A member of the One Direction fandom stole the show at last night’s American Music Awards (AMAs), but not for the reason you might expect.
Anna Todd is a Directioner who shot to fame when her hit Wattpad 1D fanfic “After” scored a major publishing deal. Last night, she was the trending target of ridicule as One Direction fans took to social media to attack her appearance at the AMAs. The most common criticisms from her fellow fans included threats of violence and body-shaming.
On Wattpad, the “After” series scored millions of readers, but despite ample amounts of advance publicity buzz, so far sales have been abysmal. Four weeks after publication, the first book currently clocks in at below #10,000 on the Amazon bestsellers list.
The lack of support for the fic-turned-novel series is perhaps due to the contentious subject of profiting from fanfiction. This is a controversial issue in the best of cases, but in the case of “After,” what complicated matters was that, in its unpublished fic form, the story centered around 1D member Harry Styles. “After,” often-compared to Fifty Shades of Grey because of its romanticization of domestic abuse, apparently alienated fans who felt Todd first mischaracterized Styles, then exploited that characterization in order to profit from fandom.
anna todd wrote an abusive fanfic about harry and didnt give a shit about his reputation getting it published ofc shes going to get hate— hey savannah (@pizzapopniall) November 24, 2014
Still, despite “After’s” lackluster performance, Todd snagged a red-carpet appearance at the American Music Awards alongside One Direction themselves. This left plenty of openings for the 1D fandom to get vicious and snarky in their attacks on Todd—and they did.
"@extravaharry: anna todd is nominated for the "romanticizing domestic abuse" award" HELL NO FUCK NO NO NO NO NO NO FUCK— sierra,, (@9idioticboys) November 24, 2014
Many of the tweets used typical Directioner-speak—namely, sarcasm and violence.
one direction is late because louis is busy beating up anna todd in an alley— evelyn (@luminousroses) November 24, 2014
LOUIS SAW ANNA TODD https://t.co/ILU8VUaTXZ— zaynmalik (@cyberprinsus) November 24, 2014
Of course anna todd is a fat single 30 year old women— Holita (@HoIita) November 24, 2014
The mostly-female One Direction fandom has a problematic history of hurling misogynist abuse. While Directioners’ hyperbolic language can be a form of empowerment when it’s directed at the media and other shamers of teenage girls, these fans are also experts at redirecting that violence back at fellow fangirls.
In Anna Todd’s case, her transition from celebrated fangirl to published professional appears to removed her from fan culture and made her a target for scorn.
Still, there were plenty of fans lining up to caution each other not to let their anger at Todd turn sexist:
can we not be rude to anna todd like honestly she's a talented writer and she's not trying to give 1d bad press so pls leave her alone— julia (@styles_blvd) November 24, 2014
As much as you don't like someone it's fucked up to make fun of their physical appearance. You all complain of societies injustices-— B❀RBOLETA (@buttaflymusic) November 24, 2014
-against telling girls how they should look yet you make fun of Anna Todd cause she's not a size 6. So many of you are the problem-— B❀RBOLETA (@buttaflymusic) November 24, 2014
-and don't even see it.— B❀RBOLETA (@buttaflymusic) November 24, 2014
Todd herself was excited about the evening, tweeting pictures from the ceremony and brushing off the hate.
@imaginator1dx Um, the amount of crazy people who hate-tweet you is proof that you've MADE it. Love you! XO— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) November 24, 2014
But the evening made one thing clear: when it comes to fandom drama, Directioners deserve an award.
Photo via free_2_luv/Twitter