Friday, June 18, 2010

An Open Message to Fans of 'Criminal Minds'

To Fans of ‘Criminal Minds’:

I am writing this blog as a way to vent some of my frustration over the current situation with the television show Criminal Minds. I am frustrated and upset, and I can guarantee at the start this blog is probably not going to be my best work. However, I am going to go ahead with it anyway.

As any fan who doesn’t live under a rock or on Mars or someplace now undoubtedly knows, an announcement has been made that the contract of AJ Cook, who plays Jennifer Jareau on the show, will not be renewed. It has also been announced that Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss will be back on the show on a limited basis and that a new female character will be introduced on the show next season.

Naturally, no one associated with the show is happy about this situation. Certainly none of the fans are happy. One person I know on the Fan Forums at said out of more than a thousand comments she had read only three were in favor of the cast moves. What has been frustrating about this whole situation is the tack some so-called fans have taken since these cast changes were announced.

While some people, myself included, tried to be the voice of reason and suggest fans should write calm, well thought out emails or letters; there were a few fans who blatantly suggested fans should flood CBS executives and random employees with spam and hate mail. I say ‘random employees’ because one of the email addresses one of these so-called ‘fans’ suggested we write to is that of an assistant to the Vice President of a department at CBS who likely had no connection to this decision and no power to affect it in any way. This same ‘fan’ also published the CBS phone number and suggested fans should call the number and leave hateful voice messages. She even provided country codes and other information so fans could call from the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe to do the same. This is ridiculous, stupid and makes the fans of one of the most intelligent shows on television look completely ridiculous. I sincerely hope that few fans took part in this campaign to encourage hate mail and spam; however I am virtually certain that some did.

One of the most bothersome aspects of this whole mess is how some fans of JJ and EP have decided to berate other characters. Some of these ‘fans’ have decided it’s appropriate to trash the other characters to save their own favorite. I have seen posts suggesting other characters were better gotten rid of than their favorite character. The ‘barrage of keep my favorite character and get rid of this other character instead’ as one fan put it, is disgusting and divisive. Most of us who know about this business in the first place learned it from fans of characters other than JJ and EP. My favorite character on Criminal Minds is Spencer Reid, played brilliantly by Matthew Gray Gubler. I learned of the contract situation from other Spencer Reid fans, and then from Rossi and Garcia fans. It is now hurtful and unfair to fans of other characters like me to be treated like this. It’s painful to hear from so-called ‘fans’ that your character is more worthy of being dropped from the show and to hear wonderful characters like Penelope Garcia, who is portrayed by a wonderful actress named Kirsten Vangness, be called names by a group of morons who call themselves fans of Criminal Minds, but yet claim they would rather see the show ‘crash and burn’ without their favorite character or think it’s appropriate to berate the other characters.

Another thing I learned about later was that some ‘fans’ were criticizing Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan on the show) for not speaking out enough in support of AJ Cook and Paget Brewster. As some fans on tried to point out, Shemar doesn’t even have Twitter and doesn’t use the social networking sites. What was he supposed to do, take a billboard out on Hollywood Boulevard? It’s not fair to critique the other actors for their responses to this situation. Each of them is handling it in their own way, and that is as it should be. It’s not fair to expect the other actors to behave in a way that some of these fans are behaving. The best way for the other actors to handle this situation is privately, behind the scenes with the CBS executives in their own negotiations and talks.

I was too distracted by other things to accomplish what I really wanted to accomplish with this blog. Therefore, I will stop here. Following are snail mail and email addresses, plus a phone number. Use them if you want to, or hope to affect change. Unfortunately I think there have been enough rogue spam and hate mail postings to all these to bury the intelligent, well thought out and well-spoken responses that might make a difference. However, it never hurts to try, does it?  Feedback Form

CBS Television Network
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Main Number: (212) 975-4321

Touchstone Television in assoc. w/ Paramount Network Television
8660 Hayden Place
Culver City, CA 90232

This is a list of email addresses for some executives at CBS. I’m not even sure if any of these people have any connection to what has happened with AJ Cook and Paget Brewster. However, this is the list where the rogue person I mentioned above found her email contacts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's Nymphadora-CullenBAU from FF.

I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you. I cannot believe that other fans would berate other characters in the show. I, too am a Spencer Reid fan, and I believe that Matthew Gray Gubler does an AWESOME job as Spence, and he's also an AMAZING director; Mosley Lane is one of my all-time favorite episodes, and I hope he continues to amaze us as Reid and as a director.

I am also a fan of Kristen Vangness, and I seriously cannot believe that people would feel that way about someone as sparkly as her. To me, Garcia is one of the strongest members of the team, and she sees things that no person should see, yet she still somehow manages to remain happy, smiling and spirited despite the images she sees on her screens and the monsters she looks up information on for the BAU. And Kristen herself is a strong, spirited human being who rises above the norm everyday; whenever I see her on an episode, I feel proud to know that she is who she is, because there is no one as sparkly as she can be!

Also, I'm just astionished that some people would say that members of the cast aren't doing anything... I think it's pretty clear that Shemar is just as surprised and as upset at the announcement concering AJ and Paget as the rest of the cast and us fans, too. You have a point; not everyone in a world has a Twitter, and it's clear that billboard space doesn't come cheap. Besides, the majority of the fans would feel even worse if it was decided that JJ and Emily could stay, but another character had to walk or something like that. Plus, they're giving Criminal Minds fans a bad rap, when there are other fans who aren't sending rude messages, but thought-out, intelligent pleas for a reprieve. Or the fans who have contacted the actors outright, sending words of comfort, hope and inspiration.

To be honest, I haven't tried contacting anyone from CBS; the reason I haven't is because I heard about people contacting the people at WB when Harry Potter was pushed back, and from what I've heard, most of the messages were similar in nature to what you said some fans have done, like hate mail, spam and other rude messages. I did sign the petition that Joe and Kristen posted links to on their Twitters, and now I'm simply hoping and praying that CBS will not go through with this.