I don’t really get why this video escalated so quickly. And it’s not because I want an excuse for Sam it’s because I don’t think anyone in it was doing what they did maliciously. We don’t know anything about them so why has everyone just decided they are awful people off of one 20 second video clip? I’ve been deep sea fishing, personally hated it, but I didn’t think it made me a terrible person.

Listen, I know animals are not always treated humanely before they are slaughtered for human consumption. I am aware that I’m a hypocrite because I sometimes eat meat and fish — but I don’t stand around and watch while one of them is being beaten to death and laugh and cheer and throw my arms up in the air after it’s over in celebration. To me, that’s what was shocking about it. No one on that boat seemed to be taken aback by the way the men struggling to kill the fish were having to continually smack it with that stick. I know that wouldn’t have been my reaction, nor the reaction of any of my friends, and I have friends that fish frequently.

That being said, do I think the people on those boat are bad people because they were laughing and cheering over it? No. Do I think they deserve to be maligned? No. Do I think troll accounts should be tagging Sam’s business and charity partners to talk about how he’s a terrible person because he was on that boat? No.

HOWEVER… this is not Sam’s first rodeo with this fandom. He has 5+ years experience with the way it operates. It feels disingenuous for him to say “don’t look and follow Instagram accounts you don’t like, it’s that simple” when he is taking a picture with one of the men involved, posting it to his own Instagram account — the one he uses for business — and tags the man and his account on it. He did that because he knew people were upset about the video. Why direct more attention towards the man and his account if you want people to leave him alone? Not to mention the fact that this man hadn’t been active on Instagram in several months, if not a year, until Sam Heughan and his 1 million+ Instagram followers showed up to hang out with him and then suddenly he’s active again and posting a video with Sam in it.

I know what people will say — Sam is allowed to follow and post and tag whoever he wants. And you’re right. But fans are allowed to follow along then and make comments on what he’s involved in. If he doesn’t want that to happen, he shouldn’t post or follow. Unfair? Perhaps, but it’s the price of being a celebrity. And I don’t want to hear that fans shouldn’t pay attention to his follows — that is a normal part of fandom. When celebs follow each other on Instagram, E! sometimes writes or posts about it. I follow a Jenna Coleman fan account on twitter — they tweet her Instagram likes and follows. It’s normal fan behavior. And it’s a simple fact of management by Sam in service of his own image control. He should have learned that by now.

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