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ITV's 'Good Morning' hosts three UK fursuiters

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

Ani, Ed and Dexy on 'This Morning', with teapot. Three UK fursuiters appeared in a five-minute segment on today's episode of ITV's talk show This Morning, available on-demand until next Monday [segment starts at 01:03:15].

The trio - Ani Boxer, Ed the Poodle, and Dexy the Artic Fox - were interviewed by hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on various topics.

[Transcript follows. Segment on YouTube - LondonFurs backup copy.]

Eamonn: But first we would like to introduce you to Ani the Boxer Dog, Ed the Poodle, and Dexy the Arctic Fox.

[Ed, Ani and Dexy wave.]

Ruth: Now, they all belong to the subculture which is called the furry fandom. Now if you haven't heard ...

Eamonn [interrupts]: It's a subculture, not a fetish or anything, no, it's...

[Ed, Ani and Dexy shake heads, wave crossed paws.]

[Persistent lower-third caption appears: "We're grown adults but we dress up as animals."]

Eamonn: Oh, no, no, no, right.

Ruth: This is a community of people who all like to dress up as kind of animal alter egos.

[Ed, Ani, Dexy headshots, more waving.]

Eamonn: Yes. They may be fans of fur, but why do they do it? Well, here to tell us more - who would like to tell us what, er, furry, fu-*chuckles*

Ruth [pertly]: Furry fandom.

[Ed gives a muffled giggle, while Dexy shakes his head.]

Ruth: What does - well, let's ask Ani the Boxer Dog. What does furry fandom mean? What is it?

Ani: Uhm, furry fandom is just a group of people that, uh, like to dress up and create their own characters...

Ari Boxer[Caption: "Ani Boxer - Chairman of the growing community, 'London Furs'"]

Eamonn [talking over]: OK, so you're telling me that in real life you, like, have a job, like a sensible job or whatever, and you'd go in, and uh...

[Ruth giggles.]

Ani: Well, I couldn't be a boxer all day . . .

Eamonn: ...and your mates and friends know that in your down-time, you . . . this is you.

Ani: Pretty much, pretty much.

Eamonn: And they're cool with that.

Ani: Yeah, a lot of people are, uhm - some people, not so much, they think it's a bit strange; which it is, it's not the, the most, uh, standard hobby, I guess. Uhm...

Eamonn: You talk in your voice or you talk in animal voices?

Ani: Uhm...

Eddard Fuzzypaws the Poodle[Ed laughs.]

Ani: It depends, really!

Ruth: So Ed the Poodle thinks that's very funny.

Ed: Yeah.

Ruth: So, Ed's not your real name.

Ed: No, he's a character, and that's kinda what it's all about, you're creating a character that you can...

Eamonn: But you're a she, why did you wanna become a he? [this question generated lots of feedback, although Ed "literally didn't care"]

[Caption: "Ed - Has enjoyed dressing as a poodle for the last three years."]

Ed: Uh, why not? I mean I'm already a dog; I mean, I might as well be a boy dog. It's just part of self-expression.

[Ani nods.]

Ed: Everybody does it for different reasons, but you can go out and you can make people smile - I already work in cartoons, so I've grown up my whole life making characters, telling stories, and this is just an extension of making people happy!

Ruth: So Dexy, Dexy . . . we have to point out that Dexy is not just a fox, he's an Arctic Fox.

Dexy: Yeah, yeah - hence the white.

Ruth: Why did you...

Eamonn: Not so sure about the scarf you're wearing - is there any significance in that before we go any further?

Dexy the Arctic Fox[Dexy is wearing a blue-and-white striped scarf, the colours of both Manchester City and Chelsea.
Eamonn supports Manchester United, who were beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final.
]

Dexy: Umm, other than for fashion reasons, no.

Eamonn: No? That's OK, that's OK.

Ruth: It's not a football team.

[Ed and Dexy giggle.]

Ruth: And why did you choose a fox?

[Caption: "Dexy - Created his fox character over two years ago."]

Dexy: Umm . . . well, there's no real significance as to why I chose a fox. I chose an Arctic Fox 'cause when I designed my character, I got a template, and obviously it starts off white, and I have little-to-no artistic talent, so I kinda threw a bit of colour on, and I said "I'm calling it a day, it'll be an Arctic Fox", 'cause you know, they're great creatures, you know, they're really, uh...

[Ani nods.]

Ruth: You look very nice. So, OK, so you've all chosen your characters, I get that. So what do you do when the furry fandoms meet up, what happens at these evenings, or...

