Local 10 Apologizes for Cyber-Bullying Star Wars Fans

Categories: Media Watch
ABC affiliate WPLG Local 10's website has crossed over to the dark side. Apparently, hungry for pageviews, the station posted a slide show featuring photos from a recent Star Wars convention, complete with mocking captions like "Dateless men for as far as the eye can see."

Star Wars fans didn't appreciate the mockery and accused the station of cyber-bullying across blogs, Change.org, Twitter, and Facebook. So the station deleted the slide show and posted a half-hearted apology on Facebook. Then Local 10 deleted the apology after fans complained it didn't seem sincere, and then it deleted a bunch of negative Facebook comments. This is basically a masterclass in how not to deal with web outrage.

PinkSith.com caught wind that the station posted a bunch of picture of attendees of the recent Star Wars Celebration 6 in Orlando, Florida, complete with mocking captions such as these:
"Being a Star Wars geek pretty much means you'll get no lovin'... being a Star Wars geek that wears these pajamas guarantees it."
"These were a group of guys that spent the entire weekend jumping in to other people's pictures. It was MUCH lamer than it sounds."
"Poor kids... they were never given a chance. Geekdom is in their genes."
"Here's a shocker... it's dudes taking pics of the fake Princess Leias. Like they've never seen a woman before. Well, hmmm..."
"A reproduction of their prom picture... no girls."
"Dateless men for as far as they eye can see. "
The slide show then incited a war between Star Wars fans and the Miami news station.

A Change.org petition asking for an apology was launched. 

Then came the tweets: The slide show was then taken down, and this apology was posted on Facebook:
"GOOD NEWS (or BAD NEWS... depending on where you sided). The infamous STAR WARS slideshow has been taken down.
For those offended (and let us know), sorry.
For those who enjoyed it (and let us know), sorry.
Remember... the force will be with you... always."
As detailed on PinkSith, the station then deleted the apology after receiving complaints that it didn't seem sincere, and also admitted it deleted user comments:

We guess there are two lessons here: Don't cyber-bully geeks if you're a professional news organization, and don't post unfunny, lazy, pageview-baiting shit in the first place.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Now the news is bullying people because it thinks it can and that it possibly could get away with it. No matter who you are or what you are, (Star War fans) this should not be allowed. My daughter shared a video with me on bullying and it was truly amazing. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPR_-zDMD8A&feature=plcp.  

SethPlatt topcommenter

WPLG is Gutter TV in South Florida.


Isn't Jeff Ross doing the same thing on his show the burn


I guess local 10 didn't get the memo that geek is the new cool?


That was not an apology.  An apology takes responsibility for the damage done and makes amends.  

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

who ever is in charge of that local 10 facebook page, is going have to stop soon anyway with the remarks..local 10 vs the mass public, thats a no brainer he will lose, they are eating him alive on that facebook page...that reporter is not a good troll anyways

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

Who ever handles their Facebook should be fired for using it as their personal page and for thinking that making fun of geeks is still trendy.

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

I am a huge star wars geek and I get more butt than ash trays.


@JATayler If @WPLGLocal10 wanted to see a group of lame, dateless nerds, they should have attended a #StarTrek convention


@JATayler If they wanted to see a group of lame, dateless nerds, they should have attended a #StarTrek convention

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault