Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

From: Atenea
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 11:49 AM
Subject: Don't be so hard on Lucy, please

I have read your editorial about Lucy Lawless not collaborating this year with the S&S, and, although I can understand what you mean, I think you are missing the point here. First of all, Lucy has been extremely busy last year, with the pregnancy and all, I am sure she'll try to make it up this year...Don't be so hard on her, she is only human and not even Xena is perfect, isn't she?

And Charity should not be mandatory, I think. She could have her reasons and you wouldn't know anything about it.

In my opinion, the important thing is that she tries. But of course that's my opinion.

Thank you for the wonderful job you do at Whoosh! and Happy new year, by the way!

(Alias Atenea la fant stica)
GGGHD Full Member-In-Training

From: FantimBard
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 7:47 AM
Subject: Letter%20to%20the%20Editor

I read your editorial regarding Lucy Lawless and the Sword and Staff charity and I must say that I was quite disheartened by your one sided view of the situation. While I agree that the fan run charity has done a lot of good and should be supported, I also believe that charity is something that is given freely and without pressure. That is sort of the concept. The fact is that you don't know what Lucy Lawless does or does not contribute to the world. Many people make anonymous donations to organizations rather than have the charity overshadowed by their name. You do not have the right to judge her or anyone else for what they decide to give or not give. Lucy Lawless has the right to donate where and when she wants and to whatever charity she chooses if she chooses...just like the rest of us. In my opinion you abused your position by publicly berating someone for no other reason then they did not live up to YOUR expectations. That is not an editorial as much as it is a mud slinging venture. That's sad.

From: Tamara Poirier
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 7:36 PM
Subject: Whoosh editorial

Wow, go big Kym! You have warmed my cockles with your willingness to wade hip deep into the rabid muck of fandom. My hat is off to you! Well, it's not really a hat, it more of a little beanie that doesn't cover a lot of my head like if it was raining or something, but it's off, nevertheless, because of you!

Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 8:37 AM
Subject: Attack on Lucy Lawless in Whoosh

I as a fan don't really appreciate your attack on Lucy Lawless in Whoosh. First, shouldn't it be her option to what charity she gives her time and money. Second, I think she may have been somewhat busy creating a show I still enjoy , besides having a new baby all this year.

You may be better informed than I, whether Lucy even knows about Sword & Staff. Why haven't you made any appeals to Sharon Delaney from Creation whom seems to deal with most of Lucy's Fan Club issues. You may will have but then I would think that would be the fan club presidents' issue since she has Lucy's ear. If you want to blast Lucy Lawless , why not Creation and the whole fan club setup.

All the other people that have contributed to Sword & Staff have their own fan clubs, Lucy uses Creation. I believe Lucy has made statements thanking her fans for their gifts to charity on numerous occasions, ie her wedding and the birth of her son. Like Mary Dragnis said on her website, was it because Lucy Lawless has specifically single out Sword & Staff from among all the other fans who have donated in Ms Lawless' honor.

I enjoy Whoosh, but was sadly disappointed by this attack on Lucy Lawless. Remember without her, there would be now reason to have a Sword & Staff. No matter what you or any one else thinks Lucy Lawless makes XWP work.

Sharon Breyfogle

From: Zaida Serrano Piedecasas
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 5:41 PM
Subject: editorial

I've just read your editorial Where's Lucy Lawless and i'm sorry but i didn't like it at all. I think you are going on a personal attack to Lawless blaming her for not doing what you want her to do. I mean, just because she's popular and she's on a very famous show she doesn't have to be a role model. Sometimes we forget that and we judge people we really don't know. We cannot oblige people to give charity. Maybe LL does and we don't know as MaryD says in her editorial or maybe she doesn't but that is not our problem, it's hers in any case. You know, i just don't like when we think we have a great moral for give money and all of that. It doesn't feel right, don't you think?We are not better than her for doing it . I didn't know it was a competition. maybe i was wrong.

From Spain,

From: Virginia V Kelly
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 9:01 AM
Subject: Where's LL?

I was disheartened to read a personal attack on LL in your recent letter. While you are of course entitled to state and publish your opinion, if you define Whoosh as a journal, yourself as an editor and the letter as an editorial, there are basic tenants of journalism and communication that apply. To me, the letter was unbalanced, lacking in facts that I would need to reach a decision, and read like a personal attack.

For instance. Did you contact LL to see why she hasn't contributed? If you did, it is not apparent in the letter. Are there contractual issues you may not know about or other factors involved? Without that information, you are editorializing blindly.

Did you, for the sake of balance, list the charitable contributions she has made and participated in within the letter?

