Q: When will Richard Armitage’s fandom reject his victimhood narrative? A: When Richard Armitage stops feeding it to us

It’s a bit hard to remember now, but regularly for the first five years I was a fan, there’d be fandom-wide flames. (There weren’t quite so many platforms then, so it was hard to go out of the way of them; it’s much easier not to notice them now, and the “mute” or “block” options on many of the newer platforms also facilitate not seeing things that make one uncomfortable.) There were different types of flames, but the initial impulse of many of them went more or less like this:

Fan A: Richard Armitage ____________________” [insert somewhat less than laudatory statement, like “looked tired at that event” — I remember a truly heated fight about that in 2013]

Fan B: “How can you say that?” [Vigorous defense of Armitage, often via an attack on the first fan]

or

Fan A: “Richard Armitage said _______________” [in Fan A’s view problematic thing]

Fan B: You’re obviously an idiot because you don’t understand what he really meant.

[For instance: I remember a bitter flame on tumblr about Armitage’s feelings about his beard in the summer of 2014, I think]

Now, I’m not talking about vigorous discussions here, or informed conversations (“he meant x” vs “he meant y”) or discussions that included close reading of actual statements and quotations of remarks attributed to him — I’m talking all-out fights, with threats and flouncing. Almost everyone got caught up in it from time to time. I certainly did. A long-time fan even coined a term for the tendency to attack other fans (not disagree with them — attack them) who didn’t share the same rosy view of Richard Armitage: APM or “Armitage Protection Mode.

I wrote at great length about these “fandom identity battles,” noting that it was not typically possible for the fan to criticize or disagree with Armitage (and at that time, he didn’t have public social media, either), because he had the status of the crush. If something were wrong with the picture, it couldn’t be the person who generated the picture who had the problem, and it certainly couldn’t be one’s own picture that was the problem — the anger got displaced onto other fans who disrupted the picture instead. Hence the many flames. Observing all this (like Jas Rangoon linked below — make sure you check out that link if you haven’t read that piece), I was essentially of the viewpoint that these fights were generated by difficulties we were experiencing in accommodating new statements Armitage made to our picture of him.

Eventually, however, APM grew to cover a broader territory than just intrafandom disagreements. It also incorporated a clear strand that involved the strong insistence on the part of some fans that Armitage was a victim — of his management, for instance, or his stylists, or even of other fans (or of me, specifically, at times). This mood led to one of my favorite blog editorials of all time.

Armitage seemed aware of some pieces of this fan discourse about him. I assume that it popped up in his correspondence, too, as fans sent him creature comforts. At times he mused upon the protectiveness of his fans, calling us “motherly” or joking about how we’d go into battle at his back. In 2014 he was met at the stagedoor with throat remedies, and when he referred to it later, he seemed to want to brush it off.

So I had a tendency to think of Armitage as a different entity from our pictures of him. I spent and spend a fair amount of time thinking about fandom issues, and I’d long had a theory that Armitage’s attractiveness to many fans lay in a dual relationship. It wasn’t just that he was talented and attractive (though he certainly is), or that we admired him; it was that we identified with him or something about him. There was something about the mental or emotional profile of the typical Armitage fan (woman) that saw something of ourselves in him. I had always wanted to write about this, and filed a few drafts, but rather than developing it now, I’ll just outline it here as a moment for discussion: It was Armitage’s apparent vulnerability — his boyishness, his obvious discomfort in early interviews, his tendency to say things that revealed how unpolished he was — that women identified with. It didn’t hurt that he often played — and excelled at portraying — humiliated characters. And as his career did not take sudden, drastic flight into the stratosphere, despite changes in his demeanor, the feeling that he was being unfairly treated by the industry flowed into this identification. Women are typically more open than men about our feelings of being overlooked, under-appreciated, passed over; we tend to be more aware of our own humiliations and willing to express ourselves about them. To me, this also explains on some level the fact that Armitage has never attracted a large male following: men may feel humiliated, it’s true, but they don’t identify with humiliation or under-appreciation as an interpersonal or social experience in the way that women often do.

