if you cut me, i will bleed

Pretty much all of Comicon was awesome. However, there was one thing that was decidedly not awesome, and though I had initially decided not to talk about it in public, it's bothered me since it happened, so I wrote about it on G+ earlier today.

I'm cross posting it here, though, because it's important to me:

On the way out of the Syfy party on Saturday night, a pretty horrible thing happened. I wasn't going to talk about it in public, but I can't stop thinking about it, and I think this needs to be said.

When I was a Teen Idol*, and I traveled to New York for publicity all the time, it was fairly common for a handful of super weird people to hang out all day in front of my hotel, or in the lobby of my hotel, so they could pounce on me whenever I tried to enter or leave, and demand as many autographs as they could. It was really creepy and awful, and I always hated it. It was more than a little scary. I mean, who in the world spends an entire day sitting in one place waiting for someone? Oh, I know: crazy people.

So, crazy people, pay attention: If you camp out in front of my hotel while I am on location or visiting a city, if you camp out in front of a party I'm attending … basically, if you camp out anywhere so you can shove a stack of 8x10s into my face when I'm trying to enter or leave a location, I'm not going to sign them, and I'm not going to be nice about it.

I refuse to reward or validate that kind of behavior, and I'm done being polite about it.

When we walked out of the SyFy party on Saturday night, a pack of people — probably 12 or 15, I'd guess — appeared out of nowhere, and surrounded me. They shoved pictures into my face, thrust pens at me, and made it so that I couldn't even move. They separated me from my friends and my son, and, quite frankly, terrified me.

Let's stop for a second and think about this: in what kind of world is it acceptable to surround a person you do not know, separate them from the people they are with, and essentially trap them? Maybe in crazy entitled psycho world, but not the world I live in.

I tried to scrawl my signature on a couple of things, just so some of those people would move and let me keep on walking, but whenever someone took something away, something new immediately took its place. Somehow, +Felicia Day saved me. She reached through the mob, grabbed my hand, and said, "Sorry, we have to go meet some of our friends," before the literally pulled me away, to safety.

This is when the mob lost its shit. They yelled at me like I had done something wrong. They called me names, and they booed at me. (Seriously). A woman stormed up next to me and said, "If you don't sign these things for me, I'm going to tell Twitter what an asshole you really are."

I don't respond well to threats like that. Though my instinct was to explode at her, I took a deep breath, looked her square in the eye, turned on my dad voice, and said, "Really? Are you serious? We're done here." I quickened my pace, and for the next two blocks she followed us, screaming and ranting and raving about how she'd waited there for hours, driven all the way from someplace far, and that I basically owed her as a result of her choice. I eventually tuned her out, and I guess she went back to the Syfy party to harass whoever else came out next.

The whole thing was really scary, made me feel like a sideshow freak, and made me really, really angry. I was just trying to walk out of a hotel and go meet up with my friends. I didn't do anything wrong, and I'm not going to apologize forgetting upset about it.

This is important: I realize that just about anyone reading this on my blog isn't one of Those Guys. Please don't think the "you" here refers to, you know, you.

This is also important: When your motto is "don't be a dick," a certain kind of person is vigilantly looking for moments like this when you can be accused of violating your own motto, thereby proving to the entire world that you are, in fact, a giant lying pile of shit. I'm fairly certain that reasonable people can see who the dick was in this situation, and hopefully agree that it was not me. For everyone else: go fuck yourself.**

In Dancing Barefoot, I wrote about signing autographs at conventions:

Over the years, I've learned something from this experience: it's never about the signature. It's about that brief moment, that brief encounter with a Star Trek cast member, that is so important to the fans. That 30 seconds or so of hopefully undivided attention is what they're really paying for, and I always do my best to make sure they get their money's worth. Contrary to popular belief, sitting at a table signing hundreds of autographs for several hours without a break is hard. It's not just mindlessly scrawling my name; It's stopping and listening to the always excited, sometimes shaking, always sweating, sometimes scary dude who wants to know exactly why I did “X” on episode “Y” and would I please sign his picture in silver, because Marina signed it in gold and now he wants the men in silver and the women in gold, and I hated your character and here are 25 reasons why and I expect an answer for each one of them and I'm not leaving until I'm satisfied.

The crazy people who camp out don't care about that brief moment, that brief encounter. The crazy people only care about taking a piece of $Celebrity.person and possibly selling it, or hording it, or … you know, I don't even want to think about where that path leads.But that's why they behave the way they do. It isn't about our work, or about saying "thank you" or "high-five!" or anything about that. It's about entitlement and being crazy, and I will not validate or condone that kind of behavior ever again.

I realize that a crazy person who thinks it's entirely normal and not psycho to camp out in front of a hotel for hours and hours so they can trap a person isn't going to understand why I will not validate that behavior, but I need to make this clear for the future: I'm a person. I am a  human being and if you cut me I will bleed. I'm happy to sign things and take pictures with people in appropriate situations, but if some dude violates my personal space or freaks me out, and then gets mad at me when I try to get away from him, I'm not going to do anything beyond telling that person to go fuck himself, and I'm not going to feel bad about it. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, I am not your bitch.

Finally: In before the inevitable "you're an actor and you chose this so you deserve what you get so suck it up because my life harder than yours because blah blah blah" comment (probably not here, but definitely at G+.)


**See? I don't even feel bad. (Well, maybe a little bit. I need to work harder on it, I suppose.)

326 thoughts on “if you cut me, i will bleed”

  1. Wil,
    You will never have to worry about me shoving picures or books in your face to sign. I NEVER get to see or meet famous people and if I did I’m sure I would be SO star struck that I wouldn’t have the nerve to approach them. I doubt that I would be able to wait in line for an autograph either. I actually have a fear of meeting famous people and then saying or doing something stupid. Then I would kick myself in the ass forever, because I sounded like an idiot in front of someone I admired. So, for me at least, it is a situation I would probably avoid altogether. So I guess you can imagine how blown away I am at the balls those morons had to approach you the way they did. And that woman! She even had the guts to follow you?! I have issues with personal space anyway, and for people to get so close to me without permission would probably make me go APE SHIT. Then they would all be punched in the face. If I had been followed, I would have called the police and told them that I was being followed by a nut. Perhaps a night in the pokey would make autograph hounds think twice before accosting me again.

  2. First off, I think what happened to you is terrible and you were right to walk away. I also think you did a good job in your post of clarifying what’s appropriate and what’s not. Like so many others that have met you and already declared here, you are approachable, gracious, and offer a genuine interaction to fans at signings and other appropriate situations.
    Interacting with famous people can be tricky, even for well-adjusted, reasonable people. You’ve no doubt had so many people approach you because they feel entitled or just want something from you, that its understandable that you have to be suspicious or at the very least guarded about your interactions.
    I think at some point in the past, I made a misstep and you might have assumed the worst about me and it still ties my stomach up in knots just thinking about it.
    I sent at least one e-mail trying to apologize and rectify the situation and never heard back from you. Time passed and I had to write it off as a regret that I was just going to have to live with.
    When I was out in LA in March I went to the Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm show at Largo because I’m still a fan and active supporter of your work and was just discovering P&S. The show was fantastic and I had a great time.
    Afterwards I saw that you guys were going to be doing a signing and I was really conflicted about whether to stay or go. It had been years since we talked and I figured you wouldn’t even remember me. The idea that you would remember me and think I was some grade A douche bag terrified and embarrassed me. After nearly walking out I sucked it up and got the courage to wait in line to say hello and thank you all for the great show.
    Not only did you remember me, but you were the same kind, generous, genuine guy that I met in Tulsa 10 years ago. I have no idea what you really think of me and if you were just being nice, so I kept the interaction quick. The whole situation left me confused and I sent an e-mail a few days later that was maybe a little too enthusiastic and got no response. I thought, “Fuck. I’ve done it again.”
    Anyway, I would rather this not be left as a comment, but I have no idea if my e-mails get through and its really important for me to be able to say that I’m sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable. I have been a fan for more than half my life and will continue to be. It would have been great to have gotten to know you better, but I’d just be satisfied to know you didn’t think poorly of me.
    PS. The feedback you gave me on my writing so many years ago still means so much to me. I still hope to someday be able to deliver on the promise you thought I showed.

  3. Well… There’s just no excuse for harrassing people, whether they’re celebrities or not. I’m glad I’m not quite famous enough to have this kind of thing happen to me.
    I might not like your TNG character (whatever his name was), or give two shits about scrawls on photos, but if you’re ever in Sweden, I’ll buy you a beer for being an awesome blogger and (I’m guessing) all around great guy. :).

  4. Sadly, there shall never be a shortage of rectal haberdashers.
    I saw Majel Barret-Roddenberry at SDCC one year, sitting by herself at a table, either reading or pre-signing photos, I don’t remember. It was early Thursday morning. As much as I appreciated her, I decided to leave her alone and let her enjoy what little peace and sanity was being afforded her.

