her family and her friends.
Edit: I have learned that Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, is to make a statement about this very soon.
All artwork by Zamii070