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No Naya No Glee

The news broke earlier today that Naya Rivera has been written out of Glee’s season 5 finale. Things don’t look great for Santana’s return in season 6, sort of how Glee’s ratings don’t look so good. As a result, ‘No Naya No Glee’ trended for about 3 hours today, one of the longest Glee trends, especially in recent months.

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Twitter trends, 4/28/2014

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Hashtag: Sorry, Not Sorry

Pop music historically exploits women and female sexuality. (This is of course not limited to pop music.) Naya Rivera just came out with her first single, Sorry. In this tune, Rivera celebrates winning over her boyfriend, Sean Anderson (stage name, Big Sean), and stealing him out from under a list of other girls, who according to Rivera and Anderson, only coincidentally share the same names as several of Anderson’s ex-girlfriends. Of course, just a coincidence. Very believable.

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Sending the Wrong Message

Naya Rivera, actress behind Glee’s Santana Lopez, one of the most high profile lesbian characters on TV, is dating in a very public fashion, the misogynistic, (homophobic) rapper, Big Sean.  (I can hear the groaning from here, but stick with me. This is important. Also please note, the focus here is Naya and how her actions are perceived and the much larger problem they represent.)

As is usually the case with an actor, especially actors who play LGBT characters, the actor behind favorite characters become just as special to the fans as the character themselves. Naya Rivera, because of Glee, has become one of these beloved actors, and she has, until now, returned the favor.

In interviews and the causes she supports, like GLAAD and the Trevor Project, has stated the importance of Santana’s role for the LGBT community and been incredibly supportive of the community.  As a matter of fact, Naya’s popularity and career exploded once Santana began her journey to come out and love Brittany on Glee.

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Fans at Work – Some Updates

Here are some updates on some fan-related missions:  Update on that E! shipping poll, a little bit about Naya Rivera’s Super Bowl M&M commercial, and the Brittana fandom’s continued mission.

First, the E! online poll discussed here has reached the next round.  There are now 8 couples left.  Sadly, Grey’s Anatomy’s Calzona didn’t make it through, but both Brittany & Santana and Lauren & Bo made it through.

It’s also interesting to note that “the big 3” from Glee (Brittana, Klaine and Finchel) made it into this next round.  The Glee fandom has a VERY strong social media presence, so I guess this isn’t surprising.

The current results are below, and you can vote here (vote for the lesbian ships!) until this Wednesday.  It looks like it’s going to be close all the way around.

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Naya Rivera’s Pretty Golden Ladies

In 2012, Naya Rivera was nominated for two ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) awards.  The awards honor “outstanding Latino artistic achievements in television, film, and music.”  The winners in each category are largely determined by fan votes.  Fans vote for their favorites in each category with one vote per email address once a day for 60 days.

Naya Rivera was nominated in the categories “Favorite TV Actress in a Comedy” and “Favorite Female Music Artist”.  She won both awards in both categories, despite the fact that her role on Glee is considered a “supporting” role and she hasn’t released her own solo music album yet.

What is most interesting is Naya was pitted against some very well known competition in both categories, yet Naya has a cult-like following of fans that religiously voted and campaigned for her during the voting process.  And, Naya was successful.

To demonstrate what a feat Naya’s organized social media army is, let’s examine the other nominees in each category.  To show the approximate fan base of each of the nominees, here is the (recent) number of Twitter followers for each celebrity in both categories:

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Twitter did what?

This blog serves to explore the intersection of TV shows, social media, social change and audiences.  I will focus a lot on shows that have lesbian characters as a springboard for discussing the social implications TV can have and how that shapes creative responsibility. This is because that is a large part of who I am and what is important to me.   But, I’ll be looking into anything TV and social media related, and exploring the responsibility and changes that the collision of TV, fans and social media cause.

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