Whoosh is a mass-market, public forum, which is not the appropriate place for a personal attack. Your editorial could have and should have made a difference. In its current state it will do more to sway people to LL than it will to S&S and the good that S&S does will be lost in the fray on this particular issue.

I am truly sorry this has happened and was very surprised that it came from you.

From: Hawk
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 9:03 PM
Subject: Where's Lucy Lawless?

Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how interesting I thought your editorial "Where's Lucy Lawless?" was. This article has generated more conversation in the various forums and mailing lists than any I can remember. (And I've been around the Xenaverse for a long time). *Chuckle*

It seems to have divided many Xenites on the issue and I find it amusing that an article which presents 1 view, can generated such passion among so many Xenites. However, I wonder if perhaps we are misunderstanding who your target is?

While it appears on the surface that you have placed Lucy in your sights, I cannot help but go back to where you specifically say "But listen up Lawless representatives, there is ONLY ONE fan sponsored charitable organization.". This, to me, implies that your editorial is directed at Lucy's representatives, rather than the actress herself. Am I wrong?

Also, thanks for pointing out that fans are the ones who promote the show, keep interest alive in the show, go to Cons and so forth. Fans are the ones who have the real authority and producers and stars need to realize this. Without fans, they have to make a living some other way.

Yes, I've read that Lucy has given many other charities and she certainly has the right to give (or decline to give) to whomever she chooses. I know that I wouldnt want to feel pressured, as she probably often is, into giving to this or that charity on a daily basis. Still, after reading your editorial, I do find it odd that Lucy's name would not be on the list of contributors. As you said, Sword & Staff is Xena fandom's only fan run charitable institution.

So I do not condemn Lucy herself. I'm still a big fan. Lucy probably has good reasons to give or not give to various charitable organizations. Nor would I personally demand an explanation from her as I feel this would be in bad taste.

Still, this news does cause one to wonder.

Coliseum Xena and Herc Page

From: Anna Gear
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 9:58 AM
Subject: Wheres Lucy Lawless?

I just had to write, I normally find the Whoosh web page to be full of well thought out commentary and useful info. However I was appalled with the choice to call Lucy Lawless on the carpet for not contributing to the S&S efforts. That is none of my buisness and a persons contributions (or lack thereof) to charities should not be held up for public ridicule. I don't know what charities Ms Lawless contributes to (or not) and it is none of my buisness. I do know that she has contributed her valuable time to variuos organizations. Again, I am completely disappointed.


From: Vivian Sheffield
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2000 6:37 PM
Subject: Editorial "Where's Lucy Lawless?"

I have read your January, 2000 editorial entitled "Where's Lucy Lawless?" and find myself alternating between amazement, amusement and bemusement. Lucy is the Grinch? Better yet, Scrooge, because she has not contributed autographed articles to Sword & Staff? Pardon me while I guffaw! I noted that the editorial is dated December 25, Christmas Day to most Americans, and a day considered exemplary of love and generosity. The irony of your ungenerous remarks dated then is not lost on me.

I have donated money to Sword & Staff several times because they have made it easy for me, having done the work of investigating the various charities they support. I have thanked them many times for doing the hard work for me. But I do not now, nor ever have felt any celebrity must validate my charity gifts. What I do is for my own gratification and conscience. In fact, when I arrived home today a thank you note from the For All Kids Foundation was in my mailbox. That note pleased me much more than any acknowledgement Lucy might offer, either by word or by an autographed picture.

Two statements in the editorial struck me: The first was the parenthetical phrase ".(and it should be noted that Lucy Lawless has never contributed any material for Sword & Staff to distribute or auction off)." and the second is ".could mean thousands of dollars in donations for Sword & Staff to administer." I strongly suspect that is the crux of the issue. Lucy's name as a money-generator is not being applied to the fan base. Lucy, however, IS performing her chosen charitable work as noted on MaryD's site and as I am listing them below, with permission:

Auckland's Starship Hospital
Neil Finn's video for Womens' Refuge
Suter Art Museum re-opening
Christmas in the Park (twice)
IHC phone cards
Funded a NZ dance company's tour
Arnott's Dreams Come True
Appeared in NZ indie film for no fee
Spoke at the Afghanistan-Taleban protest

The problem seems to be that a number of these organizations reside on the other side of the world (charity begins at home) from the United States. But I guess that is not enough.

Your editorial began as a criticism of Lucy's representatives and devolved into a harangue against Lucy. You have a right to criticize Lucy because no celebrity should be idealized or idolized. But the form and substance of your criticism is an attempt to shame Lucy into doing charitable work, which diminishes Whoosh in my opinion, and that is too bad.

Vivian Sheffield

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