  5. Oh…you’re awesome. I would never treat you or anyone who I watched in movies or on television like that. You’re people just like us. There was ONE time I saw an actor, and I am very proud of how I reacted. He was from Alias oh so long ago and was at a child’s b-day party. I of course knew who he was and went outside and called my best friend who loved the show as well and squeaked out an excited convo. But I didn’t go up to him, not a children’s party! That would be awful! I did make my cousin sit somewhat near him though so I could “take her picture” and he was in it too. I think he didn’t mind because he knew I knew who he was but I never actually tried to make contact or ruin his afternoon. So, Mr. Wheaton if I ever saw you on the sidewalk I might say: How is that beer making going? And let you walk on by. If you give respect, you get it back! <3

  6. I have seen a lot of bad fan behavior over the years; this may be the worst I’d heard of. I believe that you reacted correctly and with civility. Even if you hadn’t, I don’t think I could blame you. They surrounded you! Wallet, signature, is there really a difference? They mugged you! They harassed you! Hell, if that woman had kept it up, you would have been within your rights to call a cop on her.
    Many “fans” are not admirers at all. They are bounty hunters and autograph thugs. They are crazy, greedy, selfish, and don’t respect privacy. Ebay encourages their behavior by putting a dollar value on their activities.
    What is wrong with people?

  7. This is exactly why I never ask for a signature. The moment, the connection is much more valuable than a piece of paper. I’m there for the memory.
    I went up for Seattle’s IFF a couple months ago when they were giving Ewan McGregor a lifetime achievement award. I had never seen the “celebrity mob” before, but boy did I that day. It was frightening just being in the crowd. People push and shove and will trample you just to get that blurry picture which doesn’t say anything about their personal encounter at all.
    They were also having an honorary dinner for him afterwards if you donated to SIFF so I decided to do that. We all payed $250 to get in, and were reminded multiple times that signatures and photographs are not allowed. But by the end of the dinner, when the poor man was literally falling over from conversing all evening, there were several people who had been at the dinner the whole time who went up and thrust not one, but a STACK of papers at him to sign, and didn’t even have the courtesy of bringing a pen. Amazingly, he signed them before excusing himself. I couldn’t help but stare this one guy down with a look that said, “You are a piece of shit.”
    Seriously folks. What the hell is going on in your head when you pull this kind of BS? I guess like you said Wil, it’s some insane sense of entitlement. Bizarre.

  8. What I will say is that if I ever get the chance to meet you at PAX East, I will totally trade something for an autograph or picture or even a simple hello. The way I see it, it may be some sort of bartering or payment system that could be seen as stupid or rude, but I have two things to say to that.
    A) I see it as you’ve done something really cool for us without making it a one on one thing, until you meet us one on one, so why can’t we as the consumers/fans/followers/WHYISN’TTHEREAWORDTODESCRIBEITWITHOUTBEINGIMPERSONALORUTTERLYCREEPYGAAAAAAAAAAH do the same for you? Like the fan that says “I hated your character and here are my 25 reasons why, so I expect an answer,” they spent time compiling that list and thinking about how to word it (though I think top 5 would have sufficed, but hey, the more the merrier) so exchange time for time.
    B) I am with the Cookie Brigade, so most likely at some point I will have nommable, delicious cookies to make Wil’s Con Stomach worship the deity that is Sucrose.
    Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that when you are looking for some form of recognition from Awesome Man 237, you need to remember that while he is Awesome, he’s also a Man, so realize how special the time is. Heck, in your last post, Ryan couldn’t stop freaking out about “OMG JOHN DIMAGGIO SANG TO ME AS BENDER”.

  9. I read this post, and as I read it I tried to imagine myself in Wil’s position being mobbed like that. Maybe it’s just because I’m up way too late but I’m literally almost in tears. (<_<)
    Really, it’s terrible. And I think you said it very well, Wil, about just why people do things like this.

