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Fursuiters on TV (again)

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Oh no.

'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' will be running an episode on October 30, 8pm est (CBS) titles (get ready...)

"Fur and Loathing"

Evidently it takes place at a furry con. The preview I saw last night included quite a few fursuiting actors.

I'm hoping against all hope there is a gilmmer of the positive in this, but you and I both know how well popular media has treated us in the past....

mwalimu remarks: Although the episode in question had not aired yet, this is old news to many of us by now, and has been the subject of a thread or two already here on flayrah.

Comments

Your rating: None

From the little preview in the TV Week magazine I saw, there's not just one storyline in this episode, so hopefully the furry bit gets watered down somewhat.
I don't watch network TV anyhow, so I could care less what goes on on there, I'm still not watching. Oh well.

Your rating: None

All episodes of CSI have two storylines to switch back and from with. It's a standard formula for crime procedurals now.

I have to admit, the episode title was just about impossible to resist, though, and is quite amusing. :)

I'm still wondering why someone thought it'd make a good subject, considering that while the fandom may have a high freak factor, it has an extraordinarily low crime factor. Then again, the director and/or producer already admitted that their "research" was mostly limited to watching the MTV "Sex2K" segment, so that says a lot about the rest of their research.

If people balk at you after seeing this episode, tell them it's fiction, it's TV, it's not reality anyway. It's all written to make higher ratings to sell advertising, so it's going to be distorted in the extreme. If they still don't believe you, shrug and walk away. Being angrily defensive will only make them think they're right.

Your rating: None

Check this out. Episode discription from zap2it.com
-
"All right ... how to put this delicately? There's a certain segment of the population who enjoy wearing full-sized animal costumes while they participate in consensual sexual activities. These people are called "plushies." While investigating a head-on collision, Grissom (William Petersen) and Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) discover a dead man -- dressed in a raccoon costume -- across the road. They find out that this man was in town attending a "plushies" convention and must delve into the fetish world to find the murderer. "Sex and the City's" Willie Garson guest stars as "Sexy Kitty," a convention attendee. Okay, I'm kinda creeped out right now. Someone hold me. "
-
*sigh* Sounds like they will make fun of us :(

Your rating: None

Of course they will. And until the furries who consult for this garbage GET THEIR ***** EGOS IN CHECK, we will never be free of this stupid ridicule.

DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA ABOUT OUR HOBBY THEY WILL ONLY MAKE US LOOK BAD.

DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA ABOUT OUR HOBBY THEY WILL ONLY MAKE US LOOK BAD.

DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA ABOUT OUR HOBBY THEY WILL ONLY MAKE US LOOK BAD.

I swear to god, some people just don't get it.

This is old news, and it won't be a good spin, I assure you. It'll probably be good for a few laughs, tho. Let's just hope no furs suffer any backlashes as a result.

Your rating: None

Why do I even bother......damn!

Your rating: None

hey dumbass

didnt it occur to you that CSI is a fictional show
they wrote the script and filmed it

it was a go-ahead from the START
they didnt NEED to talk to any furries about it

DarkFox and whoever else did the best they could

maybe you should stop coddling the more fucked up elements of the fandom and start telling them to "***** OFF" when they act up

maybe the freaks will start learning when the line has been crossed

the problem isnt the media
the problem is the a fandom that sits on its collective FAT ASS and lets a few mentally disturbed individuals run the show and define the whole

you have no one to blame but yourself

-mouse

Your rating: None

IIRC, CSI came up with the script on their own, not because a furry contacted them.

Be that as it may, people always seem to forget that furry fandom does get good press. All hiding really does is forfeit opportunities to spread accurate information about the fandom.

You have a choice: You can complain about the problem like all the other Big Complainers keep doing year in and year out, or you can join the rest of us who are actually doing something about the problem. If you're not doing anything to correct misinformation about the fandom, then you have no reason to complain and are just whining for the sake of making noise.

Furry fandom, love it or change it.

Your rating: None

Are you ever polite?

Look, furry isn't the only group that has problems. You think those folks in the Klingon outfits don't get busy at Star Trek conventions, get your head out of the clouds.

All I've ever seen you do in these boards is scream and holler about how we have to get rid of the "fucked up elements of the fandom" and never actually give anything that resembles a positive solution except to drive them out, burn their houses and farms, etc. Telling people who have different viewpoints on life than you to screw off is generally considered nonproductive, y'know?

Even if you managed to remove all but one of these people, anyway, people would still fixate on that one as the model, because people are sensationalist that way. I don't see how you can blame the fandom itself when the entertainment industry focuses on the worst and most scandalous, no matter how much of a good example is set. The writers of CSI were given ample opportunity to see a better example of the furry community, and they chose to ignore it. How can you possibly blame the fandom when the fandom itself offered up its better points and CSI rejected them?

Come up with a rational idea that doesn't impinge on the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of those people who enjoy that icky thing called *gasp* sex in the context of furry fandom, and then maybe people will take you seriously.

