Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

From: Lucyfer
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 10:15 AM
Subject: The WHOOSH editorial

Sad to say, but I think the direct lines of communication between Lucy and the fans have been horribly impeded ever since the Xenite club was disbanded and Creation formed the Xena fan club. It's obvious that when Creation asks Lucy to sign plaques, photos etc, it is doing so with the intent of selling them or auctioning them off at E-bay or at conventions, mostly for their own profit. After all, it is a business. Does Creation then have the responsibility to also supply S&S or other fan clubs with Lucy's autograph? Under normal circumstances, I would say NO, but if Creation is the ONLY lifeline to getting Lucy's autograph, then I do feel they should accomodate S&S. I can understand them not wanting to supply every Tomus, Dickus and Harrius who asks them, but S&S is not just anybody. They are a major force in the Xenaverse, an organisation that champions the Greater Good. I'm not saying that Creation has to be the _only_ source for S&S, but a small trickle would be great at this point. Then with items S&S gets, they could be the supplier for other smaller fan clubs and Xenafests, of which as far as I know, there are only a handful. I don't know if this would create a nightmare for S&S but I do know according to the S&S year-end report, they did donate items to these fan clubs, fests etc. So maybe something could be worked out.

When the name of the TV show is Xena: Warrior Princess played by Lucy Lawless, then I think yes, Lucy does have an obligation, like it or not. And it's human nature to hold the main star of a TV show up to a higher standard. Especially when the other big stars are donating (i.e. Renee O'Connor and Kevin Sorbo). Lucy is clearly conspicuous by her absence on this list. On the other hand, Ted Raimi is not on this list but is anybody questioning this? I suspect only diehard TR/Joxer fans even noticed.

IMO, Lucy does have some obligation to the fans, fans who pay good money for merchandise, the conventions, not to mention by merely watching the show, we keep up the ratings so that she and everyone else on the show keep getting a weekly paycheque.

As to if Lucy is aware of S&S and their charitable activities, I seem to remember in the months leading up to when Lucy got married, S&S launched a donation drive that eventually raised over six thousand dollars. S&S earmarked specific charities and clearly stated these organisations in the months leading up to the wedding. But when we received a message from Lucy via Sharon thanking the fans for their efforts, Lucy mentioned a slew of other charities that S&S hadn't mentioned at all. It was a clear lack of communication to put it mildly. So Lucy knew about the drive but obviously, no one told her who S&S was donating to. I remember how embarrassed I was for Lucy and the incident left Creation and S&S with egg on their faces. Has the line of communication not been remedied in the past 2 years? Obviously not.

As for Lucy's charitable donations being a private issue and none of my business. Well, Lucy has made it my business when I read about her charitable activities in the newspapers. I'm not saying there's anything is wrong with that, I think she's doing great things. But a few more autographs for a worthy cause like S&S will go a long way in endearing her to her fans, not to mention the thousands of extra dinars that would go to the less fortunate. However, like I said earlier, the great barrier seems to be Creation but I have no idea why that is or if it's Creation's idea or Lucy's. So until somebody in the know speaks up, I guess we'll never know.

Kudos to Kym for posting the editorial. I think it took guts to make a statement about a situation that has been bugging a number of Xenafans for a long time. And MaryD's answer to it is equally valid even if I don't agree with her reasoning.

If I remember correctly, there is still such a thing called "free speech" on 'Net.


From: PHC1960
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2000 8:03 PM
Subject: Where's Lucy Lawless

I read, with interest, your editorial entitled "Where's Lucy Lawless." And I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the extraordinary work done by Sword & Staff for charities around the world.

However, I find it incredibly presumptuous that you would attempt to use your forum to dictate how and where Lucy Lawless should focus her charitable efforts. And your implication that she is not "just as charitable and generous as her acting peers" is beyond ridiculous. How could you, or any of us, possibly know the extent of her generosity?

This world has no shortage of wonderful charitable causes. And not one of us has the time or resources to be able to support all of them. Lucy Lawless is no exception.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Lucy Lawless and found her to be a wonderful woman with a great deal of integrity and an incredibly generous spirit. You do her a great disservice by implying otherwise. And for this reader, at least, your judgmental attitude is an embarrassment.

I, for one, hope Lucy continues to lend her time and support to the causes she finds most near and dear to her heart - without being taken to task by others who feel they are better qualified to choose the focus or extent of her philanthropy.

Helen C.

From: Petra de Jong
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 10:43 AM
Subject: Letter to the editor

Re: Where's Lucy Lawless

Thank you Kym for stating a loud something a lot of us have been thinking for a while now.