Now — Armitage has periodically referenced what he sees as his struggles with his career or dealing with his career himself. I typically accepted what British fans said about these statements — that they reflected a culturally typical modesty or self-deprecation. Some of them have been honest or disarming, as when he told greendragon that auditioning was awful and he’d had to play a mental game with himself to get through it. Sometimes that seemed to fit well, as when he stated that when he had to drive his car to the Spooks set, he’d get there early so as not to seem to be bragging. At other times, it didn’t fit well. I’m thinking of the times in 2010/11 when he was quoted as saying that he was trying to get through his career with the least amount of talent possible, something UK fans at the time told me was extreme, even taken as self-deprecation. Or the uncut version of the interview with David Stephenson, which includes remarks about him taking roles that Rupert Penry-Jones didn’t want, to the point that the interview ends up reassuring him slightly. Or the rather sardonic remarks at the end of 2016, when asked perhaps one too many questions about possible roles, stating he was there if JK Rowling wanted to call. I don’t deny that we fans invest these things with meanings — but that’s always the case. No trope works universally, even if things like “standing in back” seem obvious.

And tropes have unintended consequences. There’s a weird dynamic here, and we saw it at work today. It’s not unique to Armitage, of course; I run into it all the time in other places. The speaker tries to defuse potential criticism ahead of time by implying he has been victimized for saying something similar in the past.

tweet since deleted.

I suppose the emoji indicates that Armitage is joking here. But if so — why were exactly no comments in response to it joking? Probably a third of all the comments that responded to Armitage’s tweet spree this morning concerned this one and almost to a tweep they offered some kind of reassurance (mostly variations on: everyone has the right to an opinion, or you are not dumb, but with a few people saying they wanted to give the people who told him that a talking-to; this is another regular tendency, with fans saying that if Armitage deletes a tweet it’s fans’ fault — something I’ve been speaking against for years without success).

My take on this is that if it’s a joke, it’s a passive aggressive one that traps the listener into agreeing with the literal sense of low-esteem it projects, because it’s very hard to think of any way to respond to it in social media that isn’t sincere. You can’t tweet, “you’re right, shut up, laughing emoji” in response to this. (Or maybe you can, but I certainly wouldn’t.) There is no way that Armitage could have thought (especially after more than four years on Twitter) that this would produce anything other than what it did produce — a flood of reassurances. (It’s also obvious that he doesn’t have any doubts about his right to make the tweets, as his comments during the Brexit vote indicate — I’m thinking of his — now deleted — comment about how acting pays the rent and people who disagree with him should unfollow.) As soon as I saw it, I knew what the responses would be. So either he wanted those responses, or he was willing to accept them. Now: I’d be the first to say that someone who says something s/he knows is controversial doesn’t always desire the controversy to ensue — sometimes it feels like there are things that need to be said. But there is also a sense in which one says something and thinks “let the chips fall where they may.” I accept that there are consequences to what I say. This is the opposite of that. He wasn’t willing to accept the responses, because he deleted the tweet about two hours later. For him, the conversation was over.

I know that the recipient of self-deprecating speech is supposed to laugh or feel reassured that the speaker is not claiming power or attributing it to himself — but that never happened in this case, so if that was the intent of the communication it failed completely. But if self-deprecation is supposed to reassure us that Armitage’s political opinions are meaningless or don’t matter, it’s a dodge here. He wants to speak about politics, but he doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of political speech. It’s a distasteful pattern that makes us think we shouldn’t care about things that we should care about, and deeply. Self-deprecation might work as a technique for minimizing one’s power in a conversation in some settings, but in a setting as hierarchical as this one, it’s really not possible for Armitage to say he has no power. In fact, he has an audience because thousands are hanging on his words. So there’s another contradiction — I want to speak, but you shouldn’t take what I have to say too seriously even though the entire reason for you wanting to be on this platform with me is that you take me seriously. More fool you.

