Dear Phandom.

The “Phandom” is a fandom that includes people who have the same love for the hit musical “ The Phantom of the Opera.” This is a fandom so close, that the fans on social media were like family. What happened?

It was announced on January 2014 that James Barbour would be taking on the role of the Phantom. Barbour has a past of child molestation and spent time in jail for the deed. You can read the article for more information here.

Once it was announced that Barbour would take on the iconic role, the “Phans” started to take action on social media, which to this day is still happening. Some “Phans” are fine with Barbour being casted, some have accepted it and others have gone as far to say violent things to the people supporting him.

Some “Phans” claim that they are going to protest the show. Why? You say that you love this show and yet you want to protest against it. I do not understand that at all. If you love the show, support it, but do not protest because of one actor. Barbour will leave the show eventually; all actors do that in every show that they are in.

Some fans, myself included, are too afraid to even say “James Barbour” on social media, in fear that Phans and non-Phans for supporting a child molester will attack them with violent words.

What has become of this fandom I used to love so much? All I see now is hate, fear and bullying, more specifically, cyber bullying. This fandom is falling apart and some people have left the “Phandom” all together because of what other “Phans” are saying. Online friendships have been broken and arguments on the social media are all over the place. This is not a “Phandom,” this is a nightmare.

I have a feeling that once Barbour leaves the show, the “Phandom” will be scarred, like the Phantom’s face. Is it too late for the “Phandom” to heal or is the damage already done?

It’s your choice whether to accept Barbour or not, but please stop the bullying. You are only hurting those around you.


6 thoughts on “Dear Phandom.

  1. I really like this article. One thing I would like to point out that I have noticed is that SOME of these phans don’t necessarily care about what James Barbour did. Where were these people against Barbour when he was doing shows after he served his jail time? They only care because he’s in phantom now & when he leaves they will be happy and that’s it. They don’t care about the victim. They only care about the show. Other phans that are harassing anyone because of his or her opinion are immature for shoving their opinions down people’s throats.

    • Thanks for the feedback. This is just something I have noticed over the last 2 months or so on social media.
      I agree it’s not all of the “Phans,” but definitely some of them. And his past became public after he took on the role of Phantom.
      Once again, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

  2. Thank you for this wonderfully written article! You put into words exactly what I am feeling and echoed my thoughts on this matter. My husband and I took our 13 year old son to see Phantom on February 21st. The tickets were purchased in early December as a Christmas gift for him. He had been asking to see his first Broadway show, and he LOVES Phantom; hence, the decision. At the time I purchased tickets, I was unaware of the casting change. I read all of the disgusting and hateful comments prior to the show by many so-called “Phans”. I said nothing about all of the negativity to my son, as I didn’t want his first Broadway experience to be tainted or his excitement to be lessened. It goes without saying, well LOVED the show!!! It was beyond our expectations, and James Barbour is an AMAZING Phantom! I saw the show on Broadway many years ago, and our family saw the traveling Broadway troupe a year ago with Julia Udine as Christine. We have watched both the movie and the 25th anniversary DVD countless times. In our opinion, James Barbour was truly magnificent! It would be such a disservice to him and the other members of the cast not to attend the show based upon the group of people vocalizing their dissatisfaction. All I can say is, it’s their loss! If they choose not to attend, then they are exercising their right not to. If I choose to attend, then I am also exercising my right to do so. No one should be made to feel ashamed for supporting the show, regardless. To the haters, I would say this:

    If you truly are a “Phan” of Phantom, then support it by not publicly posting your personal opinions about something that is unrelated to the show itself. The Facebook page, for example, is meant for those who love and support the Phantom of the Opera. It is not the place for negative opinions, hostile posts, or personal attacks. Please air your dirty laundry elsewhere!

    • Thank you! I have been a “Phan” for years and once Barbour was announced to be the Phantom, everything just collapsed on social media. What he did was wrong, but I think he should be given this second chance. I’ve heard good things about him and I’m happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed his portrayal of Phantom. Thank you for your comment and for reading my post. It really means a lot to me!

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