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.