But what should we care about? He deleted all of those tweets, and then said (paraphrasing) “now for something completely different” and offered us career news. So — we weren’t supposed to think what he had to say was so important, but now he offers us information on what we are most interested in as fans, generating serious vertigo: “Enough of that — now about ME.” So even if the self-deprecation worked here, he completely undermined it and created the opposite effect. He is the powerful party in the conversation; he is the person who shares the information.

And then the topper, when fans began one of their (I’m excluding myself here, I don’t enjoy this, but many, many do) favorite activities: speculation on what the roles could be, he felt the need to intervene yet again with more “self-deprecation.”

I admit that I haven’t read all the responses to this tweet, but the ones I saw a few hours ago were running heavily as I would have suspected and he must know: you are good enough to be Bond, why are you running yourself down? This phrase has the feel of something he has said or heard a lot, but again: why self-deprecate? Why interfere with what fans are doing? He already has all the power, so why does he feel the need to take over the kind of conversation so many fans love and turn it yet again to him, leading to even more reassurance on top of it? I mean, this is one of his rare responses to what fans are saying, so why use it for this purpose?

It’s insulting to our intelligence and incredibly arrogant. Armitage has always behaved on Twitter as if the fandom were primarily about him, or as if it belonged to him. He’s refused to see it as a creation of the fans, and we had more evidence of that today. So I’d say to Armitage yet again: what we do or say is not about you. It’s about us.

For me: I always used to make fans more responsible for making him into a victim (of whatever: his advisors, other fans, people he worked with — as I argued above), because there often seemed to be a need in the air to see him as an underdog. But at the same time, he has regularly told the underdog story about himself (it’s strongly present in his early press). “Insecure actor attracts insecure fans,” so I said — but I always put that on the fans and our interpretations, and not on Armitage.

But the pattern’s getting hard to ignore. Maybe if Armitage would quit it with tweets that make himself seem like he’s been or being victimized, like he has at least a portion of self-esteem that corresponds to the actual achievements of his career, maybe if he would stop the regular projection of an aura of insecurity, fans would finally be able to leave this behind — or at least, we’d have less occasion to raise the topic. It’s difficult to indicate non-literal speech on social media. But after four years, it should be clear to Armitage that self-deprecation doesn’t work for him in the way it’s presumably intended. Indeed: it has the opposite effect.

~ by Servetus on December 15, 2018.

38 Responses to “Q: When will Richard Armitage’s fandom reject his victimhood narrative? A: When Richard Armitage stops feeding it to us”

  1. I recall his tweet to that reviewer of Ocean’s 8 in which he seem to agree with her when he stated he was fill-in for an alleged ” A Lister.” (Damien Lewis) Lots of fans couched that statement as the typically polite and understated way of Brits to strike back. I’m not British. I didn’t see it that way.

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    • Yeah — we have had this discussion so many times now. He says something in this vein and the overwhelming response is “you’re not less-than, Richard.” The example you give, and the response to the fan at the LLL stagedoor are two examples that stick in my mind where his response basically went past almost everyone and hit him in the face (except, I guess, if you’re British).

      Affter my own experience with Brits in the workplace and while visiting England, and after eight years of this, yes, I am aware that the British sense of humor is different. Nonetheless, if you do something like this multiple times, and it always triggers the same response, when does an observer start saying, this is the response he wants?

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  2. I don’t know…. sometimes I really get the impression that he truly is that insecure. I may be (probably am?) wrong in that impression.

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    • I tend to think most people are insecure to some extent (the ones who aren’t probably should be), and I’m sure actors on the whole are probably more insecure than others. It’s just that projecting it like this, repeatedly, is problematic on so many levels. If I had a friend who constantly said things that called forth a need for reassurance, I’d ask them if I could help them with their problem, then I’d tell them how it struck me, and eventually I’d probably go away. He’s not my riend. But I have a hard enough time dealing with my own inadequacies; I don’t need to reassure a celebrity about his.