Unfortunately things got blown out of proportion. People see a personal attack on Lucy and now we have a serious flame war going on in the Xenaverse.

Personally, I didn't see an attack on Lucy. If someone was 'attacked' it's the people that are shielding Lucy from the fans. Sometimes I really have the feeling that Lucy doesn't know anything about the fans (where they come from, what they're doing and so on). She's mentioned before that she just can't read all the letters anymore, understandable of course with thousands of letters coming her way. So now Sharon Delaney 'filters' which letters reach her. Makes one wonder what actually reaches Lucy and what not, especially since Sharon's not only Lucy's 'representative to the fans' but also an employee of Creation Entertainment, a company which for all purposes makes a lot of money from Xena and tends to see fan run fan clubs and organizations as 'competition'.

I know for sure that autograph requests do not reach Lucy, that is, when they are sent to Sharon / the official fan club. And I'm not talking about autograph requests from your average fan but requests from well-known charities and from incurable sick people. They don't get anything, not even an answer from Sharon Delaney stating that 'sorry, but we can't help you'. An example: there was this fan that was bed ridden. She couldn't leave her bed for more than an hour, a condition she's been in for the past 2 years and with no cure in sight. Her days are brightened by watching Xena. She loves Lucy so she sent a couple of letters to the official fan club, asking for an autograph. She didn't get anything, not even an answer. Someone even brought a letter from that fan with her to the Santa Monica con, gave it to Sharon and again, got nothing.

Then the girl decided on writing Kevin Sorbo to ask him if he could get her items autographed by Lucy....And guess what, the girl got her two items back, signed by Lucy Lawless....

Now, what's wrong with this picture? The official way didn't get her anything but an unofficial way did get her everything she wished for. Can we conclude something from this? I guess we can: Lucy doesn't seem to have any problems with signing stuff for charity and sick fans (as shown by the Kevin Sorbo example). It's the go between Creation that doesn't want us to have those autographed pics for free. And no wonder: they sell those Lucy autographs for hundreds of dollars (to line their own pockets), they would be fools to give any autographed pictures away for free... I don't know about you but I am sure glad that at least Renee O'Connor has her own fan club, not run by any profit making companies, a fan club where one does get Renee autographs for free (or almost free, don't forget to include a Renee pic and a SASE ;-)).

Anyway, back to Lucy and her representatives. So Sharon's keeping the charities and those fans away from Lucy, not just for Lucy's sake (those nutcases that write her) but mainly for Creation's sake (the money thingy). Sword and Staff has tried to ask the US and NZ representatives of the show (the agents/publicists) if they could help them (to provide some autographed pictures). Their answer? 'Contact Sharon Delaney, ask her about it'. And there we have our own vicious circle.

It's that circle that's under attack. Because of that circle (that doesn't even include Lucy) Lucy is kept out of the loop of what's happening among the fans.

I really would love to know what Lucy's take on this all is (the autograph game). Does she know about it? Does she know that everything she signes for Creation and the official fan club will be sold for profit (or goes up on e-bay for even more profit) or does she believe that a part of it will be given away to fans/charities that ask the official club for it? Can she do anything about it? Does she want to do anything about it if she finds out? Too bad we can't ask her those questions in person (without having to go through any official go betweens)....

Petra de Jong

From: Bsmiph
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2000 8:36 PM
Subject: Personal attacks?

I read you editorial about who contributes to Sword and Staff, and while I do agree that it would be nice of Lucy to contribute a little, I think it is wrong of you to personally attack her for not doing so. Lets not forget that Sword and Staff, (In an indirect way) uses Lucy's name and the name of the show to raise the money that they do. So saying that she hasn't contributed anything isn't true. Who she donates to, how much, and why is no ones business but Lucy's. Personal attacks on the stars of the show, and drawing attention to the amount of money (or lack of), that they donate does nothing but cast a bigger negative image on the show and can serve no positive purpose. We should be celebrating the fact that Sword and Staff raised so much, not criticizing people for not donating.

You may not agree with my opinion on this matter but I feel it is more important to focus on the positives of the situation, (the money raised) then to personally attack someone for not donating. So I have to respectfully disagree with your comments and hopefully I can look forward to more positive editorials on WHOOSH, thank you for your time and for listening to my opinion.

Brad Smith

From: mrennie
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: Where's Lucy Lawless?

Kym, Kym, Kym:

Whatsa matter? Not getting enough e-mail lately? ;-) Been a long time since I've seen such an uproar in the Xenaverse. Knowing that much of the reaction will likely be negative in response to your editorial (heaven help those who challenge our heroes), I feel compelled to send my 2 cents worth of support to you. You were right on the mark with your observations. Whatever Lucy's contributions to charitable causes may be, her lack of support for the only (and may I add, very reputable) fan-operated charity speaks volumes. Perhaps she truly doesn't know about S&S, however, for me at least, this concept stretches the bounds of credulity past the breaking point. Good editorial.