-- tony

Your rating: None

All ranting aside, Mouse has a few points. Namely, is there such a thing as a limit to acceptable behaviour? Or in the name of freedom, are we to allow everyone who wants to define themselves as part of a fandom to proclaim it high and wide, no matter how tenuous the link?

Having been involved in the fandom since 1987, I figure I have a slightly better historical perspective. There's been people boinking and lusting after real animals for a very long time, but as soon as the fandom grew enough in size to be visible, especially on the internet in the Big Expansion of 1993 onwards, some of them gravitated to it thinking they'd get "kindred souls" as they saw a few (and back then it was a few) drawings of sexualized, humanized animals, without making the cognitive distinction most people make (i.e. it's fantasy). They attached themselves to the fandom, and almost no one made a fuss.

In turn, as one kink tends to follow another, and as many kinks became more mainstream and accepted, BDSM elements gravitated in, and as it got assimilated, more and more extreme thrills were sought.

The costumers were always around. Even today, I see very few costumes that could even have a possibility of being anatomically modified or "correct", permitting what some actually believe goes on all the time at cons and gatherings - lurid sex in costume, usually between men. But again, no one made sure to explain it was a minority, they were not representative of the majority int he fandom, because we were accepting, inviting to all, and sex is an animal, natural trait.

But let's face it, lots of people have a sex hangup, and we live in that world with them. We cannot explain things to them with our jargon, it's a different language to them. It's like trying to explain computer knowledge writing in nothing but l33tspeak - you'll lose most people. But so, so few make the effort to learn how to explain it to them from their point of view, so we get their representation of what they see of us.

Suggestion: someone learns you're a "furry" and is shocked? Ask them what they heard about it and where. Question their sources. Vanity Fair, MTV, ER, CSI are not documentaries, they're fiction, or at the least very biased. MTV's bit was on "Sex2K", so anything they look at will be from the sex angle, especially the lurid weird sex - and let's face it, drawing a fox with breasts being coupled by a mice as large as her is unusual. Acknowledge it, don't get defensive that "they don't get it". They're not obligated to. ER is all about extreme traumas, not routine - routine doesn't sell advertisement. CSI is about crime in Las Vegas; people expect that city to have weird crimes. If someone seems to extrapolate as if it was a thoroughly-researched show meant to give truthful insights into the situations they play on, chuckle at them as the media sponges they are.

And for the record, the one fan's perseverance with the CSI team has resulted in a definite improvement over the first draft they were thinking about. The current write-up is very different than the one shown in September: it's now about a crime perpetrated in a strange community of fans, not about a community of fans that commit crimes.

And I've yet to hear of murder among our fandom, so it's doubly fictitious anyway...

Your rating: None

Guys, I have a few thoughts on this.

Did the world end after the Vanity Fair article ran? Or after MTV's Sex2K documentary? Or after the other half-dozen times we've been shot at by the mainstream media?

Nope.

In fact, I think the fandom as a whole is doing quite well right now. Yes, it sucks when this happens, but it's not the furry apocalypse. This'll pass just like every other potshot at us has. In a few weeks, no one will even think about it.

So just chill out a bit, guys! No reason to get all matted about it. What happens happens. If we just go on about our business (like we always have) it will fade from view. Getting bent out of shape about it only hurts us.

Kiran Lightpaw
Furry Weekend Atlanta 2004! http://www.furryweekend.com/
"Per ardua ad astra."

Your rating: None

Oh.. my... god...

Am watchin it right now, and apparently, we are a cult. Great.

Your rating: None

this was the most positive portrayal of furs to date in the media, at least it made the point that there can be abberant behavior within a group and the group as a whole is not bad, just certain sections.

Blah Blah whine moan complain. Stop bitching. it was tame compared to other things.

If people wouldn't DO that freaky ass crap in the first place, then there'd be no ammo.

Your rating: None

while not personally into "that freaky ass crap" I will defend peoples right to do it to the end.

since when is it ok for people to do all sorts of other kinky sex things, and not this?

let people who yiff in their costumes to feel safe and secure in doing it!

Your rating: None

FUUUUCKK NO

that didnt work

remember ?

give a 'lifestyler' an inch.. they'll take a mile EVERYTIME

sorry but your attitude should have been tried, over and done with, and taken out with the trash in the mid 90's (ya know..when the warning sirens started going off)

-mouse

Your rating: None

Regardless of your attitude towards "lifestylers" and the aforementioned "freaky ass crap" it must be acknowledged that problems arise not from the practice of any potentially aberrant activity but in its impact on others, and the dissemination of knowledge regarding its existence.

There is plenty of kinky fetishism out there, and a lot of it far more bizarre, IMHO, than anything the furry fandom has been tagged with. These are behaviours and practices which have been around for a LONG time, and aren't likely to ever disappear. Generally, these kinds of activites are kept so indiscrete and seperate from a person's "normal" lives that they often exist as little more than a myth within the mainstream.

