Toxic YouTubers “hated” by Doctor Who? Animating multiphrenic incarnations of Not My Doctor anti-fandom
Keywordsfan studies, toxic fandom, anti-fandom, Doctor Who, Not My Doctor
This article considers how popular/spreadable misogyny enters into Doctor Who fans’ discourse communities via fan-cultural appropriation, mixing external political and internal fan discourses. This can oppose fannish communal norms such as “convivial evaluation” and “ante-fandom”. The theoretical perspective taken in the article combines work on toxic fandom with anti-fandom to thus understand fan toxicity as “multiphrenic”, i.e. drawing on multiple discourses and self-investments, including responding to its own anti-fans. The article goes on to examine YouTube voiceover-commentary videos from one communally-prominent Whotuber representing Not My Doctor anti-fandom, showing how they use devices such as the acousmetre and “stripped down” subjectivity to open a projective space for toxic fandom and enact a flat affect characterising what is termed “performative rationality”. Crucially, leftwing narratives of toxicity and hate are completely inverted to the extent that Doctor Who and the BBC are presumed, without evidence, to “hate” straight white male conservative fandom.
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