  10. We work conventions, too, and I totally get what you say about it being a hard, tiring job. I also completely understand the reaction to mobbing. It must be very unnerving. (We are not famous, so we wouldn’t know about *that*.)
    All I can say about you at a convention is that you seemed very uncomfortable and weirded out by it. We met you in PHXCC in 09 and you seemed a bit like you really didn’t want to be there. You were nice, but not very warm. //NOT judging, just offering some input from the other side of the table!!
    We love you and your work and appreciate the stress of cons. We hope you don’t have to deal with crazy people often and we hope it won’t further affect your con experiences. SDCC is one helluva con and every crazy from everywhere is there. I can’t imagine being famous at SDCC. GAH!
    And NO, you do NOT owe any of us fans a goddam thing. We know that! Which is why we stand in line to say HI and give you money for it. It’s the way of things.
    Shake off the crazies and don’t be afraid of us fans. We really like you and want you to be happy. Just know that 99% of the people who are on the other side of the table just want to say HI and give you money to do it. And THAT, my friend, is great work if you can get it. :)

  11. Wil,
    People mobbed Johnny Depp where ever he went and had meet and greets and hardly posed with fans and signed some autographs. To Christian Bale’s delight the media focused on Johnny Depp instead of Christian Bale. Christian was able to enjoy exploring WI while filming his scenes for Public Enemies in 2008. After a long day of filming Christian Bale took the time to come out in a black SUV at 10pm (5-5-08 in Madison at the State Capitol) and sign autographs for his fans. I found out that he actually was surprised anybody was there for him. Pretty much all of the media coverage was about Johnny Depp, because he played lead character. Christian as always was happy the media spotlight wasn’t on him. Christian even would spell the names back to make sure he wrote it correctly. It was a dream come true finally meet him in person (I had wanted to meet him since he was in Newsies in 1992.) I was the only one who had two 8×10 black and white photos for him to sign to me (not just his name) and my friend who had to leave. He still had his makeup and costume on at the end of filming and still came out to sign autographes. The only ones that are crazy are the ones that shove photos in celebrites faces are the ones that want to make money in auctioning or selling them on EBAY. The greedy jerkoffs. They should be ashamed of themselves for their treatment of celebrities to make money off the autographs. I was just glad that Christian even though he must of been exhausted to come out and sign for fan of his after a long exhausting day of filming.

  12. I follow you on tumblr (I am zhounder, reblog your stuff often) and occasionally I look here for stuff.
    To be honest these People have issues. They need lives. I mean anyone that asks you why you did XYZ on TNG, well duh! The writers and the director asked you to! To corner you like that is just not normal. Well maybe it is for you but it sure as hell shouldn’t be.
    You know, I liked you on TNG, I liked you in the movies, but most of all I like your opinions here and on tumblr. You are just a guy who happens to be a good actor and blogger with opinions I share.
    If you are ever in Philly and expect these people to be outside, Let me know and I will run blocker for you. All I ask is a high 5 as you run by. If I have a hand while holding them back that is.

  13. GASP! Wil Wheaton is HUMAN?
    Everyday I wake up and say to myself “Don’t be a dick!” but I know that I will likely fall well short of that goal. I get up the next day and try again. Theologically sound.

  14. One might say that those people are just super excited to see their favorite celebrity and didn’t get a chance to at Comicon, or couldn’t afford to go. One might also say, you’ve been looking to hoist your particular star back up for years. Why are you complaining about it? But one might also need to stop and think. The first thing that jumped out at me? “Seperated me from my friends AND MY SON…” Yeah, I realize that your sons are adults now, but they are still your sons, your children and if that had been me, I would have been in a blind rage. Second, it doesn’t sound as if they were any better than the papparazzi and yeah, those pictures probably ended up on eBay that same night. Big fan, have been since TNG, but NOT going to camp out to hopefully catch a glimpse of an annoyed individual that’s probably heard “Hey Wesley Crusher!” way too many times to count. The only thing worthy of that activity is the iPhone.

  15. +1
    You have a right to your personal time. You were not at an event were the public was invited, true fans of yours should understand that. You have venues were you invite people to come to see/talk with you, this was not one. If people are crazy enough to stalk you and then somehow come up with the “logic” that you owe them something, well that is their problem. Oh and kudos to you for not being a dick. You did better than I would have in that situation.

  16. I’m not sure why you are hand wringing about this at all. Yeah, you are a celebrity. But the dick move is not taking “No” for an answer. You aren’t under any obligation to sign a thing. It’s a courtesy you extend under appropriate conditions. Saying “No.” is not being a dick.
    I think you should look at it as a fame barometer. There is apparently a market for your signature on a glossy. Enjoy the positive. Discard the negative. The people doing that are probably either mentally unwell or are professional celebrity autograph stalkers. My advice, leave when Nathan Fillion leaves. LOL.

