He knows! … Sort of.
Stumbled across this on Moffat’s profile.
I suppose it was too much to hope Moffat’s twitter days (where he responded to critical fans) were over so he could prevent conversations like this from happening, but nope. I guess he was just too busy instead:
None of us were the ones who sent this. We wish Moffat would take criticism, but it’s obvious from these responses he never will. Let’s look at his behaviour real quick, shall we?
1) Ok, so I wouldn’t like looking at a link that told me to STFU either, I suppose. Granted, I probably would take a look simply out of curiosity, especially when the person sharing the link with me is acting pretty civil and merely pointing it out. I wouldn’t make baseless assumptions going off of one acronym; it IS the internet after all.
2) I wouldn’t immediately attack the messenger! Telling them to STFU themselves when they’re sharing a criticism, wow, that goes a bit beyond the pale. He doesn’t even bother to apologise, as usual. (To anyone who may say ‘but he’s joking!!’, tone doesn’t transfer through the internet well. The rest of his tweet makes him sound completely serious.)
3) Just because our title is ‘STFU Moffat’ does not mean we spew hatred left and right. We do not abuse him. We never contacted him since this blog started and we only initially contacted him to see if he could clarify where River was ever portrayed as bisexual in the show. Even then, we said our pleases and thank yous and he cried out against perceived slights and insulted spelling. We are not interested in bashing Moffat (this is in our FAQ), we’re interested in pointing out why we’re disappointed in his writing and get other people to see our logic. Our URL is simply the best and easiest way to state our mission and we’re following popular blog naming convention for calling out people in power (stfuconservatives, stfuhomophobes, stfusexists, etc).
4) No one is telling him how to do his job. We’re merely explaining how what he’s doing can be harmful and hurtful and criticising that. Criticisms are not abuse and they work to making you better at what you already do. He would know if he ever bothered to look rather than immediately start his self-defence stance (Not telling him he should’ve looked! It just would’ve been advised, obviously). Alas, he refuses to take criticism unless it’s positive.
Nevertheless, it’s unfortunate that Moffat refuses to even read a single article that tries to explain what is wrong with his writing and how he can grow as a writer and show runner.
Have you any thoughts regarding Moffat and ableism?
asked by Anonymous
Oh, I absolutely think Moffat is ableist. [TW for ableism]
First off, his constant use of ‘idiot’ or ‘mad/crazy’ in his shows come off as ableist. Here’s an account of how ‘idiot’ is ableist and he uses that line all the time in Sherlock (‘Don’t worry, practically everyone is [an idiot].’). Obviously it’s used to refer to someone as being lower in intelligence (than Sherlock in particular), but the article accounts for how it’s used in the medical community for someone who is severely mentally handicapped and could be akin to ‘retarded’ in usage. The blog I linked also has an article on ‘crazy’ which is similar to ‘mad’. Mad man with a box anyone? It’s often used as a slur for someone who acts out of the norm or does outrageous things - but it can be harmful for people with actual mental disabilities or conditions. Moffat tends to call his characters ‘broken’, ‘slightly mad’, or other variations and he never actually touches on mental disabilities in these characters.
Also, there are several articles discussing Moffat ‘defending’ himself against his critics - which is to say, insulting them:
Now, I love using the word ‘stupid’ and it’s not ableist in and of itself, but calling people who don’t understand your show ‘stupid’? Um, I have a bit of an issue with that, especially when they’re saying his latest seasons are too complex and he’s barking back with ‘If you don’t understand, then you’re stupid!’ He doesn’t seem to notice that Doctor Who is still a children’s show and should be aimed at 12 year olds and younger while still putting in enough plot twists for an adult to enjoy. He won’t take criticism and make his storylines more coherent and consistent because he feels he’s too clever for that.
“We make no apology. Don’t expect to do the ironing; sit down, pay attention and think about it. Audiences like complexity. They follow intricately plotted soap operas all the time. It depresses me when people say, ‘It’s all far too clever.’”
Yes, Moffat. Tell me more about how that ‘depresses’ you. Are you taking medication for your chemical imbalances because people don’t find your works enjoyable? Believe me, I have ‘thought about it’ and I’ve come to conclusion that you’re taking a shit, turning around to look at it and going ‘Wow! I’m brilliant!’ before feeding it to the masses and expecting them to enjoy it without question.
