Star Trek: Picard executive producers Alex Kurtman and Heather Kadin’s thoughts on “toxic fandom” were recently revealed in a brand new interview.
Space.com’s Scott Snowden recently published an interview he conducted with the executive producers back in January during the series premiere for Star Trek: Picard.
At the beginning of the interview, Kadin makes it clear that they do listen to fan feedback, “We always read feedback. I think it’s invaluable.”
She would continue, “I think to read feedback and obviously, if one person has a specific reaction to one thing, yes, that’s that one person’s opinion and is a point taken.”
“But I think there’s a lot of value in seeing that a group of fans react to a decision we’ve made in a positive or negative way, because I think ultimately there are people who have been fans of this show for 50 years … and who feel an ownership of this show beyond what we’re doing with it,” she added.
She’d conclude saying, “So I think to not listen to those reactions and listen to those criticisms, positive and negative, would be to do our own selves a disservice.”
Kurtzman would also add his thoughts, “The fans have kept ‘Star Trek’ alive for over 50 years. Their voice has actually been the most pervasive of all, and I think it truly belongs to them.”
He’d continue saying, “That’s not just lip service. We really do pay attention to what they say and we end up either tacking in certain directions based on that input. But I think hearing [criticism] is part of the conversation. If you’re a fan, there’s always going to be debate about ‘Star Trek.’ I think generally ‘Star Trek’ fans are a really good bunch.”
As for whether or not he believes Star Trek fans are toxic, Kurtzman stated, “I don’t perceive them as toxic, actually. I think there’s a difference between debate and toxicity. Debate is essential. My feeling is that if you’re at a 50/50 split, you’re probably doing well. It’s when you’re at 90/10 that you’re in trouble.”
He then stated, “So generally, my feeling is that we listen, we try and incorporate what they have to say — and we’re writing as fans ourselves, so it would be foolish of us not to do that.”
Kurtzman and Kadin’s comments are quite a bit different from Picard actor Jonathan Frakes.
Back in April, Frakes claimed that Star Trek critics will watch Picard just to make sure they hate it. He stated, “But they’ll watch it…They are watching to make sure they hate it.”
It’s hard to believe that Kurtzman and Kadin’s comments are genuine given CBS All Access’ recent handling of their Star Trek: Lower Decks trailer.
CBS All Access turned off comments on the first trailer and removed the counter from the like and dislike ratio.
Not only did they attempt to remove critics of the trailer by turning off comments, but they also began blocking YouTubers for commenting on the trailer.
Star Trek: Picard also had a pretty big viewership drop from its first episode to its final one.
According to Numeris, the first episode debuted with 1.851 million viewers in Canada. By the final episode, viewership had dropped to 1.382 million viewers. That’s over 25% of the audience dropping off in just 10 episodes.
Not only is it an over 25% decrease in viewership, but it’s almost a half million total drop. That’s quite a few people who tuned out of Star Trek: Picard.
It’ll be interesting to see if Kurtzman and Kadin live up to their words or if it’s just lip service.
What is your take on both Kurtzman and Kadin’s take on the fandom? Are they as open as they’re claiming? Or is this an example of lip service?