  17. I’m sorry that I’m late to reply to this (gotta make the bucks, you know!), but I am sincerely sorry you had to deal with this Wil. My fiancée and I have both said in the past that the life of a celebrity is difficult because you have to deal with fanatical people. Celebrities are, as you said, people too and should be met with the same respect that you would give a stranger on the street. I think people lose their common sense when they are around celebrity figures.
    I went to w00tstock 3.0 and bought a T-shirt as a souvenir as a memento of my first time attending. I intended to wait for an official opportunity to have everyone sign it, but judging by the initial crowd that stood near the lobby waiting for everyone, I decided against it for a few reasons, including:

    1. I didn’t have a silver Sharpie to sign the black shirt with me as I didn’t think ahead to bring one and didn’t want to hold up the cast because I was unprepared;
    2. I still had an hour drive back home and it was getting late and I didn’t want to be a risk to others on the road;
    3. I was too excited and shy to even say “Thank you” (instead, choosing Twitter & my blog to express my gratitude);
    4. but ultimately, it looked like there were a lot of people and I didn’t want to add to that line because I knew everyone there had someone they wanted to meet up with or somewhere else that they’d probably like to go – like to sleep or something.

    It was a bit disheartening that I didn’t get to come up and say “Hi!” and “Thank you!” for putting on the show, and even my fiancée knew it wasn’t the choice I really wanted since she saw the excited look on my face after buying the shirt turn to disappointed acceptance when I chose to leave. But I do not regret it, since it was my decision to leave. Perhaps at some point in the future I will be able to give my gratitude in person, but, unlike the fanatics who had accosted you, I will do so in an appropriate situation. Perhaps then I can also express my gratitude for introducing my fiancée to the world of geek as one of the most friendly and accepting communities ever.
    P.S. Sorry for the disjointed thoughts. I just wanted to express that I, too, am a fan, but one who used common sense (and probably a lot more bashfulness).

  18. “Nobody puts Baby* in the corner!”
    Yuck. I’m so sorry this happened to you… what a nightmare! Glad Felicia was there to fight the zombie hordes and pull you out.

  19. I’m unsure if you’ll get to this comment, because I just noticed how many comments you get on each post! But, I thought it was relevant.
    I watched TNG as a kid, and remember young Wesley Crusher. However, it wasn’t until you moved into this small circle of geek things that I enjoy (keynote at PAX East, Big Bang, The Guild, etc) that I really got an appreciation for Wil Wheaton. That keynote still attempts to elicit a tear from my eye, whenever I re-watch it on YouTube. You’re the fun, funny, successful geek that so many of us want to be, and we know it’s okay to be that way. Partially because of you (and partially because of other things, including growing up!), it is now nearly impossible to make fun of me about nerdy stuff; people just get blank stares from me, and maybe a shrug.
    So, I ran into you at PAX Prime 2010, while I was off-shift from enforcing. I think it was just you and another enforcer, chatting it up in front of the merch booth. I put my geeky timidness aside, made my way over, and asked if I might be able to get a picture with you. But, it wasn’t to be, as it was one of those “if I did this for everyone…” things.
    I can still see the exact look on your face: pained, apologetic, genuine. The surrounding area had almost no other people around, it was a relaxed kind of time, and I was a loyal fan, stifling down an embarrassing “SQUEE”. But, I got it. I thought, “What if I was a celebrity, travelling around in the midst of thousands of people who knew me? How would I feel?” The pained, apologetic look helped, too.
    Sure, I was disappointed. I’d have loved a picture, or even an elbow bump, but I understood. I think that for too many people, celebrities are a commodity. They’re a brand, and we consume them via various mediums. But, when they’re not taking on a character and actively being filmed, they’re just like everyone else. This is the key idea behind this situation, and I think every fan should understand it thoroughly.

  20. Ha! If I'd known these people were there, I would have timed my departure to coincide with a *real* famous person's, so I could take advantage of them being distracted to make my escape. I've done that before, and it's a great move.

  21. I haven’t looked through all the comments, so I don’t know if this was mentioned already, but…
    Another reader of your blog, a needlepointer, has been stitching an design a day, called an “inchie,” and she was inspired by your post for her design yesterday:
    I’m not affiliated with Dragonfly Designs (other than I really like her threads), but subscribe to both her blog & yours in my RSS reader.
    I’m also sorry that you have to put up with such nonsense by people. You’re an actor, not the toy of the public.