I also happened to stumble across this whilst on his twitter:
[Twitter screencap of a conversation between a user and Steven Moffat. User tweets Moffat with ‘erm….. it best had didn’t do a good job last half of doctor who same storyline same [characters]’ with some misspellings and poor grammar to which Moffat responds with ‘…. do I get a prize if I can arrange those words into a sentence?’. User replies ‘haha your in [characters] a Count down [alien] lol Steven [you’re a good writer] I just didn’t think a lot to s6 part2’ to which Moffat responds with ‘Oh, for goodness sake, run it through a spell-checker. That’s just some letters.’]
Of course, the person later revealed to Moffat that they were dyslexic - Moffat never replied back. He does this all the time. If you can’t understand the person, simply don’t respond. It’s not that hard. Many of his fans are not native English speakers so what does he get out of picking apart their language? I once tweeted him with one misspelled word, but it was obvious what I was trying to say. Instead of answering my question, he tweeted me back with the word I misspelled, acting as if I offended him for daring to misspell a word on twitter. Of course, like what happened with Hallor, a lot of Moffat’s fans started attacking this person and made fun of them for their spelling. This isn’t right and is completely Moffat’s fault.
“Mr. Chatterjee” more ignorant racism or just bad/no research
For the numerous asks from followers who wondered what the race issue was in BASK. It’s one of those ‘pay close attention or you’ll miss it moments’ which I didn’t catch the first time myself. Mr Chatterjee was Mrs Hudson’s boyfriend in the beginning of the episode:
SHERLOCK: I wouldn’t pin your hopes on that cruise with Mr. Chatterjee. He’s got a wife in Doncaster (he adopts a south Yorkshire accent to say the town’s name) that nobody knows about.
JOHN: Oh! Looks like Mrs Hudson finally got to the wife in Doncaster.
SHERLOCK: Mmm. Wait ’til she finds out about the one in Islamabad.
Now, Gatiss and Moffat and whoever checks your facts if there is such a person (I suggest you get one before you export this to the subcontinent) I’m not saying the following couldn’t happen, I’m sure it has, but if you’re looking for some kind of shorthand for “Muslim” all you managed in THOB is to be insulting all over again. (See: numerous posting regarding end of ASiB)
“Chatterjee” is a Bengali Brahmin surname. That’s Eastern India (Bengal) and Brahmin as in a Hindu social caste and one of the oldest and most venerated Hindu family names — a royal line of descent from the men who supposedly wrote the Vedas : the Hindu holy books.
Hindus do not believe in polygamy. As a matter of fact, it’s one of those common Western mistakes that makes most Hindus foam at the mouth. FYI.
Since one of the many wives of Mr. Hindu-Surname-from-East-India lives in Islamabad (that’s Pakistan which is west of India) then the implication, or perhaps the general inference that one is supposed to make, is that he’s Muslim.
Just for the record, polygamy is quite rare in Pakistan. FYI
The least you could have done was put Mrs. Chatterjee in Bangladesh which is partially made up of the part of the world that used to be called “Bengal.” You’re not likely to have too many Chatterjees there either, since Partition, (look it up if you don’t know what the hell that is — funny that I happen to be writing a fanfic where Mycroft takes John to task for apparently not knowing his Raj history — but I digress) but it’d be more likely than in Pakistan.
Is it because you’re afraid if you say that the other wife is in Dhaka nobody would know where the hell you were talking about and the joke would fall flat?
Is it because having Sherlock say “one of those funny little dark men from the subcontinent” sounded too racist?
Or maybe Khan or Abidi or Malek sounded too racist?
Or wasn’t “subcontinental” enough?
Reminds me of this Larry Wilmore bit on The Daily Show
Again, that’s another hit against Pakistan in the span of 2 episodes.
If that wasn’t enough, Moffat had to rub salt on the wound after he was asked about it on twitter. Instead of doing the decent thing by apologising, he instead chose to ignore the issue (like always):
Because racism is cool! Especially when white dudes write the show! *sigh* What a strange, privileged little world he lives in.
