Have you ever heard of a win-win situation? Well the preview of Sherlock‘s much-anticipated third season at the British Film Institute was a lose-lose situation, because probably not one single person is happy with how it went.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were present for a Q&A panel moderated by a woman named Caitlin Moran, who you also might know by the moniker ‘the woman a bunch of Cumberbitches are mad at right now’. After the preview of season three’s first episode showed, she was in charge of running the panel and basically doing an on-the-spot-interview based on what everyone had just seen.
At least, in an ideal world. Instead, she apparently opted to do a gentle ribbing of people who are really passionate about the show — aka pretty much everyone in the room of people AT A PREVIEW AND Q&A FOR THE SHOW’S THIRD SEASON. Just saying. To that end, she thought it would be funny to make fun of some fanfic starring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (a subcategory of Sherlock fan fiction known as ‘Johnlock’) by having Benedict and Martin read it, after reassuring them it didn’t get too dirty. According to Queerty:
To their credit, Cumberbatch and Freeman did their best to humor Moran’s ill-conceived comedy bit. Though reluctant, they read a few passages of the online erotica. It involves some kissing and fondling and sexytime and it’s pretty hot.
(You can read more of it here.)
Apparently they were good sports, but they were clearly uncomfortable with being asked to read it, and after trying to distract from the material for a while, Benedict stopped reading entirely after a kiss was described. At which he made it clear to everyone that fanfic has absolutely no bearing on the show, which everybody knew in the first place, so why were you having them read it?
But probably the worst/best part is that the woman responsible for writing the fanfic — a married woman of two — found out what happened, and issued a response that’s not only super classy, but really opened my eyes to some stuff:
“To Martin and Benedict I would say: I am so sorry you had to do that, it must have been very uncomfortable and I’m absolutely mortified my work was shown to you. It certainly wasn’t done with my permission. …
To Caitlin? Thank you for spoiling something I found joy in. Thank you for humiliating me, taking my writing out of context without permission, belittling it and using it to embarrass actors who I deeply admire. Thank you for tainting the one thing sometimes that gets me through the day.”
She also points out that this is probably the only interaction she’ll ever have with these two men, and now it’s been tainted, which is something I probably should have considered when I put up a post with my favorite collection of Benedict fanfic from around the internet yesterday. I may not have asked the stars of the show to read it aloud, but this is someone’s work that I’m mocking, and I should probably bear that in mind, given that my literal job is creating content of my own.
Good for this woman for standing up for herself, bad for me and this lady Caitlin for being an idiot and putting fans on the spot. WE CAN DO BETTER, CUMBERBITCHES. WE MUST DO BETTER.