  22. Every time I interact with someone I admire, I’m always freaking out that I might be crossing a line. I’ve been to SDCC twice (2009 and 2011) and when I remember some moments of it, I just want to punch myself. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like these people you described though… For me, what you said about the moment being more important than the autograph is absolutely right, and I really try hard to be polite and not look like a crazy person… It makes me sad that others don’t give a shit about if they are being inappropriate or mean to the artist that they supposedly admire.
    I met you at w00tstock (I’m the Brazilian girl who gave you guys chocolates, and who does subtitles for The Guild) and you were really REALLY nice! I think if anyone makes you mad to this point, it’s because they deserved it.
    And on the same topic, I saw you when I was in line for the Nerdist podcast and you were arriving at the theater and as soon as I saw you I said: “Wil Wheaton!”. You looked and smiled at me but right after that I felt like a jerk. I immediately though “shit, I should have stayed quiet, I said his name way too loud and people might go annoy him now…”. I think that didn’t happen though, which is great cause then I’d feel REALLY bad.
    But anyway, yeah, what happened to you with these crazy fans sucks. Glad Felicia helped you out!

  23. Like they say, if you and I are in the woods and a bear begins to chase us, I don’t need to run faster than the bear, just faster than you. You don’t have to go incognito, you just need to hang out with bigger celebrities. I wonder if Felicia was insulted. 😛

  24. I’m going to blame it on CA. Here in ATL (Dragon*Con!!) we wouldn’t dream of doing stuff like that.
    Now which hotel are you staying at?

  25. Wait, I was dropped on my head as a child. I’d hate to think that I was destined to act like a dick at any public encounters I may have in the future. . .

  26. Seriously?! What a bunch of barf burgers these people are!!! Sorry you had to go through that. Hope you don’t think I am a nut for hoping to run into you and give you a birthday gift! I seriously have run into so many people at Comic-Con so it was a longshot but a possibility! I met you there in the past and you were awesome and so nice:) I met Marina Sirtis there again and she gushed at my 2 1/2 year old son-that was fun, and she gave him candy haha:) I had wondered if you got to see her and Michael Dorn while you were there? Mini reunion:)

  27. It’s one thing to ask for an autograph, it’s another thing to stalk someone. Under any other definition, this would be considered stalking, but because you are a “celebrity” that makes it okay, which is utter rubbish. The second thing that really irks me is that they separated you from your boy. I’m all about family, and if anyone came between me and my family, bad things would happen. I’m born and bred redneck, and family is everything. I’m glad you got out fairly unscathed, next time send out bait, or at least a look out with a taser LOL

  28. I’ve always considered proper fan etiquette to consist of getting an autograph when the celebrity offers (like at a convention or a premiere), understand that in reality you are probably disinterested (while still appreciating us as fans) in talking to us or getting to know us and should keep greetings simple and brief.
    Celebrities have lives just like any of us, and it is rude an inconsiderate to believe that you owe any of us anything. You are celebrities because you provide us with entertainment, and having worked on a film set before, I can understand what a task that is. In my view that means whatever hypothetical ‘something’ you owe us (I feel nothing is owed) is paid in full by you taking the time to showcase your talent for our amusement working the long days of filming, the retakes, the time you take to develop your character and the time out of your lives to devote to conventions, appearances and the like.
    You are completely justified in telling these people to fuck off. Off is the general direction in which anyone should want them to fuck. Hold to these convictions as they are justified sir. I look forward to being able to enjoy your work as long as you feel like doing it.

  29. You just reminded me of something I used to do when I worked in local TV. Occasionally I’d cover a government meeting where a particular senator would attend. At the end of the meeting she was always surrounded by people talking politics…this was usually late at night too. I can’t remember how this got started, But here’s what I would do; after breaking down my equipment, which would take about 20 minutes, I’d ask her if she would like me to walk her out to her car. She’d take my arm and I’d help her escape. That was out little routine for the longest time.
    I can proudly say, that working in TV and the odd movie here and there, I’ve never asked for a single autograph. I’d have a hell of an autograph book too. You know that guy who walks by you and just says “hey”? That’s me (c:

  30. Wil, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I really hate stalkers and I’ve seen that happen at couple of conventions like that. Makes me angry to see how people treat celebs like that.
    That’s the problem, stalkers can’t see themselves as being stalkers (whether they’re in love you or stalking for autographs or shooting photos for money, etc.) because they’re blind to that obvious fact. It’s like not being able to see through the forest for the trees. They’re that stupid.
    And you’re right, some stalkers don’t see celebs as real people with real feelings, rather they see celebs as objects, but at the same time, they only see themselves as a person and everyone else is not. Kind of a weird narcissistic way of thinking.
    But I hope in your situation it is extremely rare and not a every everyday nor a every convention occurrences. If it was, to me, I would have never left my house. I guess having that kind of fear would piss me off too.
    Nonetheless, that was so cool that you kept your cool and kept the motto “don’t be a dick” to heart and that Felicia is a TRUE HERO!!! You gotta reward her blessed heart for that. If you cook, invite her over your house and spend time with your family and just laugh it up, while forgetting the BS that ever happened. She truly deserves to be thanked and blessed for it.
    Lastly, thank you for being you and for all the hard work you’ve put into, no matter how small nor large the work that you have done. You are def one wickedly cool geek!