Honestly, it’s like he’s not even trying anymore at this point and is purposely ignoring the point the person’s trying to make.
Steven Moffat is a Douchebag - The Masterlist
I have created this list because, whilst the occasional quote here and there containing problematic statements is easy to write off as ‘words being taken out of context’, seeing all of these quotes, articles, tweets, as well as some meta on major characters written by Moffat together is a little harder to write off.
Three things before we begin. Firstly this is by no means a comprehensive list, as such I will likely be adding to this post anything new said by Steven Moffat which I feel is relevant as well as anything I missed when I initially wrote it. Secondly, if you wish to link to this post, for whatever reason, feel free. Thirdly, if something on this list is unclear or you would like a further explanation feel free to drop me an ask, however I will not be responding to any hate I may receive so please try and be polite.
With that said, here is a list of everything I could find in which Steven Moffat demonstrates his ability to be a complete arse.
- Scotsman Interview 06-06-04
Includes sweeping generalisations such as “women are needy” as well as claims that “there’s a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male”.
- After Elton Interview 01-08-11
In which Moffat spectacularly fails to understand why one-liners and minor characters don’t constitute actual GSM (Gender and Sexuality Minority) representation.
- Wales Online Interview 04-01-12
An interview were Moffat responds to an article in the Guardian which questions whether BBC!Sherlock is sexist.
- Guardian Interview 20-01-12
This is the interview in which Moffat said asexuality was boring, Irene Adler of the original “Scandal in Bohemia” was un-feminist, and talks about claims that his writing of Doctor Who is sexist.
- Think Progress Interview 07-05-12
Just one choice quote; “I remember when I was reading that story as a kid, Sherlock goes on and on about The Woman, the only one who ever beat him, and you’re thinking, he’s had better villains than this. And then you click: he fancies her, doesn’t he? That’s what it’s about.”.
- Doctor Who Confidential, All About the Girl. 10-04-10 (at 23:10 and 23:34)
“And I thought, ‘well she’s really good. It’s just a shame she’s so wee and dumpy…When she was about to come through to the auditions I nipped out for a minute and I saw Karen walking on the corridor towards me and I realised she was 5’11, slim and gorgeous and I thought ‘Oh, oh that’ll probably work’.”
- Doctor Who Confidential, Blinded by the Light. 01-05-10
“Part of the mission statement when writing a script for Doctor Who is how bad of a time can you give Amy Pond.”
“What is the base group of people who would run away with the Doctor? They’re all going to be a bit mad. A bit dislocated. Not happy with where they are. Are they yearning for outer space? They’re going to be people who feel like they can take on the Doctor, who’s quite an intimidating sort of person. So, they’re going to be feisty—they’re going to be all those things.”
“I think the function of a companion is pretty simple. I don’t think that’s very difficult. It’s just a question of who credibly is going to agree to go in the TARDIS? Who’s going to do it? Is it going to be a mother of 15 children? No. Is it going to be someone in their 60s? No. Is there going to be a particular age range? I mean … who’s going to have a crush on the Doctor? You know, come on! It’s more than a format. It’s evolved from good, dramatic reasons.”
- From an article in The Times, 19-05-12
“Your wife turns into a boat, and shortly after that, you never sleep again and you clean shit off someone. It doesn’t seem like a very appealing prospect. Obviously, the moment I saw my child, that was different, but up until that point, I was thinking, ‘how long before she gets back to normal size? Will this damage anything?’”
Adventures in Twitter
- 1:12am, 31-08-11. (x)
“I AM sexist. Women are cleverer, nicer, kinder and better at stuff. Don’t let on or they’ll keep us in fields. FIELDS!!!”
- 3:00am, 31-03-12. In response to someone asking if we were likely to see any openly gay characters in Doctor Who. (x)
“Canton is nice. Vastra and Jenny are nice. Captain Jack is nice in both directions.”
“You’d have to explain gay to him first. Then straight! Then why you were still talking when there’s ALL THESE SPACESHIPS!!” and “Then he’d be very cross it was ever in doubt, add a gay marriage setting to his screwdriver and accidentally marry a Krynoid. Again.”
