Rebecca Ferguson against night desert background

Fred Duval/Shutterstock Abdulwahab Muhammad/Shutterstock (Licensed) Linzi Silverman

Who screamed at Rebecca Ferguson? Fans want to know

This mystery is exactly the kind of thing the internet eats up, and it has captured various fan communities.


Kira Deshler

Pop Culture

Posted on Mar 7, 2024   Updated on Mar 6, 2024, 5:40 pm CST

Decoding Fandom is a weekly column that dives deep into the world of fan culture and runs on Wednesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox. 

The end of February was a big week on the internet. Kate Middleton’s supposed disappearance and the disastrous Willy Wonka Experience seized users’ attention on X. But a third controversy involving one of the stars of Dune emerged alongside these viral sensations.

During her press tour for Dune: Part Two, Rebecca Ferguson appeared on Josh Smith’s podcast, Reign. In the interview, she revealed that she once had a co-star that yelled at her on set to the point where she refused to work with them again.

The clip immediately went viral, and Ferguson’s fans reacted with righteous indignation

“Whoever yelled at Rebecca Ferguson now has me to deal with. You will not be spared,” wrote one fan. “WE RIDE AT DAWN,” wrote another. Variations of the post “me on my way to find out who yelled at Rebecca Ferguson” coupled with gifs of an angry mob abound in the Rebecca Ferguson tag on X. (The current prime suspect is Hugh Grant, who worked with Ferguson on Florence Foster Jenkins.)

This mystery is exactly the kind of thing the internet eats up, and it has captured various fan communities. Other stan accounts on X have gotten involved by trying to prove their faves weren’t the culprits. (The Emily Blunt hive was relieved when her name was cleared.) Ferguson’s fans went on the defensive, a familiar stance in fandoms of all kinds. Part of being a fan—especially in the social media age—is wanting your fave to succeed and be happy, and anyone getting in the way of that becomes enemy number one. Ferguson now has an army at her beck and call, equipped not with weapons but with gifs of battle sequences from Dune.

There are a few dissenters within this discourse, those who don’t think Ferguson needs people to defend her or uncover the perpetrator. Several X users noted that the real story is how Ferguson stood up for herself on that set, and suggested that this “witch hunt” takes away her agency. Ferguson’s baddassery in the Mission: Impossible films and her at times unhinged behavior in interviews would seem to indicate she can handle herself just fine.

The mystery of Ferguson’s nemesis isn’t the only discussion about the actress online. X is filled with glowing reviews of her performance in Dune: Part Two from critics and cinephiles. Her fans are obsessed with her antics during the press tour, particularly her chaotic interview with Stephen Colbert. Her longtime supporters continue to celebrate how beautiful and strange she is and highlight her “fruity” interactions with women co-stars. The faithful stans are welcoming the renewed attention she’s receiving and recommending past projects new admirers should check out.

But it’s the story of her treacherous co-star that has fans of all stripes standing at attention. The internet loves an issue that can bring everyone together, and this conundrum is a great example. Combined with the mighty power of fandom, this trending topic became a dynamic moment of internet discourse

Why it matters

Whether intentional or not, Ferguson energized both internet sleuths and her own fandom, though their actions are now out of her hands. Since Ferguson is just a zany Swedish woman and not an all-powerful witch like Lady Jessica, it’s up to the fans to contrive retribution on her behalf. Weather Ferguson is actually looking for this retribution—that’s another question entirely. 

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*First Published: Mar 7, 2024, 6:00 am CST