  31. Those types of people scare me to the point that, even when I am standing next to someone famous I refuse to do anything that could potentially draw the kind of attention that would lead to mobs of pen-wielding people leaping at someone, potentially putting out an eye.
    Let her think you’re a dick. Worst case scenario you’ll end up in a “Liam Neeson’s Cock” joke and everyone will forget about it in half a second. Thanks to the internet we all have the attention span of gerbils! YAY!

  32. Yeah man that kind if behavior is just ridiculous. I was at Power Morphicon last year and a bunch of people did that to Jason David Frank (the original green and white power ranger) at the convention and Jonny Yong Bosch outside of the Sheraton Hotel in Pasadena. Me and a friend of mine broke through the mob very forcefully and ran with Jonny to the parking garage, got into a cab and he bought us PF Changs for our act of kindness haha. People that see this kind of stuff happening shouldn’t just sit idly by and let it be, if i walk down the street and i see a woman being harassed by a bunch of thugs, im going to say something and help her. Its basically the same scenario, in no way, shape or form is it EVER right to trap and force someone to do something for their own personal gain.

  33. I love autographs for the exact reason you mentioned. That one little moment. It’s always why I only have a handful (mostly from authors), because I know if I want to have That Moment™, I have to attend an Official Event™ and stand in the Official Line™. And I’m not so good with crowds.
    A friend and I went drove to Alabama once to see a play an actor we both liked was in. The next day, she wanted to go hang out at the back door to the theater, hoping for an autograph. I felt so completely uncomfortable that I couldn’t be there. After a few minutes, I had to go wait in the garden next to the theater, because as much as I liked the actor, I felt so, so stalkerish. My friend is a sweet girl and would never have acted like those who accosted you did. But it was still a situation I didn’t want to be in. And the actor in question apparently didn’t want to be either. He’d apparently seen the little group waiting at the back door and had to cut through the garden to go in the side door. He almost ran into me in his hurry. So now I’m torn between the “Wow, I was *this* close to him” and the “My god, I was a stalking fangirl after all” emotions.
    Regardless, I’ve enjoyed reading and listening to all the stuff that happened at Comic Con. I hope this experience didn’t completely ruin your weekend. :)

  34. Wil,
    As someone who came to ComicCon for the first time with the dual objectives of meeting you and enjoying the con I can say that I had a wonderful time and even though I was unable to go to Wootstock (I have a one year old who was on East Coast time) or see your panel (that line was insane) it makes me feel dirty to think about those who laid in wait to meet you. I’m sorry your con was marred by these folks. I hope someday to share 30 seconds with you to let you know how much your work, writing, views have influenced and validated me as a life long geek. Thank you for being as gracious and accessible as you are.

  35. Wil, I’m so sorry and scared that this happened for you. I’m sure you know this, but for every Psycho Crazy Person out there, there are 1,000 or more of your fans that aren’t and respect your personal time and space. I think you acted appropriately and thank heaven that Felecia was there to help you out!

  36. Wow. Seriously, as a doctoral student doing my dissertation on stalking, I strongly believe that all celebrities MUST have security guards when they go out at ALL times, even if you don’t think you need them. There are some seriously crazy people out there, I’m sure many of them with undiagnosed psychotic or personality disorders. When those people become obsessed, they become dangerous. One of the worst things about it is some of these obsessed people are truly delusional. As soon as that famous celebrity they’ve been obsessing over (in this case, you) proves to not fit into the little box or ideal, as soon as you behave even a little outside of their ideal image, they become threatening and physically aggressive. You don’t owe them anything. I do think it was dangerous that you actually stopped to sign some of their shit, a crowd that big, scary, and demanding. I’m no expert (yet) on stalking, but please, please don’t ever accommodate them even a little. We true fans don’t want to see you get hurt. Those people weren’t fans. They were psychos.

