Not your ordinary catfishing story: The role of cancel culture behind the hashtag #SamMoralesisOver
This study examined the role of cancel culture behind the hashtag #SamMoralesIsOver to determine how it affected the LGBTQ+ catfishing victims’ courage to speak out. The hashtag refers to the online “cancellation” of multimedia artist Sam Morales after trans woman Jzan Vern Tero disclosed how Sam catfished her into an 8-month relationship. A focus group discussion was conducted among eight LGBTQ+ members who were either catfishing victims or shared or retweeted tweets with the said hashtag. Responses were analyzed using the theories of Convergence Culture, Spiral of Silence, and Empowerment. Findings showed that LGBTQ+ members define cancel culture as an online phenomenon involving a group of persons condemning offensive and displeasing acts, beliefs, or certain stigmas in an attempt to demand accountability from the perceived offender. Participants find Twitter the most convenient platform for cancel culture. The catfishing victims’ decision to speak out are influenced by these factors: relatability, raising awareness, and the perpetrator’s reason for catfishing. Cancel culture has a significant role in promoting awareness about the ongoing struggles of minority groups like the LGBTQ+ community.
“Yes, you belong to me!”: Reflections on the JaDine Love Team Fandom in the Age of Twitter and in the Context of Filipino Fan Culture
The concept of love teams—a pair of good-looking stars launched by a mainstream studio to appear in a succession of films, TV series, adverts, mall shows, etc.—is unique to Philippine entertainment not just because of their intense popularity among mass audiences but also because of their rich cultural history spanning decades since the beginning of Philippine cinema. This paper looks into one of today’s biggest Filipino love teams, JaDine, the portmanteau of James Reid and Nadine Lustre. It situates them contextually in the past (how love teams are packaged and sold, how the audiences express their fanaticism, etc.) and present (in the age of Twitter and “block” screenings, the fan behaviour developed in social media, etc.). As equally important for analysis as these stars are their fans, and in light of JaDine’s most recent film, Never Not Love You, this paper also looks into an incident on Twitter that reveals a lot about fan culture enabled by technology that further complicates the often overlooked position of love teams in cultural studies.