Eamonn: Do you, like, sniff each other and things?

Ed [shaking head, laughing]: No!

Eamonn [disappointed]: No?

Ruth: What do you do, when you all get together?

Ed: Well, a lot of people actually, uh - the costumes are one part of it, but a huge part of it is celebrating art, and creativities...

[photo of three fursuiters: a red fox, Ani, and a white tiger with green paws and ears.]

Ed: ...so when we meet up, people can draw pictures, and there are charity events we do . . . I like to go out and, uh, you know, just entertain the public [wiggles paws], but I also have gone to different parties, and entertain people - and it's really what you want to make of it, is why it's special.

[Ani and Dexy nod.]

Eamonn: Yes, I see what you mean what you want to make of it, but it's more than the way people would dress up to do a charity run or whatever; it's um - so where is it different, to what... I mean you've brought it to...

Dexy shrugs[Permanent caption changes: "We're fans of fur... but it's not a fetish!"]

Eamonn: It's a subculture, then, is that what, is...

Ani: Certainly it's a subculture, yes, but uhm, it's . . . we do so many everyday things that you would consider . . . you know, standard - we'd go for a walk around a park.

Ruth: Everyday things in . . . *waves at fursuits*

Dexy: No, not in fursuit.

[Ed laughs.]

[Picture of Ani holding a glass of red wine, with a fork in hand, in front of a plate of food.]

Ani: But, you know, the fandom isn't really uh, specifically just the fursuiting thing. Fursuiting is obviously what we're doing now.

Ruth: What sort of people are involved, tell us what you all do for jobs, and what kind of people.

Eamonn: Do you, do you have partners?

Ed: Yes! Yeah, yeah...

[Ani and Dexy nod.]

Ani: We have partners.

Ed: I actually met my partner at a LondonFur meet, and uh, we both just, I was interested in cosplay before this - I've always been interested in making cartoons and uh, basically it just seemed like a natural progression of that.

Ruth: And is your partner a dog, another dog?

Ed: No, he's a fox as well, but uh... an urban fox!

Eamonn: My wife's a fox, but that's a whole other story! [laughs] I'm just seeing what the reaction is to all of this. "Why can't adults dress up?" says Amanda Anderson, "We all get sick of adulting at times!" - so it's like that escapism.

Ed tries to hide[Dexy raises paws flat upside-down to either side, nodding.]

Eamonn: Alex Bennet says "If they were in my house, they'd either get chewed or..."

[Ani shakes his head.]

Ruth [peeking over Eamonn's shoulder]: Ohh, steady.

Eamonn: Or - he has an excited Labrador, basically.

[Ed has hands over eyes.]

Eamonn: Alex Wilson: "I don't have the desire to do it myself, but we all do things that other people would find weird. Nothing wrong with this." Danny Thorpe: "The effort and skill some people put into making these costumes is amazing."

Ruth: The costumes are incredible.

Eamonn: They are incredible...

[Photo of a large assortment of fursuiters sitting and standing in front of a castle flying the Union Jack.]

Eamonn: ...and they're so clean, there's no - no knots in them, there's no stains, there's nothing...

Ani [unclear]: [Is?] that what you're on the lookout for?

Ed: Yeah - they do take a lot of, uh, a lot of TLC. I mean, they're quite expensive investments. People design them; every suit is unique...

[Ani and Dexy nod.]

Ed: ...you never see another one like it, and, uh - you know, you gotta take care of them as well! They're a long-term investment.

Eamonn: Ruth, do me a picture here, because this, uh, furry fandom thing, it might catch on. I wanna get in the middle...

[Ruth picks up a camera, laughing.]
Eamonn and Ruth read feedback
Ed: Yeah, yeah? Oop, oop...

[Ed nudges Ani, who along with Dex shuffles to either side to make room for Eamonn.]

Eamonn: Ruth, what sort of costume would I get?

Ruth: I think a big silver-back...

Eamonn: Gorilla.

Ruth: ...gorilla.

[Everyone laughs; fursuiters adopt classic spread paws pose on couch, with Eamonn smiling, his arm around Ed's back.]

Ruth: You think, maybe that would be yours? All right, smile everybody!

Ed: Hi!

Ruth: Fur fandom rules.

Ed: *laughs*

Ani: Heya!

Ruth: Very good.

Eamonn: What, were you painting that picture?

Ani, Ed and Dexy pose with 'This Morning's Eamonn Holmes. Caption: 'We're fans of fur... but it's not a fetish!' Ruth: I do it free! I do it free. Um, it's really interesting learning about furry fandom, never heard of it before - uh, enjoy what you do, and, um, now you know, what it's all about.

