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tl;dr: So much has happened over the past few weeks, and it's a lot of good and bad. There is a serious lack of harmony between the fandom and Hasbro. We all need to take a moment to think about finding ways to seek compromise.
It has been a very stressful time in this fandom over the past few weeks. And this weekend has, by far, has had the most divisive news to ever be exposed to the public: the (unofficial) confirmation of a fourth season. A spin-off series intended for the pre-teen demographic. A made-for-TV movie. New toys and merchandise for all groups: figures, playsets, plushies, bags, collectables, a lot for people of all ages to buy. The forced shutdown of one of the oldest projects in the fandom. And the rumors being spread regarding said movie and spin-off. It's a see-saw of good and bad news. Is there balance between exciting and concerning news? I honestly can't tell.
I've just been so conflicted. On one hand, there's some really interesting merchandise coming out, and the new season has me excited. But on the other, the heart-breaking closing of a highly-anticipated project and the details surrounding the new IP and movie have me genuinely concerned on the direction the series is taking since Lauren left. I want to be able to enjoy the series, but the way Hasbro's been acting, it makes it hard to focus without the marketing getting in the way.
But the more I think about it, the more I realize that people on either side are asking too much of each other. There's no balance. One side wants to sell toys and please shareholders, while the other side wants to watch the show and create something based on it. Too much of one side leave little room for improvement on the either side. To make matters worse, they take action way too fast, leaving people behind and unable to catch up. Taking a gradual approach for both sides can make a lot of difference, giving each action a chance to be evaluated, refined, and fully applied. It can satisfy the needs of both sides, as long as everyone plays their part respectfully and efficiently.
As such, I would like to offer advice to people involved with MLP, be it directly or just on the internet. To Equestria Daily:
I think it's time you realize that the public still isn't ready to accept the brony phenomenon. And they may never will if they bronies themselves and their work so seriously. Many fan projects deserve the chance to be accepted by the general public, but it can't be allowed to expose itself so fast. Taking gradual steps of publicity, from its release to fan exposure to professional interest, it gives room for Hasbro to consider their options, be it leave it alone or request something be changed. It's up to people like you to encourage the creative bronies to just make whatever they make for fun. Just as a way to make themselves happy. If they want to take their work places, tell them to take it slowly. Hasbro owns MLP, and even if you don't intend to make money off of it, they would still consider it a threat if it tries to make a name for itself in the big world.To the staff of DHX:
Would you want father Hasbro breathing down your neck? I certainly wouldn't, but disappointing the head honchos would severely hurt your relationship. After all, this was the company that commissioned you to make the show in the first place. They had faith that you would make a program that would help sell the MLP franchise in a profitable way. And you did, but at the same time, you took many risks to make the stories so lifelike and relatable, not just to kids, but to adults as well. Occasionally you had to showcase certain toys, but while most other studios would make that advertising blatant, you actually made them worthwhile to the story. Remember Cheerilee? She came in as a McDonald's toy, but she came out as a wonderful, snarky, loveable side character. I would not trust any other studio to work with this IP. I know it's hard to accept and goes against what Lauren Faust intended, but you can't just give up so soon. There are still fans who believe in you. Lauren still believes in you. And I still believe in you. Would you want to let them down by destroying your own careers?To anyone at Hasbro who finds this:
Look, I get it. You're a business. You own the rights to MLP. You have to make sure it's financially feasible to continue to support the brand. You may have the right to protect your property, but that doesn't mean you have to enforce it in such an aggressive matter. We're living in an age where people can communicate, be it text or face-to-face, in mere milliseconds, without any sort of travel. Yes, there are many on the net who would abuse that power. But that doesn't mean the good people have to suffer for their actions. A Cease and Desist order is completely unnecessary in many of the cases you applied them to. You could've just politely asked people like Mane6 or the MLP: Online about how they use your property, and what can be changed to prevent any sort of legal trouble. If you can allow blind bag toys to use names used by the fans, then surely you could take the time to sit down and have a grown-up discussion with the real people who are supporting you: adults. They're the ones with the money almost every time. They buy from the stores, your online shop, any place they can get the toys for kids, collections or charities. Disrespecting people because they're not the target audience and because they have many misbehaved ones does not make good business. And short-term gains, as the term implies, don't last you very long. You need a plan to make a profit in the long run. And you don't have to spend so much money to do it. To put it bluntly: show you have a heart.To people who would attempt to attack or boycott Hasbro:
Sending death threats, considering sabotage or attempting to damage the company's bottom line will get you nowhere. In fact, the fact that you "represent" the MLP fandom would worsen the ridicule the general public applies on us. And once again, the respectable bronies, like me (sort of) would suffer for it. There may be one way to send a message to Hasbro that they are being ungrateful to the group responsible for the franchise's recent popularity: write to them directly. And don't count on e-mail or online petitions to get their attention; history has shown that when it comes to MLP, they don't take words on a screen as seriously as most other companies. Type it out in a word processor, clean it up, print it, put it in an envelope, mark the address and take it to the post office. BUT! I need to make one thing perfectly clear: keep your emotions in line when you write. Proper grammar and spelling aside, you don't want to send a message that you are completely angry at the company for their actions. It's ideal to send a message that you are concerned about the enforcement of copyright and trademark laws. That people need to be allowed to create their own projects based on their property, and how skills they obtained/used could potentially land them employment. Show them how important the show and its fans have meant to you, your friends, and your family. Ask them to look beyond tradition and seek compromise to make everyone happy, not just the shareholders and the executives.And to my friends and followers:
I know. I'm kicking myself over a bloody kid's IP again. And I'm so sorry. But I've loved this show from the first time I saw it. To see executives getting in the way of creativity brings back horrible memories of Neopets and Viacom. I really don't want to have to go through this again, but it seems I have no choice. But instead of standing by the sidelines, I want to let my voice be heard. And if you don't care, then fine. It's your choice whether you'll back me up on this or not. But I have to let these feelings out, otherwise I will never be able to focus on what I want to do. Please understand. I just want to be able to enjoy MLP again. That's all I want.
We need harmony to return. We need to stop for a moment and work together to reach it.