  37. Consider everything Wil, and other celebs like him, do for us above and beyond their normal job (sharing his life with us through this blog for example. To ask for more, an autograpgh here or a photo there, is obscene.
    We should be giving Wil and those like him things instead of demanding more. We should be making their day, or week, by saying thank-you.
    Sometimes I’m almost ashamed to be genetically related to these frootloops, but then people like Wil and Felicia give me hope. Hope that we, as humans, are basically good and it#s actually cool to be a geek.
    So thanks Wil. Thank you for all you give to us, your time, your humour and mostly thanks for not being a dick.
    May you always have a +10 looney resistance bonus, and may the dice gods smile kindly on you.

  38. I think there is a vast difference between someone who has mental health problems and the people Wil is refering to.
    Pesonally I think the term “crazy” is very apt for someone who acts in a completely irrational way for absolutely no reason.
    Like you, I don’t mean to cause offence, however I have to disagree with you.
    As a sufferer of mental health issues, I can with absolute certainty say I am not crazy. People who know better, do not have psychological problems, and still act the way Wil described are more than crazy. They’re batsh*t crazy.
    They choose to act that way, but you do not choose to be claustrophobic and I do not choose to be the way I am.
    I’m not trying to convince you that you’re wrong, I just wanted to try and explain that sometimes the “C” word is appropriate. Once upon a time the word geek was offensive and had a stigma, yet these days it’s considered kinda cool. The word dude originally meant homosexual. Words change, attitudes change. The word is only offensive because you say it is, if you say it’s not then you take away all it’s power. It becomes just a word. Really it was only your offence that gave it power to hurt in the first place.
    I hope that makes sense. Keep up the good work with your patients and keep rocking the Geek.

  39. I really hate the excuse of “well, you’re an actor, you chose this so you deserve it.” Bullshit. I’m a nurse. Just because I’m a nurse doesn’t mean people have the right to approach me in a restaurant and say, “Hey, he accidentally cut himself, will you bandage it? Oh, and while you’re at it, I’ve got this rash I need someone to look at…”
    There’s a time and place for everything. And jumping someone when they’re clearly out with friends and don’t want to be bothered about their job is just wrong.
    I’m sorry that the crazies have to come out of the woodwork and spoil a good time. Hope you were able to recover and have fun that night anyway.

  40. Back in the old days when WKRP was on the air, my friends and I were playing cards in the international terminal at Kennedy Airport (which was just about empty except for us) waiting for a friend to arrive when who should come along but Howard Hesseman. I said to my friends loud enough for Mr. Hesseman to hear (the place was empty and echoed like crazy), “Hey! It’s the guy from WKRP.” They all looked up and then we went back to playing cards. You could see he was relieved that we didn’t run up asking for autographs.
    I will never understand people who bother stars for autographs. Now, if it was on a check for several thousand dollars… (bet, you never heard that joke before).

  41. I am so sorry this happened to you but truely appreciate that you are not letting this make you jaded to all fans everywhere. Keep up the amazing work and stay strong.

  42. I hate people who think that they’re entitled to autographs and the like. I work anime conventions, and I’ve seen crazed superfans on several occasions. I’ve seen how alarming it is, and I’ve always felt horribly bad because it’s those fans who give both the regular fans and on occasions the person they’re spazzing over a bad name. When working these conventions, I often meet people that I’ve been a fan of for years, but I rarely (and often meekly when the situation arises) ask them for autographs without waiting in line like everyone else must do. I think a lot of it has to do with the current mindset of people. Many people I’ve met feel they’re entitled to something, that they deserve to be given something that they don’t always really deserve. (I’ve noticed this even more in my generation, but that’s another story entirely.) I can honestly and proudly say that if I were to just see someone with your popularity in passing on the street or something, I wouldn’t be a creeper. I’d just be excited that it happened!

  43. Wil, I am very much looking forward to meeting you for those 30 seconds at Dragon*Con and I promise, above all else, I will do my level best NOT to be a dick.
    As an artist and science guest at cons, I’ve been on the opposite end of fandom: that bespectacled geek who squints at your “Guest” badge and snorts, “Hmph! Never heard of you!”

  44. Now that I’ve read some of these comments, I have to point out the distinction between stalking/attacking and politely talking to someone or asking for an autograph or picture if you happen to run into a celebrity you admire. I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with the latter unless they seem to be rushing off somewhere. Am I wrong?
    I’ve run into a few celebs, and I’ve asked for an autograph once. It takes a lot of guts for me to talk to a celeb, and now do I have to worry that I’m a total asshole for doing it, even completely casually?

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