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  3. OK, going against the tide maybe, but I thought his joke about the keys was funny.
    And the “It’s me” comment is true, imo. I joke bts with other fans about his life on the B list , or maybe it’s a C by now. His twittering doesn’t bother me because I’m not on it and only get the info second-hand, never reading what people reply in their tweets. I have never understood the crime of deleting tweets, but I gather it’s a big no no in the Twitter verse. I remember a couple of years ago he said he deleted tweets because he was finished with the topic. I disagreed with him; just because he is through with something, doesn’t mean that everyone else has to be. He might be insecure but I thought that was an occupational hazard with actors. I don’t know enough about them to know if he is atypical or the norm re: insecurity. Maybe getting older is affecting his confidence. I know it’s not doing anything for mine.

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    • It’s not a crime to delete tweets — it’s an invitation to disregard or write off what has been said. Which isn’t a problem if it’s jokes, but is a huge problem when it’s something that really matters. I mean, either we care or we don’t, but don’t imply that we should care by talking about something that is quite important (the status of Brexit) and then say, oh well, I’m done with that now. I mean — obviously anyone is free to do that. But if I take the time to care about something because of a conversation someone who is important to me starts, and then I get told, enough of that — it makes me think the person who started the conversation didn’t care in the first place and was just manipulating me. I wouldn’t put up with this behavior IRL.

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  4. I’m used to the deleting behaviour by now, even if I don’t like it. And that last tweet about the rattling of the present was pretty funny, I thought. I read it to my hubby and he laughed out loud. Mind you, we are both fans of English comedy. But is it just self-deprecating and is he insecure? I think he might just be realistic and not want to disappoint us with the role he is so excited about. Even though he has the talent and, in our opinions, the looks and voice, he’s probably right that at this point in his career he may not get those kind of roles. On the other hand, you may have to project confidence to get the big roles. Maybe he doesn’t do that.

    The fan behaviour is fascinating. So many seem to feel that they need to make the poor little fellow feel better and kiss his boo-boos. I personally don’t feel that way. He’s a grown man. And I do think he’s being realistic and funny, not sad and insecure.

    I’m sure he doesn’t understand that fandom is more about the fans than about the object. I don’t really get the Twitter conversations, either, so it’s probably just as well that I’m still not on there. I see that fans have long interactions on Twitter that are just fun for them and have nothing to do with the original tweet. For myself, I prefer having conversations where he can’t see them.

    By the way, as Christmas approaches, I’m starting to dread what might be in his message to fans. I really hope it’s not all preachy again. (I know lots of people enjoyed last year’s message, but we’re all entitled to our own opinions.)

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    • I think some English comedy is funny (Monty Python, Mitchell and Webb), I think some is stupid (Benny Hill, a lot of Mr Bean), I think there has been some great political satire (Spitting Image — wish we had had anything even remotely comparable to that in the US). Our local PBS affiliate is running episodes of “A Fine Romance” right now and I find that funny. I think British humor is going to be like any humor: the viewer will find some of it funny and some of it not. Presumably not every British viewer thinks every British comedy is funny, either. As I said — some self-deprecation is disarming. Other self-deprecation is disturbing. I don’t think, at this point, that we can pin fans’ responses to him on tweets like this simply as a result of failing to understanding that he’s British. Some of the fans who respond with reassurances are in fact themselves British.

      I don’t think anyone who’s been a fan for more than a year really thinks he has a chance at the roles, so I don’t take statements by fans on this topic literally. Do you think he thinks fans think he’s going to play Bond? I don’t think fans think that. I think that discussion (with maybe a few exceptions) is about fan’s aspirations for him, not about their serious expectations.

      I kind of think he should skip a Christmas message this year. I sense (maybe overreading on my part) that it would be hard for him to talk with fans about what might be heavily on his mind. Or maybe a really brief message with good wishes. I don’t want to end up angry at what he says when I know from personal experience how hard the first Christmas without his mother might be.