- 7:46am, 11-05-12. In response to someone inquiring how The Doctor could be unaware of sexual orientations when he traveled with both Captain Jack and River. (x)
“Both of whom are happily bi. He comes from a world where such narrow views seem so ridiculous they’re hard to remember”.
- 5:07am, 11-05-12. Regarding the lack of bisexual representation in television. (x)
“We don’t acknowledge you on television cos you’re having FAR TOO MUCH FUN. You probably don’t even watch cos you’re so BUSY!!”
- 2:43pm, 18-05-12. Responding to polite comments regarding the fact that River doesn’t really contribute to bi-visibility if the majority of Doctor Who’s viewers are unaware of her bisexuality. (x)
“When did I say I thought I was contributing to bisexual visibility?? Please stop being rude to me, you have no reason to be.”.
- River Song
When we are first introduced to River Song she seemed, to many, to be a very promising character. However, as more of her backstory has been revealed it has become apparent that she is far from brilliant.
Most of the problems with River Song can be summed up in a single sentence. Her entire existence revolves around The Doctor. Almost immediately after her birth she is kidnapped and brainwashed by The Silence in the hopes of defeating The Doctor. She doesn’t end up killing him, but still she is forced to serve a life sentence because everyone thinks she killed The Doctor. After she completes her sentence she becomes Professor River Song, finally living a life of her own she goes on an expedition to The Library where she dies to save The Doctor.
River really sums it up herself; “When I first met the Doctor—a long long time ago—he knew all about me. Think about that. Impressionable young girl and suddenly this man just drops out of the sky. He’s clever and mad and wonderful and, knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl…I live for the days when I see him.”
- Amy Pond
There are many problematic elements to Amy Pond. Though she initially appeared to be a fairly progressive character, aside from a fair amount of appealing to the male gaze, by the end of series five she had been reduced to an incredibly passive role. This passivity is perpetuated in her companion title “The Girl Who Waited” which also infantilizes her.
In series six we saw the mystical pregnancy storyline, which basically reduced Amy to her reproductive system, as well as making her a damsel in distress. After this incredibly traumatic experience she has her baby stolen from her and is given no time to deal with the experience. She also seems to regress from the character, independent and looking for adventure, we see in series five. More and more she begins to fulfill the dutiful wife role.
In fact, the only time we get to see any substantial character growth, in The Girl Who Waited, it is snatched from her and she reverts back to the Amy we see at the beginning of the episode.
- Irene Adler
Yet again we have a character who initially seems very promising. Irene Adler began as a really strong character, though she is somewhat sexualized to appeal to the male gaze. The major problems, however, appear later in the program.
Whilst Irene tells John she is gay, soon a love story begins to develop between her and Sherlock. The de-gaying of queer characters is a long standing, and incredibly problematic and erasing, trope in the mainstream media.
Furthermore, unlike Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Adler, BBC!Irene does not triumph over Sherlock. Rather her silly, womanly feelings towards Sherlock prove to be her downfall which reinforces stereotypical and sexist ideas about emotions being a weakness.
Irene’s tale finishes with her on her knees, completely helpless, about to be executed, when all of a sudden knight in shining armour Sherlock swoops in and saves her.
I wonder when Moffat will realise that we’re not ‘stretching a point’ to see what’s in front of our faces. I mean, come on, ‘More than female, she’s Mum!’ and ‘Us parents are WAY cooler than non-parents.’? I can’t tell if he’s actually serious with that last bit, especially since he certainly shows that in his writing.
Moffat is a tweet and a hissy fit away from saying “F**K THIS NOISE!! A GODDAMN WIZARD DID IT!! SUCK ON THAT FANDOM!!!”
“All stories have plot holes but they’re only visible to the bored” Well, by your weird troll logic, it means that you’re story has become so nonsensical that my suspension of disbelief imploded, I can no longer take your writing seriously, ended up shutting down out of sheer self-preservation, and am just waiting for the episode to end.
Either way, its still shitty writing. And still your fault.
I believe his actual response to someone finding a rather glaring plot hole was:
I’m pretty sure that’s simply called lazy writing…