Eli Roth saga of doom

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One of many "blueberry" meme pictures which began appearing after Eli Roth began interacting with fandom via Ohnotheydidnt[1].

Contents

This fandom kerfluffle involved actor/director Eli Roth and the members of ohnotheydidnt, as well as its break-off community ontd_blueberry. It occurred in September 2009 after Roth joined Twitter and posted about finding an Inglourious Basterds kink_meme on LiveJournal, and then began interacting with fandom to a degree some found inappropriate.

History

On September 9, 2009, Eli Roth made his first appearances on Twitter:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09092009.jpg

He quickly grew a large number of followers to his Twitter account and on September 10, 2009, he made a tweet which linked to the LiveJournal gossip community ohnotheydidnt. [2][3]

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09102009.jpg

This lead to more posts about Eli being made to ohnotheydidnt and members of the community tweeting him.[4]

On September 20, 2009, ohnotheydidnt reported that Eli Roth had discovered fanfiction being written about his and other characters from the film Inglourious Basterds, (apparently in a kink_meme in the 100_scalps community on LiveJournal).[5] Not only did he not object to this discovery, he began to "encourage" writers on how he viewed his character would act in sexual situations. He also tweeted that he told director Quentin Tarantino about the fan-fiction and that he was going to show it to him shortly thereafter. This was summarized in his Twitter stream from September 20 through September 21:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09202009-09212009.jpg

On September 25, 2009, Eli tweeted about showing the fanfiction he'd found to his co-star in Basterds, Christoph Waltz. He also uploaded a picture shortly thereafter to illustrate their reaction:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09252009.jpg

Example of a "blueberry" icon, which started appearing rapidly all over ohnotheydidnt after September 25, 2009.
Example of a "blueberry" icon, which started appearing rapidly all over ohnotheydidnt after September 25, 2009.
Example of a "blueberry" icon, which started appearing rapidly all over ohnotheydidnt after September 25, 2009.

The mis-naming of a Blackberry as a Blueberry created an instant blueberry meme on ohnotheydidnt.[6] Late that night he posted a twitpic of an "I love ONTD" sign taped to his chest[7] and ended his Tweeting for this night by posting:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09252009_2.jpg

On the morning of September 26, Roth posted a twitpic which appeared to show a used kleenex, with the caption "Pics or it didn't happen. Good morning, Blueberries."[8] He continued to Tweet to the ONTD crowd, later that day posing for a picture he posted to Twitter of him posing in a pool, eating from a bowl of blueberries.[9] On that day, the spin-off community ontd_blueberry was created.[10] and Eli also answered questions for an interview which was posted on that day to ohnotheydidnt.[citation dead link] This interview was later deleted during the controversy that followed but contained some of the following content[11]:

Consider some ONTDers as extras in your next movie (freyja24)
 -- I need photos. I can't tell what anyone really looks like from their pics. Are you all super hot models with blueberries on your tits? If so, you got a job.
What is your favorite Miley/Hannah Montana song? (tracktwo) -- Nobody's Perfect. That was the song I used to beat Nazis to.
If you had to choose an Olsen twin, which one would it be and why? (ginagorexx3) -- It's hard to tell. But probably Ashley because Mary-Kate tends to dress like Janice Joplin and that's not my style. But really I'd have to sleep with them both to give you a definitive answer, it's not fair to judge them by how they dress.
What’s the most interesting or awkward place you’ve had sex? (brelicious) -- I try to fuck everywhere I can. The problem is there are so many cameras around. And on airplanes there isn't enough room, no matter where you are. All you can do is hide under a blanket. I had fun sex in a parking structure, just walking with my girlfriend back from shopping. I just ripped her jeans down, bent her over, and fucked her so hard. When I lived in NYC I used to try to be as dirty as possible. I'd take girls on what I called the Travis Bickle date. If you've ever seen Taxi Driver, he takes Cybill Shepherd on a date to a porn theater and it's painfully awkward. So I'd try to be as dirty as possible, pull them into XXX booths to fuck, fuck in alleys, anywhere we could. I wrote a lot about it, I have non fiction stories about all these experiences. One day I may put them into a book, but they're pretty fucked up. I did some weird shit.

