(Okay, adding a disclaimer right now to avoid further problems: I adore this character as a villain. I honestly and truly do. But I DON’T adore the way certain people DERAIL his character, often at the expense of other characters and lash out at criticisms, and I’m ranting against that. It’s okay to add your own insight on a character, but it has to keep the character IN CHARACTER and not shit on other characters. Okay? If you absolutely LOVE him and don’t want to read any criticisms, though, don’t read this.)
Like every fandom, the Wreck-It Ralph fandom has its share of people who cause trouble. Most of them are pretty small in number and stick to their own circle of the fandom, and the ones who are more vocal usually get called out immediately. At any rate, unless someone follows LOTS of WIR blogs (I only follow a few blogs) where they’ll inevitably come across something offensive or if attention is called to the less favourable aspects of the fandom out in the confessions blog, it’s easy to avoid the BS as much as you can. You may HEAR about it, but you’ll probably have a safe distance from it (or at least, do your best to maintain a safe distance).
But there is one VERY vocal side of the fandom that seems to resurface no matter where I go: The (irrational) Turbo/King Candy sympathizers/woobifiers.
I’m not sure how big this side of the fandom is, but it has become VERY infamous across the WIR fandom. And I’m not sure if the anti-Turbo-sympathizers are larger in size or EQUAL in size. Morever, people are STILL gushing over him and trying to make him sympathetic, often putting down other characters. In fact, just recently I stumbled upon two confessions (which made up my decision to never go to wreckitralphconfessions ever again), one which said (and I’m paraphrasing here, as I’ll usually do to save myself from frustration): ”I’m sad King Candy had to die, I wish he got a second chance, I just want him to be happy” and another that stated they were not ready to accept that the Nicelanders truly appreciated Ralph/learned from their error until they made the train more accommodating for him.
(EDIT: And just so you know right now, yes, there ARE some people who do not excuse Turbo’s malicious actions BUT find how he got to that point tragic/can rationalize a more human side to him without woobifying him. This post is not directed at them. This is a post addressing Turbo fans who are ignorant of his character/put him on a pedestal while putting down other characters; namely, the ones who legitimately DID become better people/learned from their mistakes.)
Okay. Let’s sort out a few things, shall we?
First off, if you really want Turbo to have a second chance/be happy, you better be a fucking patron saint of forgiveness…in other words, you care about ALL the characters in the film, not just Turbo. If you are more inclined to offer forgiveness to Turbo, someone who went OUT OF HIS WAY to destroy a child’s life (rather than, say, try to peacefully coexist with her/share the fame together) and showed NO REMORSE FOR WHAT HE DID WHATSOEVER, but not to the characters who made their mistakes but GENUINELY CARED FOR OTHERS, OR AT LEAST LEARNED TO CARE ABOUT OTHERS, you’re fucking up. In fact, you may want to check your social skills because this is not a healthy mindset. But if you are truly a patron saint of forgiveness, well, good for you…HOWEVER you have to be careful. While I fully support rehabilitative methods whenever possible, there WILL be some people who just cannot be saved, no matter what you do. You need to know when to draw the line.
Anyway, back to Turbo himself, and his sympathizers. And I got to ask, who ARE these people and why do they sympathize with him so much? When it comes to the point where these people ignore/dismiss his wicked deeds, sometimes I have a feeling that these sympathizers either didn’t pay too close attention to the film (and I personally think everyone needs to see Wreck-It Ralph more than once to fully understand it and the characters) or are trolls. (Considering the amount of attention these sympathizers get and how half-baked their reasonings behind why they love him are, I don’t think that’s too far-fetched.) But of course there are some people who are sincere. But I must also ask, why Turbo? What makes him so special? Why are so many people rushing to defend him but none of the other Disney villains? There are lots of other villains in media who are WAAAY more sympathetic than Turbo, so why is he getting all the attention?
Is it because of his motive? Well I agree that it is a legitimative motive (rather than have him evil just because), and I suppose it is a bit tragic that he let himself fall from grace so much. HERE is a good look at his motivations that give him an edge without derailing his character too much. WITH THAT SAID, THOUGH, the rest of his actions are inexcusable, and he does NOT deserve all of your sympathy. Some it, perhaps, but not all of it. Second chance? He HAD his second chance when he joined Sugar Rush. He could have opted to be a co-star with Vanellope and learn to be more compassionate. What he do? He decided to boot her off her throne so he could be the single star and greatest racer. He tried to MURDER her. That was his first instinct: DELETE HER CODE. That’s right. Rather than just rewire her to a lower rank, he was quick to try to eliminate her. And then proceed to make her life a living hell. It’s one thing if he made her a non-playable character and tried to make her comfortable to keep her quiet, but he made her a GLITCH and did NOTHING to stop the bullying she constantly got (he may even have reprogrammed/manipulated the Sugar Rush racers into bullies!), manipulated her best and only friend into destroying her kart (and thus reinforcing the belief that no one loved her) and then threw her in his fungeon. Once the situation became dire, he decided to try to kill her (or at least seriously injure) her AGAIN. THEN HE ALMOST KILLED HER BEST FRIEND AND NEARLY FORCED HIM TO WATCH HER DIE/GET TURNED INTO A CYBUG, WITH EVIL FUCKING GLEE. By then, he had completely crossed the line, and by the time he died, there was no way he could be redeemed. Once he fused with the cybug, he lost it completely. You can tell by the way he takes pleasure in hurting and dominating Ralph that he lost all sense of compassion and dignity. If he didn’t die, he probably would have gone on to destroy countless other lives in the arcade. And even if he didn’t HAVE to die, he should’ve made it up to Vanellope and Sugar Rush in every way possible…but since he showed absolutely no signs of compassion towards her whatsoever (not to mention there is some debate how much of the cybug’s mind was in control and how much Turbo’s was in control, so no matter what he’d be beyond saving), that’s not likely. So, no. He could not get a second chance. He had his fun, he had his happiness, now he had to pay up.
