For two days, we surveyed the fan presence for the narrative podcast Welcome to Night Vale here on tumblr. Commonplace Books’ horror/mystery series follows the broadcasts of Cecil Palmer, a radio host in the town of Night Vale. Cecil’s dynamic with his boyfriend Carlos is a frequent feature on the show and has been a point of contention with homophobic bloggers on the site before, but now it seems WTNV’s diverse cast and progressive stance has attracted a new kind of scumbag attitude.
So, is the WTNV fandom community racist?
We asked the tags if they thought the community that formed around Night Vale had turned unwelcoming towards people of color and interpretations of figures on the show as characters of color — and, specifically, if they’d seen accepted white supremacist and overtly racist attitudes in what should be safe fan spaces. For a show as progressive and accepting as Night Vale is, the results were upsetting.
"We talk a lot about media not living up to the expectations of its audience — but in the case of WTNV, can the fans of a show fail to live up the expectations of its creators?”
^This is serious. This is the image the fandom shows to the community at large; the writing has always been on the wall, and now it’s even more clear. Is this really the image we want to put forth? Actions need to be taken.