In the early morning hours of September 27, Roth continued tweeting racy comments along the lings of "I feel like I just had the most amazing group cybersex with ohnotheydidnt. *wipes Blueberry juice from mouth*". The Twitter stream for the night read:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09272009.jpg

It was reported on ohnotheydidnt that some of those who had been tweeting back and forth with him had sent Roth compromising/topless photographs of themselves vis MySpace messaging[12] as well as sexually explicit text messages[13]. The morning after, he posted a Twitpic of a bathrobe hanging next to an espresso machine, with the caption "Oh yes we did!"[14]

He also posted the following tweets:

File:Eli_Roth_tweets_09272009_2.jpg

Concern was raised that some of those who had been sending photos to Roth and engaging in sexually explicit messaging may have been underage.[15] The growing kerfluffle was posted to sf_drama later on September 27[16], where members debated Roth's actions engaging with fandom in such a manner -- as well as why anyone would have responded to him in such a manner to begin with. On that day ashley51201, who had posted the interview with Roth to ONTD which had apparently launched the late-night cyber-orgy, posted a message from Eli to ONTD wherein he stated:

ELI'S MESSAGE:
I just put this out there to a few people but here's my official response:
I have no message for the haters, only for the lovers. There's a self-erected barrier between "celebrities" and "regular people" which I have always felt was complete nonsense. If I make a film, it cannot be a hit unless people go to see it. Celebrities need people as much as people need celebrities, because they give someone a fantasy of a life they wish they had, or show that anyone can realize a dream and come from nowhere to be adored all over the world. There are also accepted forms of behavior with celebrities. If you notice, it's accepted socially for a rock star to bang groupies, or for a director to fuck actresses, or a star to fuck fans. What is not accepted, however, is to put on this facade of politeness and behavior in front of journalists and bloggers so as to present an "image" that is acceptable to the public. Although I have acted, and I love acting, I think of myself first and foremost as a writer. Somehow, in my mind, the rules of celebrity do not apply to me, since I never followed the classic path to being one. I was broke at 30 and did not get real worldwide recognition until I was 33 with Hostel. And now, for the first time, people who may have heard of me but have not seen my films know who I am, and I get recognized from the film. But what has changed, really? My behavior. I've started being a little more polite. I'm conscious about everything I say. In short, I muted my voice. And then this thing started on ONTD. Just from my mentioning that I was aware of the gay S&M fanfiction, people felt I had shattered a fourth wall. How could I be the first person to talk about this? Had no one else every acknowledged that it was out there? It seemed hard to believe. And suddenly as I was reading what was being written, I had the urge to do an interview. I wanted to tell everyone how I really felt. I loved the animations. I loved that they took photos of me and Christoph and put them into collages. It's like our having dinner together Friday night and enjoying their comments sparked a whole new world of creativity. And they were genuinely funny. So when I sat down to answer the questions, I made a very conscious decision to not censor myself. The site is called Ohnotheydidnt. It's not Salon.com. It's supposed to be rough, raw, edgy, sexual, and funny. If you don't want it that way, then why are you there? It should be anything goes. And when I saw the responses, people started writing me through myspace, telling me how much they appreciated my honesty. I wanted to smash down whatever 4th wall was left between the "celebrity" and the "regular people," which truthfully I don't really think should exist, or at least I feel it should exist in some other incarnation where celebrities are not put on this pedestal, but simply known for the work they do. I don't believe in any sort of separation, I think it's insane. So then when the e-mails began getting more and more sexual, I made another decision to just let go and type what I felt. I could not worry about screen caps getting on blogs. In fact, if they did - good, who fucking cares. I'm a writer and I write what I feel, and if you don't like it, don't read it. It's not for everyone. I don't necessarily want to write about sex all the time, but I need to feel that I have the freedom to write about sex all the time if I choose to. I never want to filter, ever. That's why I always loved Howard Stern - he never filters. If he feels he shouldn't say something, he says it. People respond to him because he says what they're really thinking but are afraid to say. I always, always, always lived my life like that but recently I realized that somewhere in the last few months with all the "Basterds" press I had stopped. With this new level of attention came a muted version of my personality. And the more I wrote back to girls, the freer I felt. It was liberating. If I thought "I want