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      • Oh yuck… Benny Hill! My favourite was Fawlty Towers, but I was thinking more of some of the English comedic movies that are quite understated in terms of humour. I do find his quips funny, for the most part. But you’re right that fans’ responses aren’t necessarily about not understanding that type of humour. That sort of joke tends to have some grain of true belief behind it anyway, think, and so people are aiming their reassurances at that. I guess I’m just not sure that he’s sad about his career so much as realistic and accepting. But like I said, that kind of attitude might also impede someone from getting certain parts.

        Funny that I was taking the fan statements as literal, when I was taking his as tongue-in-cheek! I guess I thought that some think he will get those roles; that they look at his career possibilities through rose-coloured glasses. I used to think those roles might be possible after The Hobbit, but I don’t think so now. He’s said his instructions to his agent have been to make sure he has a sustainable career. I wonder whether the decisions made along the way towards that were not compatible with creating a big Hollywood type of career.

        I agree on the Christmas message. I would think this Christmas will be tough for him, since he always goes home. Home won’t be the same at all.

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        • Sue maybe that is one reason he has stayed in London the last few months to spend more time w his dad and brother and his family to regroup and recharge and decompress some after his mom’s passing in early May.

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        • Sue bc, I agree with your comments. And in many ways I agree with the decision to have a sustainable career. There are many, many fine actors who are not big names but work consistently and (i’m Guessing) make a very good living. Speaking for myself, I would be extremely happy for either of my children to achieve those goals. More is not necessarily always better. Again, just my opinion

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          • Yeah, I mean it’s like kids playing hockey. The chance of making it to the NHL is way less than 1%. It’s probably like that for working actors vs how many become big-name Hollywood stars. The steady sustainable career is the better option, particularly if you are risk-averse.

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          • I hope he’s around a long time too, but I admit that a whole year of mainly audiobooks / voicework is tiring me out. If that’s sustainability, more power to him but it’s not enough to sustain my crush.

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            • I agree. Woman doesn’t sustain crush by sound alone.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Funny, though. In some ways, just listening to that gorgeous voice every day in my car lets me just imagine him the way I want him to be! No chance of reality rearing its head!

              Liked by 1 person

              • It doesn’t work that way for me. If I enjoy an audio piece, it doesn’t add to my fantasies. And it’s much harder for me to get past the material with an audiobook than it is with screen. The whole time I listened to Tattooist of Auschwitz I kept thinking what a substandard book it was. I can’t stop hating David Copperfield just because Armitage is reading it, either.

                Liked by 1 person

                • See, I feel that way about BS, now. I “somehow” managed to start watching the first episode. I’ve only made it halfway through so far. I’m really not liking it and maybe that’s affecting how I see RA. Plus seeing him so skinny… I know he’s had a hard time and all, but… maybe I’m better right now just to listen and keep my own visual image. Struggling, here…

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  5. Another factor in this is Brexit – it’s such a mess, Brits are having a collective nervous breakdown about it, and even people who don’t usually get involved in politics are drawn into the argument.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Guess I’m glad I don’t do Twitter. I have no idea what he said.

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    • I do think there’s something in the remark I’ve read a few times that people who read what he said on Twitter (away from the atmosphere of Twitter itself) have a different reaction to it than people who are reading it either in almost real-time or at least in that atmosphere.

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  7. Jas Rangoon; that was a blast from the past! rereading that post makes it very apparent how far we have not come. you’re spot on in your assessment that fans relate to Richard, at least that’s how it was for me. I saw him as the underdog, someone from a lower class making it to ‘the show’ and how he navigated it all reflected his roots. as time went on though, I found myself moving farther and farther away from him because he kept undermining himself. you can only attempt to boost someone’s confidence so many times before their self flagellation kills your respect for them. how can I respect someone who not only doesn’t respect himself but drags down anyone who happens to be standing next to him? it was something I just couldn’t get past.