Eamonn: You're very happy, and thank you for making us all smile this morning.

Ani: Yeah, thank you very much indeed.

Ruth [to Eamonn]: You stay there. And now still to come... [intro to next segment]

[Fursuiters wave paws as theme tune rolls. Eamonn pats knees.]

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Wait, let's back up a second... People are now getting butthurt when an interviewer (a person whose job is literally to ask other people questions about topics, sometimes themselves) asks an interviewee (the person being interviewed about a topic and/or themself) a question? Well that makes total sense. I also prefer interviews where everyone just sits in total silence (no offence to sign language "talk" shows).

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

It was a legitimate question, but the tone and phrasing could've been more tactful. Fortunately Ed didn't bat an eyelid, staying on-message to give a response that was one of the highlights of the segment. That and their expressive behaviour had a great impact on a sample of the target audience (my mum). The bubbly attitude wasn't anything made up for the show, either - it's the same at meets, too. Perfect pick.

Honestly, things were looking a little shaky about a minute in, and this was just one case in which Eamonn tried to prod it into a downwards spiral (as is his way); but by the end, the group came across really well, despite the snarky captions.

Your rating: None

British eccentricity and irreverence gave the world Monty Python, the Sex Pistols and more recently Lord Buckethead. Furries have little to fear.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Lost me practically with the first sentence. Any discussion of Furry Fandom that begins with "We're grown-ups who like to dress up..." need go no further.

I have said it before, I'll go to my grave saying it: Saying that Furry Fandom is "about" costuming is like saying that Star Trek Fandom is "about" wearing pointy ears or bumpy foreheads.

Your rating: None

Come now, you can't say you don't like to dress up - I've seen your hat! And look, this one even has bunny ears. ;-p

The problem is that "it's about having fun dressing up as animals" is a) what people assume from glancing at the average meet/convention; b) immediately understandable and somewhat relatable (if unorthodox); and c) not as liable to cause people to call the police if you come within 500 feet of children - as opposed to portions of the messy truth:

…well, it's complicated - it started with comic artists in the '70s [let's not get started on funny animals], mixing with geeks at sci-fi cons who later ran these text-based multiplayer worlds at university; some had deep spiritual beliefs about being an animal, while others came for the sex or just liked pretending they were animals… oh, and the children's cartoons in the '80s and '90s got a lot of people in… then a few started making costumes; a lot of them were the bunny rabbit outfit kind, then rugs and mascots… but the art was the big thing - especially Omaha, that was huge, and they decided it wasn't even illegal eventually… nowadays there's lots of people making money from these suits, which is really cool, but plenty of artists make a living from it, too, even some writers; and there's a big market in porn of those children's cartoon characters… oh, plus we have huge community websites funded by the operators of a soft-core "3D dress-up and chat" client, and a company which crafts bespoke animal dildos.

So it's not the whole truth, no. But it's hard and awkward to get the real story across in a five-minute TV segment. Because of that, people inevitably try to simplify it, just as sci-fi is about AI robots gone bad in space (which also happens to be what anime is about).

There's minefields enough in "dress up as animals". Do people do it because they love creating characters; or want to entertain children, or each other? Do they want to be an animal? Do they find it hard to interact with others face to face? Do they want to get hugs? Get laid? Get laid as the spirit animal they believe they are? All explanations are 100% accurate for individuals who I've met.

Frankly it may have been in nobody's best interest to try to tell the whole truth, although I noticed Ed tried to open it up a bit. This was a segment on people dressing up as animals. It came shortly after the woman who spent her benefits check on a pet horse. But maybe it made mothers more comfortable about the meets their teenage kids were going to this weekend, and that's probably why they did it.

Your rating: None

I think what Rod and Fred are saying is that it's pointless going public to try and clear up misunderstandings about the fandom if you are only going to use that opportunity to spread more misunderstandings. Either do it properly or don't bother because it's only changing one wrong viewpoint for another and you are still left needing to correct it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

On the contrary: I can give a 5-minute description of furry fandom that does not even bring up costumes OR sexual fetishism. I talk about cartoons (as in art), comics, and animation. Plenty of non-fannish people out there have seen THOSE.

Your rating: None

That isn't "the contrary", though; it's just another example of exhibiting a sub-section of furry fandom. It's arguably better in that it doesn't claim to be "what furry fandom is…" – just a depiction of a jam with a group of furry artists.