It’s okay to give Turbo TOUCHES of humanity/a bit of an edge. Like, MAYBE he misses the Turbo Twins/regrets getting his game unplugged. MAYBE he cared about the Sugar Rush residents a little. But the problem is that a lot of his sympathizers are completely derailing his character and/or ignoring his crimes. (You can still like a character and think critically about them! And there’s nothing wrong with loving evil villains for BEING evil villains!) Do you think Turbo would regret having RoadBlasters unplugged for reasons that are unselfish? Probably not.
However, I think there’s one reason why so many people flock to Turbo but not to the other characters: sex appeal/cuteness. And while everyone has their different tastes/preferences and are entitled to what they find attractive (some of my fictional hotties include Slade, Hellboy, Goliath and Norman Bates, after all; though I’m shocked some people find Turbo hotter than Ralph because GODDAMMIT LOOK AT RALPH oh shit I’m sidetracking), his sexiness in no way invalidates what he did. (I think this is a huge problem across fandoms; if a character is attractive in any way, they often get absolved of all sins over their less-attractive co-stars. But that’s for another post.)
There could be other reasons, but I honestly don’t have enough energy to touch on them all. All I can really say is: some of his sympathizing is getting out of control. I’m half-inclined to say the whole Wreck-It Ralph fandom is out of control now (as a few really rude confessions have surfaced on the confessions blog awhile ago and there’s apparently some friction going on right now) and that we should all take a break from it while we still love this wonderful film so that way we can come back later refreshed and ready to look at the characters reasonably. But I don’t know. I just take this to heart because, while I don’t come across it TOO often (the most I really get are a few headcanons here and there from wir-headcanons that personally rub me the wrong way [though the mod is quick to call out on the most ridiculous ones and I can ultimately just ignore the headcanons that I don’t like, though in retrospect some of the headcanons do make sense compared to a few other headcanons unrelated to Turbo that I just have to ignore] and when my other fave blogs touch on it), I still think it’s an issue for aforementioned reasons. And I hate to pull any cards, but I got to say this:
IF TURBO/KING CANDY WAS A WOMAN, NOBODY WOULD BE CALLING HER SYMPATHETIC. NO. ONE. OR VERY FEW, AND THEY WOULDN’T BE AS VOCAL. You know this. How many people have you met that actually call Maleficent sympathetic? Personally, I’ve only come across one. That’s it. And a quick look through the blog fyeahcontroversialcharacters will show you that female characters disproportionately get shat on more than male characters. So this is a gender issue for me (especially when Turbo sympathizers overlap with Vanellope haters) as much as it as a basic human empathy issue (when Turbo sympathizers overlap with pretty-much-everyone-else haters).
EDIT: Apparently Mother Gothel (from Tangled) had a shitload of sympathizers. While I HATE that as well (she stabbed Flynn RIGHT IN FRONT OF A BOUND AND GAGGED RAPUNZEL, WHO SHE HERSELF BOUND, AND SAID “NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE, RAPUNZEL”) to be fair, I can understand how some people may feel she’s less evil than the others with her prior actions (I still don’t like it when people make it seem like she did no wrong!). At any rate I’m ambivalent to say fem!Turbo would receive the same treatment because I see WAAY too many female characters shat on for making mistakes and Turbo has made PLENTY. I don’t know. Anyone have any ideas let me know.
But on a final note: I would say that the correct attitude to feel towards Turbo (other than Holy shit he’s such a brilliantly written villain and a cool character, which most people feel) is not sympathy, but PITY. I PITY Turbo for letting himself fall so far. I PITY Turbo for letting his jealously get to him. I PITY Turbo for losing all sense of compassion and decency. He’s not sympathetic, he’s pitiful.
Phew, I wrote a lot. I adore King Candy/Turbo as a villain, but this is just getting ridiculous so I had to write this. Now I shall focus on the parts of the fandom that I love and pray that the whole fandom gets its shit together because right now, it’s a bit of a mess.
//AND END RANT.//
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