to fuck her," I told her. If I wanted to see her tits, I told her. If I wanted to fuck them, I just said it. It was like I was writing from pure id. I hadn't done anything like that since college, when I worked as an on line sex operator for Penthouse back in the days before AOL. I could fuck 20 or 30 guys at once, pretending to be a girl, keeping multiple conversations going. It was like a drug last night, I couldn't stop, I wanted to see how far I could push the boundaries, and obviously, so did the people writing me. I knew my posts would get out there in the world but I also know their pictures are safe with me. And they know that. The whole night was about pushing boundaries - doing what we're not supposed to, which, in this case, was just saying I'm a fan, I want to fuck you and me saying I want to fuck you, too. It's the stuff "celebrities" are not supposed to say, but it was important for me to go through it, even as an exercise to get rid of all the stupid limitations I had put on myself.
I know this seems bizarre, like I had some kind of meltdown, or was on ecstasy or something, but really for me the night was about tearing down those boundaries between celebrity and fan and the things we're not supposed to say to each other. If I had met any of those girls in person and we had had a one night stand, it would be socially acceptable. But what did we do, really? Exchange words, images, and fantasies, and had a laugh over it. It was fucking hot, but it was all safe fun. We indulged in fantasy, but the reality of what happened was quite powerful. That's not something that can be repeated. I wouldn't do that every night, I probably wouldn't ever do that again, because part of the fun of it was everyone saying "are we really doing this? Is this really happening?" That taboo breaking zone is where I live. It's where I strive to go in my work. With "Cabin Fever", as tame as it may seem now, when it came out people said "Can he do that? Can he say that? Did I really just see that?" And then with "Hostel" people said "How could you do that?!? You're not allowed to do that in a movie!" and in "Hostel 2" people said "I cannot believe he went there. How could he?" But these are the things people who don't get it say. People who live in a box and want everything normalized for them. My natural personality has always been to push the envelope - as long as I can remember, going back to first grade. It's just who I am, it's my personality, I see something that's kind of forbidden and I go there. And now if people do this stuff it won't be as shocking. I'm giving other celebrities permission to let their guard down. I know there will be a backlash, I know the bloggers will have a field day, and let them. It's okay. Let them experience that reaction because over time they will get used to it and it won't be so shocking. Remember Madonna's "Sex" book? Before that book people would talk about nude photos of her like it was such a scandal, and she just took the sting away entirely. Even Paris Hilton's sex tape, or Britney's nude flashes - people went crazy and then eventually got used to it. So now we have me having cyber sex with a group of fangirls at the same time. It may seem shocking in the moment but one day, sooner than you think, people will laugh at how this was such a big deal. Because what is it, really? An exchange of words, pictures. But to me it was more than that. It was some strange moment where we all just went into the danger zone and destroyed these walls we all took part in creating. And it felt so fucking good.[17]
Screencap of the ontd_blueberries Twitter account, taken on September 30, 2009.
Screencap of the Blueberry Twibbon created to "Support Eli Roth" on Twitter.

Over 5,700 comments followed, many arguing back and forth over the actions of those who had sent photos and messages to Eli and those who saw nothing wrong with what had happened. As Roth tweeted on September 27 that he would be off for a week, the situation appeared to settle down for a while, though CCChristiana created a "Twibbon" for Twitter users who wanted to "Support Eli Roth".[18] By September 30, there were 87 supporters on Twitter adding blueberries to their avatars. On September 27, ecctv made a mod post to ohnotheydidnt about the entire incident. It said in part:

I've heard some rumors of you all sending pictures of your dirty pillows and hoo-has to this man. You all know better than this. I mean, my goodness. This community may be called "Oh No They Didn't" but I don't want the members to be included in "They."
I know it isn't my business but I'm getting complaints from people who are disgusted by this behavior. Don't let this be known as "that community that will send you nude pics if you acknowledge them a little bit."
So basically, stop sending nude pictures to celebrities just because this guy is super popular in this community right now.
...Don't be like Miley, Vanessa, C-----, or those other stars we make fun of for sending nudie pics. I mean, I can't stop you, but show some class, got damn.[19][citation is locked]

See also

External links

By date

August 31, 2009

September 10, 2009

September 20, 2009

September 26, 2009

September 27, 2009

September 28, 2009

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