To some, the costumes are what furry fandom is about. For some artists, it's all about the art. For others, it's about other things, or many of them together. These are not contradictory statements. The trick is to wrap it all up into a cohesive story, and for that you often need to go to higher concepts ("this is all about A, as expressed in X, Y, Z").

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

The complaint is if "this is all about A, as expressed in X, Y, Z", why is only X brought up while Y and Z are left standing around with their dicks in their hands? It's getting to the point A is having a hard time getting a word in. Maybe the some who think costumes are what's it's all about should shut the fuck up for five minutes and let someone else talk, huh? Or at least have the decency to not act all shocked and surprised when Y and Z get annoyed at them for hogging the spotlight.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

I mean, yes, do the fucking interview (these fursuiters were actually fantastic, and I'm not angry at them, and this interview, kind of like the fandom history book cover, is dredging up a real grievance slightly misaimed), and clearly the interviewers weren't going to not bring it up. But the truth of the matter is people hate fursuiters for this, and if they don't start realizing this and start making an effort to stop and say, "Can we talk about something else for a minute" people are going to continue to hate them.

Because the idiot interviewers obviously have no idea that not only do most furries not actually wear suits, wearing animal costumes is not the point of furry fandom, and this. Is. A. Problem.

Yes, when a comic convention gets covered, they cover the cosplay, but they at least recognize that these people read comic books.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

And this is important because, unlike "fursuiter", artist and writer are actual fucking jobs that people would like to make money off of, but it's kind of hard to when nobody knows you exist.

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Use the fursuits to get them in, then bar the doors and give them the hard sell, forcing them through the dealer's den before they can escape.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Well, we need to do something; Eric W. Schwartz started a decent furry webcomic back in 1996, while Ryan North started a comic consisting of the same five pieces of clip art in 2003. In 2017, the Dinosaur Comics guy is writing for Marvel, while the creator of Sabrina Online has moved on to a porn site and Zootopia fan comics.

So, you know, good press is good press, but maybe move it along, guys.

Your rating: None Average: 1.2 (6 votes)

Here's the fellow with 30 followers on twitter, full of envy about others "hogging the spotlight." As if we all paid to share a pizza with 8 slices but he's #9 in line. (He doesn't even court those he wishes would serve him his entitled slice of attention. Don't ask him about entitlement to a love life...)

It doesn't work that way. There's no zero-sum game for entertainment. You're already in for the price of a computer, with access to the world. The means of production have been seized. But your product sucks. You have no equity, my friend, because you have no demand. Your writing isn't up to snuff, the ideas are shallow and uninteresting, and audiences don't flock to sour grapes and shoddy insight. You're stuck in a loop of self imposed inadequacy, and it makes you lash out at others who owe you nothing.

Costuming makes a dose of entertainment without time investment from watchers. Your writing just won't do it for those people, because they aren't even in your market. Writers who did turn their hobby into jobs know that something else is at work for them. They're serving a different product to different people. And the pros know: the job is a vehicle to a goal, not the goal itself.

Quit envying those with an audience who wouldn't read your stuff if you locked them in. If you did get on their telly they'd change the channel. But don't quit your day job.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Be careful with that edge, you might cut yourself…

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Oh, but hey, while we're all discussing my Twitter followers and Green Reaper is here, hey, what gives? I'm a little bit offended you're not one of the thirty, and, uh, do I need to, uh, do something?

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Don't feel too bad, he doesn't follow me either :)

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I use search on Twitter, not follows. I think the only individual follows I have are from when you needed to DM someone that way. As a contributor, you're recognized by a follow on FlayrahNews.

Your rating: None

Okay, just making sure.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Who the fuck is this asshole? And why do they always choose me?

I'm hoping, after helping film for Joe Strike, desiring_change really got better, so please be a new crazy, okay. If this is desiring_change, though, I should've gone to the Anthrocon furry history panel, we could've hooked up. That would've been at least interesting.

Your rating: None

Rest assured this "new asshole" is not me, Desiring_Change! And that's all I'm saying to you, Crossie.

Your rating: None

Okay, good video, though!

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

You think Cross is bad, you should go read the Furry Time's article where Perri spends several hundred words to go: "I'm considering leaving the fandom because no one is reading my serial."

Your rating: None

That's a difference between what they do in the fandom and what the fandom is about. To say the fandom is about x or y where x and y are expressions of furriness is just wrong. It is about the concept not the practices, you can perfectly well be a furry without ever doing x, y or z. Here's a better answer to what the furry fandom is...

