To all the fans of the Netflix original, animated series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, please listen carefully to the following announcement: Remember the message of this show and understand you have a right to be angry but you need to direct your anger appropriately. Lashing out in rage is not what this series has been about. If the staff is going to learn from there mistakes, so should you. For those who are unaware, let’s start with a little background.
Spoilers For VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER Season 7
Criticism For Season 7
Many complaints have come after the release of season 7. Hashtags such as #VoltronLegendaryDisappointment and #VoltronLegendaryQueerbaiting started to appear. It is the second which is the most disconcerting and needs to be addressed.
Queer Baiting is defined as “the practice to hint at, but then to not actually depict, a same-sex romantic relationship between characters in a work of fiction, mainly in film or television.”
After the announcement at SDCC fans were eager to see the relationship Shiro had with a character known as Adam before Shiro went into space. Unfortunately, the fans were let down. There was only a brief scene between Adam and Shiro together, and their relationship could have been view as good friends more than dating. The situation was made worse when Adam is shown to be one of the casualties in the fight against the Galra. The fans claim this act points to use of the trope, “Bury Your Gays” as a way of getting rid of the relationship without having to further address it.
It didn’t help one of the official Netflix tweeters seems to be “baiting” the fans as well.
Voltron marketing to young, LGBTQ+ #Klance fans by @DWAnimation, @Voltron, @ArtOfLaurenM and @JDS_247 was unethical, and here’s why. (Please retweet to raise awareness).
1. Netflix consistently tweeting and interacting with Klance fans to raise hope and hype for their seasons pic.twitter.com/gTsFs7Nhok
— Look Alive, Team 🌙 (@kaorusan241) August 10, 2018
The fans have become angry at the use of these tropes and expected more from the creators of the series. This is the source of their outrage. The following video helps to explain the situation a bit more and inspired the creation of this article.
The Creators React
The creators behind the series were not blind to the anger of the fans. Joaquim Dos Santos executive producer of the show addressed many of the claims levied by the fans. In a letter, he expresses how the show never intended to bait anyone, mentioned Adam’s sacrifice, and expresses sympathy towards the fans being angry.
— Joaquim Dos Santos (@JDS_247) August 14, 2018
This helps to showcase the creators are not blind to the plight of the fans. Unfortunately, fans are often unaware of the damage they do.
You may be wondering, “It’s just a couple of angry fans. Why are you trying to plead with them?” The need to address this recent backlash is in regards to the fans and how they decided to act on their anger. Their passion has resulted in some less than shining moments.
One fan went as far as blackmailing the studio. The individual posted confidential pictures of storyboards and character designs taken from a tour of the production company Studio Mir. The demands: To make Klance (the shipping name for Keith and Lance) canon in the show. Just a thought but blackmailing the production company probably won’t get you anything but a lawsuit.
The argument about Klance has even found a way to appear after a simple scene in Season 7 where Allura tells Lance “Be safe” and the two characters are blushing. It should be noted, just because two characters seem like they may get together doesn’t mean they will. They may try, much like Mako and Korra did in Avatar: Legend of Korra (another series by the showrunners) but they may find they are just not compatible individuals. There is no need to threaten the cast when it feels like your ship isn’t going to work. Before you ask, yes, real-world threats were sent to people associated with the show.
The stars of the show have felt the venom which is coming from the fandom in real life. The following is a tweet from Bex Taylor-Klaus, the voice of Pidge, showcasing the intensity which they have felt from the community.
Dear #Voltron fans,
Please. Just be kind. Regardless of what happens in the show, just be kind. To each other. To creators. To performers. I’m tired of threats. I’m tired of having to consider cancelling con appearances due to safety concerns. I’m just … tired.
— Bex Taylor-Klaus (@IBexWeBex) August 11, 2018
This does not look well for anyone in the community. Actors shouldn’t live in fear of fans coming after them because they don’t enjoy how a show plays out.
The insanity of this needs to be pointed out. This entire article is intended to implore civility from fans of an animated series which promotes messages of teamwork, friendship, and overcoming adversity. You shouldn’t harass the writers and staff because a show you enjoy doesn’t have characters you enjoy end up together. Spreading hatred and making others live in fear is the method of the Galra and not of those of the Voltron Coalition.
This article is not a defense of “Queer Baiting.” Far from it. It is instead a plea to the fans to keep his or her anger in check and not lash out destructively. This is not the final battle (season), and the show has much more to offer everyone. Shiro is still gay, a driving force for the team, and one of the most awesome characters to come out of science fiction in years. This is canon. There is another season to go and comic adventures to be had which could help to explore the relationship Adam and Shiro had, much like how the comics helped to expand on Korra and Asami’s relationship.
Adam may be dead, but his legacy could affect Shiro and the audience moving forward and throughout time. After all, his sacrifice made a lasting impact on many viewers. Which seems to be exactly what the creators were hoping for in the long run.
To reiterate to all fans of Voltron: Legendary Defender: You a have a right to be angry but know the rage should not be used to lash out against others. The team has always tried their best to represent the joys of diversity in sexuality, gender, and multiculturalism, which exists in life. Mistakes were made with the unintentional “baiting,” and the creators apologized. The Netflix twitter account should probably do the same, but threats will not help them to realize their mistake any quicker. Those who are actually behind creating the show are going to try to learn from the errors and move forward. Will you?
What do you think about the claims levied against Voltron: Legendary Defender? Leave a comment below and let us know.