For whatever reason, we simply seem to have an unfortunate number of persons who believe it to be OK to proudly explain every sordid detail of their private life to the public. Perhaps they fail to comprehend how unacceptable most will find their behaviours, or they don't care, or they relish in the attention they garner through their strangeness as their meager lives afford no other signifigant interest to anyone.

You want to be a freak? Fine. Want to do freaky things? As long as you're not bothering anyone, fine. Tell people you do freaky things? Then it comes down to who you're telling, and whether they equate that activity with you, or to a group. There will always be members of a less-than-desireable character in any group, whether that group accepts their inclusion or not. Deal with it. Go and get on with your freaky lives so I can get on with mine. And have fun doing so, dammit!

-Cordite

Your rating: None

wow, Amen brotha'

Your rating: None

well if society is going to view us as a fandom about sex (for the time being), at least Grissom justifies the sexual side of it with his little Freud speech.

if we give people time, they'll quiet down about us eventually. all we can hope for now is for them to not get in our face about it.

I'm glad that if people are going to think I'm a sex fiend, at least they'll think it's ok. :P

Your rating: None

Goos Fraba, guys. Goos Fraba.

Seriously. People were predicting impending doom. I, personally, thought it was hilarious myself. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. That should say something about a show that's supposed to be serious and stuff. I laughed furred rear off - haven't seen that great comedy since 2's show at Anthrocon.

Understand: I've been trashed at most of the cons I've been to, so maybe I just missed it but I want to know ... how do you get invited to THOSE room parties?

For what it's worth, I have to give Anthrocon props. They were on the ball with a "What is a furry?" link right square on the front page. I horked the idea - there's now a clearly visible "What is a "Furry?"" link on the front page. Damage mitigation? Who knows.

Just ... take it with a grain of salt, guys. The MTV thing was WAY worse than that, as it purported to be a documentary. This show is fiction to begin with.

All in all, yes it sucked, but we've seen worse before and survived. Just another bump in the road.

Kiran Lightpaw
Furry Weekend Atlanta 2004! http://www.furryweekend.com/
"Per ardua ad astra."

Your rating: None

Yeah, Kage sure is cagey -- with 21 million or so people likely to be watching CSI, there's bound to be a few interested in attending Anthrocon. (Not that the con really needs to get any bigger!)

I've posted my observations about the episode on my Furry InfoPage, at

http://www.tigerden.com/~infopage/furry/csi.html
:

How accurate is the episode's portrayal of furries?

As may be expected, things were "sexed up" for television. At a typical furry convention only about 5% of those in attendance wear full costumes (fursuits), although many others will wear accessories such as ears, tails, etc. Fursuits are very expensive, starting at about $800 for an "off the rack" mascot-type costume, with some custom-built suits costing thousands of dollars. Many fans make their own, at a cost of hundreds of hours of labor, as well as hundreds of dollars in materials.

With that kind of investment, dedicated costumers aren't willing to wreck their fursuits by attempting to have sex in them. In fact, wearing a fursuit is damned uncomfortable. There is a real danger of heat exhaustion and dehydration from staying in suit too long, or performing strenuous activity. While it's fun being in public, enjoying people's reactions and compliments about your costume, after a while it's a blessed relief to get out of sight and take off your costume head. Conventions have "headless lounges," well-stocked with water, Gatorade and industrial-strength air-movers, where fursuiters can cool off and relax.

Although many fursuiters enjoy being "skritched," many others would prefer not to be touched by people they don't know. The general rule is "ask first." CSI's depiction of an orgiastic "yiffing party" is complete fiction. CSI's production team received some technical assistance for the convention scenes from a professional costumer who is also a furry fan, but the director reportedly would not allow changes to the "private party" scene.

The CSI episode's plot was based on a film called Plushies and Furries by gay filmmaker Rick Castro, which first aired on MTV in 2002. Castro deceived many furries and convention organizers in the making of this pseudo-documentary; scenes were contrived and staged to suit Castro's view of the world, falsely portraying furry fandom as being entirely fetish-based instead of as a fandom that has attracted a few fetishists. Participants in the film have been vilified and all but ostracized from furry fandom. As far as I can determine, the only people responsible for open "furpile parties" are Castro and his associates, trying to catch some fresh meat for a sequel, or the pornographers running sites like

fursuitsex.com

looking to make a quick buck.

(An earlier version was uploaded in time to catch visitors after the West Coast broadcast Thursday night.)

Frankly, with just a small casting change, the episode could have been a lot worse. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to consider how. We was lucky. I hope, now that the highest-rated TV drama has done furries, everyone else will stay away lest they be accused of ripping off CSI.

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About the author

Digger (Jeremiah Rabbit)read storiescontact (login required)

an IT specialist from Dayton, Ohio, interested in cycling, vintage german cars and being furry

Snuggly but not yiffy.