The furry fandom is a collection of people who appreciate the combination of animal and human traits in a character and are brought together by this shared interest. It might seem unusual but its just an extension of an interest that humans have had since the earliest examples of art and which is also visible in mascots, iconography and language. The reason people are interested in the furry fandom can differ from person to person and this can sometimes be reflected in the ones that they engage with the fandom. Some people enjoy the furry aesthetic and will be more drawn to artwork and fursuits. Others like asking how the world would be different if it were populated or shared by anthropormphic animals and are more likely to write stories exploring how a society of intelligent predators and prey would co-exist. For others, it's just a fun community where they might engage in role-play with their friends. These different motivations and expressions are fluid, some fans change why they are in the fandom over time, for some, many of these reasons apply and it might even be that none do.

And of course someone will bring up sex and whether it's a fetish...

For a small number, furry might just be a fetish but for most it is just the way that they choose to see themselves and to visualise the world. As sex is a part of the world, it also gets seen through this same furry lens but to them it is no more a fetish than normal human sex is a fetish for the average person. It might seem that furs are all about sex but a big reason for this is that furs are just more open than most. We know that most people look at porn and have sex, it's how we all got to be here, but they generally keep it hidden due to shame or societal norms. In the furry fandom, the norms are different and sex is not seen as something wrong or that needs to be hidden which is why it is more visible than one might expect.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I submit: https://furry.today/2017/07/26/art-jam/

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Since I'm the author or editor of ten furry books, including one that's just won both the Cóyotl and Ursa Major Awards, I'm miffed at another promotion of the image that furry fandom is all about costuming and that totally ignores the furry literature including several furry specialty publishers. Yeah, yeah, I realize that for a five-minute introduction to furry fandom on TV, a book or even live authors can't compete with people in fursuits.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

I hear there are Star Wars books, too, but I don't think I've ever read one. Visual media and lightsabres are more easily consumed by the casual fan. See Walmart's $20 heads for a recebt example closer to home.

On the plus side, the fandom is now big enough that there are enough dedicated fans who might well buy and/or read a book - perhaps more than one book! And a certain portion of those who start out looking at the comics and fursuits will move onto books, so this kind of thing helps.

Wiki editors, programmers and news writers don't garner much attention either. Puppeteering, on the other hand... has made me appreciate that when you have a character, it's that which people are most interested in. As you might expect. Similarly, many are more interested in a suit than its wearer or builder (often to the chagrin of both).

So if you want to promote furry literature to non-furs, show off the book, not its author. (Maybe they can read a few passages.) Creators will always have some fans, but content is king. And if it's the right size, get a fursuiter to hold it up afterwards...

Your rating: None

I've read ~6 Star Wars books... (Titles are approximate)
Wedges Gamble
Shadow of the Empire
Episode 1 (Anakin's perspective)
Episode 1 (Padme's perspective)
Apprentice (2 books about Obi Wan's start as a Jedi)
Maybe also Episode 1 in novel form.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Similarly, many are more interested in a suit than its wearer or builder (often to the chagrin of both).

I guess that's my problem right here; if you're using your creativity to bring attention to yourself, you're not being creative, you're being an attention whore. A supposedly "creative" group of people being disappointed and surprised to find that people care about what they create is really, really weird.

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

The incel community is your safe space.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I think something has happened to me over the years and that is I tend not to watch these "What are the furries" pieces anymore.

Because I'm not really the target audience, most these days are kind of reasonable-ish (moving away from the sex misconception to the suit one). But in the end they're all the same, just with different faces.

I guess I'm jaded at these multitude of Furry 101 interviews. I know they're important to non-furries, but as one, meh.

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Actually no, normies don't care about these, they're not important to them. Furries care more.

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I sort of wasn't clear by what I mean as "important to non-furries". I didn't mean non-furries care about them more than the furries do. It is more that it's important to have public facing, somewhat repetitive, furry 101 pieces in the media since "Human X" may not have seen the last dozen of them, since they weren't actively looking.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Every furry article is someone's first furry article.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Guys guys guys, can we please have more comments threads like these that are all personality posturing and shit-flinging over offsite drama that has nothing to do with the article? I was really missing oldFAF and newFAF is way less entertaining. If SandyVag will personally begrudge me I'll do whatever it takes, I'll make an account here, start writing articles, I don't care. I really miss the late 90's, pre-web 2.0 internet and desperately want to go back so I can be the king shit of pre-Russian LiveJournal.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

I'm going to be honest, the answer to your question is a resounding yes.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.