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    • I meant to reply to this earlier and then I had to make our weekly grocery run. I think you’re right — we haven’t come a long way baby. It’s exactly the same conversation that we were having five years ago. I hadn’t heard the “over analysis” in quite a while, but then it popped up again, as you see.

      I had a lot of similar perceptions to the ones you note — feeling like we came from families that were socially similar and had similar aspirations. I still think that’s relevant. But I also agree — there’s a point at which one has to move on (or recognize the ways in which one’s own behavior is limiting one — also a problem I have, as I ponder my ‘resolution’ for 2019).

      Apart from anything else, it’s just such a behavioral turnoff in someone who is roughly our age. I remember reassuring the two boyfriends I had in my early twenties, but eventually as men become more mature they don’t need the reassurance, and as I have become more mature, I become less inclined to give it to adults. Maybe it’s because I do in fact spend so much time telling 18 year old women not to apologize for themselves and I’m developing an allergy to this kind of insecurity on display, but honestly, why keep saying these things? He’s approaching 50.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I recently had a conversation on this topic regarding a woman who is 62. Sometimes age doesn’t bring wisdom and clarity, sometimes you just get old but carry the same baggage

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  8. Thank you for this article, Servetus. I know why I ignore all my Twitter and other social media alerts lately and I would not have seen the tweets without you mentioning them. – But to me it seems, that RA becomes proficient in social media marketing by now and that, like his late films (which are hard for me to get a hold of anyway), is something I don’t find overly attractive. But I suspect, that the effect he wanted with his tweets was a rather calculated one, which would make me feel like a hamster in a wheel, if I did react to any of them. Furthermore, I am one of the few, who thinks actors should remain quiet about politics and if they say anything, I ignore it out of principle. (This does not extend to social grievances, where they can effectively use their popularity to help and set an example.)

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    • Interesting — I don’t read him as someone who’d have the maliciousness to provoke everyone only in order to get enough attention for his career announcement (especially such a vague one). But i’s a possible read.

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      • I don’t see him as ‘malicious’ either, never that. Just since being on Twitter, more calculated and with intent or rather under guidance by someone else or more like ‘presuming what is expected of him’ and what gets him the keyword-quantity he needs. That results in me no longer feeling so carefree in fandom than before.

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  9. Wow! That was fast. Mr Armitsge only wrote this yesterday and you’ve already over-analysed everything he’s said to the nth degree, and all the fan’s responses too! No wonder he doesn’t tweet much usually if he know this is waiting for him in the wings! Has it occurred to you that perhaps he’s a simply a decent, normal guy trying to cope with the unusual situation of being famous? That he certainly has strong opinions (which he articulates supurbly, when he chooses to) but feels he no longer has the luxury of sprouting off his opinions like so many other people do? Opinions and feelings that sometimes are so strong he can’t resist the urge to express them (everyone else does it after all) and then perhaps he feels uneasy and deletes. (I do it myself, and I don’t have any ‘followers’. I can only imagine what it’s like for anyone in the public eye!) He’s aware of this ‘power’ (perhaps ‘influence’ is a better word) that’s been granted him and understands he needs to be careful with it. Sounds like responsible behaviour to me. Responsible to his fans, but also responsible to his own career. Reflecting that he needs to work with many people of differing political, social and cultural backgrounds. Perhaps he’s a little over sensitive and conscientious about it, but that is to his credit not detriment. I can understand a desire to not want to cause friction. There’s already enough of it! However, as a well educated and articulate English-person, he certainly has a right, if not a duty, to join the conversation occurring in the UK political scene currently. The fact that he tweeted about Brexit seems to indicate that he knows he can comment in this arena, whereas I suspect he’d never comment about US politics. (I don’t live in either Europe or the USA, so I’ll stop right there about the politics.)
    But while I am typing, I also need to say that where I grew up, self-deprecation is normal, expected and appropriate. People who put themselves and their opinion forward too confidently are seen as placing themselves above everyone else. That’s not considered a nice thing to do and people react strongly against that attitude. It’s more respectful and less abrasive to add qualifiers to one’s opinions and statements. To me, Mr Armitage’s tweets are natural and normal self-expressions. It’s the way I talk myself. I’m not lacking in self-esteem, but am sensitive to the effect I may have on other people. This is the feeling I get from him, but obviously I could be wrong. (See what I did there? Made a qualifier to my statement, which practically begs for someone to respond with their opinion, and start a polite conversation.) I think his fan’s responses are also very natural. I love reading them, and they reassure me that there are some generous and kind souls out there. (And yes a bit over the top, intrusive and freaky sometimes too!) But generally just normal people who enjoy interacting with a talented man who they like, and occasionally they get a bit over excited. From his perspective I imagine it probably looks/feels like a bit of a frenzy. Which would definitely be off putting! Perhaps if he interacted a bit more frequently then people might calm down and have a more rational chat with him. (Poor bugger! who’d want to be famous after all!) But that depends on what level of communication he’s comfortable with, and that brings me full circle back to (my perception of) his awareness of his social influence and how careful he seems to be with his interactions on social media. Personally, I would like to respond to his tweet with ‘yeah mate, you’re a bloody actor so what would you know!’ But then, where I come from, we say that kind of joking thing to everyone! It’s not done to belittle him or anyone, as everyone gets treated the same way. It places everyone on the same level. Although on reflection, I must admit that I bit my tongue and did not say this to him (or his profile administrator) so perhaps there is hope for me. (Self-deprecating again -see? it’s just automatic.)
    So, to conclude, when I read his tweets I don’t hear ‘low self-esteem victim’ like you do, I hear charming ‘decency’ which consists of respect for others, a desire for equality between people and a sophisticated social awareness. And I wish I heard it more often.

