So, without further ado and further meta-analysis, there's a blog (seemingly fairly new) called cumberbatch-hate.tumblr.com. Now, I am well aware that the Sherlock fandom is not exactly the most-liked fandom in the world (I happen to follow someone on Tumblr who really has nothing nice to say about them and it's interesting to see those posts intermixed with the Sherlock fan blogs). I also know that people don't always have nice things to say about Martin Freeman. And I know that some people don't like Benedict Cumberbatch (thought I've never heard of anything beyond superficial "why do people think he's attractive" dislike or because he's "posh"). However, this blog does something fundamentally different - they actually dislike Cumberbatch as a person.
Here's their about section:
So it's not really hate; it's extreme dislike. Even though this wasn't the first thing I saw on this blog, it sort of sums up my media reaction. This isn't like the Martin Freeman hate blog I came across a while back where they just didn't like him because they thought he was overweight and not as good-looking as Cumberbatch. This is... different. This is... thoughtful.
Here's the main post I found that they've written so far (it seems their blog is pretty new and, also, the theme doesn't work well with my internet browser so I can only see posts on their main page and tags instead of being able to go through multiple pages; just an FYI):
This is a real punch to the gut, mainly because I'm so used to seeing such positive things about Cumberbatch that coming across this is really jarring. Once I get past the jarring bit, I feel kind of angry. But now that I've read this a few times, I'd like to work through why this made me angry.
Generally, I don't like it when people talk bad about others on the internet. However, I do it myself, so this is interesting. I mean, I don't like the perpetual need to criticize people all the time in social media. Nearly half the stories I hear about celebrities these days involve allegations or disputes or something like that. But I have done my fair share of lambasting in the past, so let's just consider this reaction of mine hypocritical.
Secondly, I don't like the attitude towards the fans. Yes, I know the Sherlock fandom isn't perfect, but pinpointing less intelligent fans as the ones to get upset and raging just seems a bit backhanded. Another post talks about the fandom as a really negative source of energy which I find rather unfair - sure, Sherlockians do strange things but representing an entire fandom on just some of their actions is unfair. But, considering I have also made this mistake in the past, I'm not going to be belabor this. Have I shown undue hostility towards the Sherlock fandom in the past? Yes. Point invalidated.
Third, I am confused by the interpretation of Cumberbatch's words. Especially the whole "I've punched well above my weight" line. I guess I never took this line from an interview (which I remember reading but can't recall which one it was or find now) as referring to anything sexual, but the rest of the internet sure did. And now it's being interpreted as demeaning.
That's what all of this really rests on - interpretation. I can't speak for the bloggers but I don't personally know Mr. Cumberbatch, so everything I think about him is solely my opinion. The bloggers over at Cumberbatch-hate state the exact same thing:
I guess the reason I felt the need to write this post rather than just sloughing all this off like I would with most hate posts I find on the internet is that this is different than other hate. Sure, I don't like the rhetoric of it and the treatment of fans, but I'm finding it hard to argue against because... well, it's all based on opinion. And an argument based on that could span 'til the end of time. Really, it just comes down to the fact that opinions differ. And while generally I like difference, this is still difficult. In a perfect world, things would be like this:
After all of this, I've still reached a really uneasy end to this post. I don't like this blog and I likely won't change my opinion of Cumberbatch. But it does give me a lot to mull over and reconsider. This is why differing opinions exist, even if we don't like them. Because otherwise we'd all agree and be the same and... well, you know where this is going. Hegemony is boring. It's our differences in opinion and belief that make the world interesting - even when it does make life a lot more difficult.