Mary Rennie

From: CStephens
Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2000 8:56 PM
Subject: Whoosh Editorial

I must say that I'm very upset and disappointed about the editorial that Kym posted regarding Lucy's participation in S&S. No matter how many times I've read it, I can't see it as anything else other than a very blatant attack on Lucy. I mean how else would she (or myself if it were my name listed) take this comment.

"EVEN Gillian Anderson (Scully) of X-Files was mentioned as a contributor and she has never had ANYTHING to do with the show. Consequently, Anderson has shown more charitable spirit than the star of the show. Whose name is notably missing from this list? Yes, it is Lucy Lawless."

Is this the same Lucy Lawless that did participate in the NZ phone card, the Starship Foundation and the piece for "Arnott Dreams come true"? And those are only the ones we know about. There may or may not be others. Just because she has chosen not to become actively involved in S&S doesn't make her less charitable than Gillian Anderson.

Okay, granted Lucy Lawless is a busy gal and gets inundated with requests all the time. But listen up Lawless representatives, there is ONLY ONE fan sponsored charitable organization. That is Sword & Staff. Just one. It is not like there are one or more fan charity groups out there competing for your attention.

This is a bit unfair don't you think? There may be ONLY ONE fan based organization but how many OTHER non-profit charities ask for a piece of her and her time.

Why care about a fan run charitable group? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Lawless has fans that care about more than just buying those high-priced signed plaques and limited run chakrams, but fans who run their own auctions for charities, make sure that some needy people's lives are brightened up by some attention that Lawless or her representatives cannot provide, and that have made sure that Sword & Staff reached $112,000 plus in actual contributions. This is not a fly by night or ill-conceived venture. It is an honest-to-God force in the Xenaverse which emphasizes the fans good nature and generosity. To support it would honor the fans determination in establishing, maintaining, and supporting such an organization.

So is that a dig at those fans who do like to buy those type of items even though they might be high priced. I happen to be a fan who has done both. I've bought those items, but also donated to S&S and other charities outside of S&S because of Lucy and the show. Why the need to say that the fan's have brightened up needy lives but that Lucy can't seem to be bothered to brighten up needy people's lives. Didn't she do that with the little girl on the Dream segment? But that's right, it doesn't seem to count because it wasn't thru S&S.

I will agree 150% that it's not a fly by night venture and that Mist has done an excellent job. It's been one of the shining things about the Xenaverse and made me very proud to be a Xenite and see what we have done but I feel in my gut that this editorial has just sullied that reputation thoroughly.

Why would honoring fans be a good idea? Fans are the people who watch the show regularly, promote the show by keeping interest alive in the show, pay to go to those conventions, and buy all that stuff so that some more mortgage payments can be made.

Since when does Lucy or Renee have to *honor* us? They don't owe this fan anything. I think Lucy has gone way above what 90% of the other stars in the industry would have given us. She has always shown her fans respect and this is how you repay her.

One of the sad things about having such a popular show is that one cannot thank each fan. There are just too many. But there is a way that Lucy Lawless could show her appreciation for her fans in a more meaningful way than just shaking their hand or making sure they get an autographed picture. It is really easy. All she needs do is just not embarrass her fans by not appearing on a list like that list of cast members and guest stars of Xena mentioned above. Lucy Lawless should have been the number one name on the list. She would have made it even if she would have given Sword & Staff a mere moment of her attention. Apparently she could even not do that, whereas a star of X-Files could.

This fan isn't embarrassed by Lucy but she is embarrassed by your editorial. Whether Gillian contributed or not, has no relationship to Lucy. They have 2 separate careers and 2 separate lives and live them accordingly. Don't trash Lucy for something good that Gillian did.

Perhaps Lucy Lawless will make a New Years Resolution to remedy this situation. Just a pile of signed autographs which would cost her perhaps a mere 10-15 minutes of her time, could mean thousands of dollars in donations for Sword & Staff to administer, could make a sad child smile, and could make her fans feel proud that she is just as charitable and generous as her acting peers.

Maybe you should make a resolution Kym, don't throw rocks in a glass house especially if you have never lived in one. You don't live Lucy's life, you don't know her every move (charity or otherwise). She may or may not do alot of charity work when she can but chooses not to make it a *public* to get *thanked for it or to say "hey, look what I've done." Bringing her motives into question, isn't in itself a bad thing, it's how you went about it.

Naturally all of this is just MHO.

Carol Stephens

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