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    • I will let this through this one time, although it violates the comment policy. Do not tell me or other people we are overanalyzing, or you will be prohibited from further comment here. You might ask yourself: if “over analyzing” is such a problem, why are you engaged in it yourself? This blog has been here for eight years and as you can see from the links in the post, I have a long history of discussing precisely the issues delineated here. So it’s not “already” overanalyzing. I’ve been thinking about these matters for over eight years.

      1. Neither I, nor anyone here, questions his right to have or express an opinion. If you read the post, you will see that I wrote that he does not (referencing his deleted tweet this summer) nor do any of his fans, who rushed in droves to reassure him that of course he had a right. This isn’t a matter of debate, even if he retreats into victimhood to make his point.

      2. To me, responsible behavior would be not starting a conversation that he doesn’t have the stamina to leave stand. This is something that matters vitally to a lot of people. It is arrogant and fickle to cut it off, just because he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

      3. In fact, he has commented repeatedly about US politics. At least three times. Both tweets deleted, once in an interview. These are only the times that I remembered off the top of my head. There may be more.
        a. On the government shut down in 2013 and gun control: https://newyorkmoves.com/?p=5200
        b. On immigration policy: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/richard-armitage-tweets-his-immigration-status/ and here, my comment on his deleted tweet: https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/me-richard-armitage-on-being-an-expat/
        c. On the women’s march in 2017 — he marched along and tweeted about it. He deleted it and I didn’t save a copy.

      4. If you read my post, you will see that there are many qualifiers and concessions to what I say. If you read the links to previous analyses, you will find even more qualifiers and concessions.

      5. I assume that everything I write on my blog reflects my opinion. In this case, I have multiple sources and information, links and evidence, included. There is a long response paragraph in this post to the argument that what he is doing should be understood as self-deprecation.

      6. Even if it was self-deprecation, as I argue here, it looks a hell of a lot like arrogance. Many of those of us who have been watching Twitter for a long time find it at the least problematic. Some of us are increasingly angered by it. That is our privilege. Communication is a two way street. Most of his fans these days are not Brits. As I pointed out, self-deprecation (whatever the rationale behind it) doesn’t make him look charming. It makes him look the opposite.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I’m also totally amused that you think what I say has any influence on him at all. I don’t think so. Why do you?

      Liked by 2 people

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