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Things We Saw Today: Why Are Audience Q&As the Absolute Worst?

Why are Q&A questions so bad

If you’ve ever been to an audience Q&A session or sat through the question line at a con panel, you know that there are inevitably terrible, horrible, no good, very bad questions asked. This has been true of every Q&A and junket I’ve ever attended, and I’ve been covering cons for more than a decade.

Birth.Movies.Death editor Scott Wampler kicked off this trip through nightmarish Q&As and press junkets on his Twitter account, asking:

I’ve included some of my favorite responses to Wampler’s query below. But before we dive in, we really have to spend a moment ruminating on how universal and frequent these occurrences are.

The great majority of us have experienced people asking bizarre/insulting questions, or inappropriately using their time to try and get close to the stars (“Can I have a hug?” / “Can I have a kiss?”), or, worst of all crimes, standing up and saying, “This is really more of a comment than a question.” This should result in a guillotine being slowly lowered down from the ceiling, or at least some slime You Can’t Do That On Television-style.

I’d like to further emphasize that this isn’t just to call out fan questions. Many of the responses on the Twitter thread are from reporters chiming in with things they’ve seen go down at junkets and in press rooms, where everyone is supposed to be a professional who should damn well know better. And sometimes the awfulness at con panels is either induced by a bad moderator or could be better controlled/directed by a better moderator.

Moderators, for the love of everything: please don’t ask your panel to name one thing they love and one thing they hate about [a thing] and then slowly crawl down a line of 10 panelists. I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than listen to people scramble to come up with a different answer than the person next to them.

Anyway, here’re the Tweets that either made me exclaim “YUP!” internally on the subway because I’ve witnessed the same thing, and those that made me widen my eyes in horror at the audacity of humanity.

Sometimes it’s not the fans or reporters who need to learn how to behave.

Or maybe we should use the Gaiman maneuver going forward?

And don’t forget, kids—always strive to avoid being this person:

There are so many incredible responses to Wampler’s thread. Be sure to click through to read the entirety of its cringe-worthy glory. Where did we go so wrong as a species?

(via Scott Wampler on Twitter, image: Noam Galai for Getty Images/Twitter)

  • Hey it sure looks like Donald Trump was doing all kinds of crimes, the most recent a fun little ditty we like to call “Suborning Perjury.” (via Variety)
  • R. Kelly has been dropped by Sony Music. Call me when he’s dropped on his head. (via Variety)
  • Netflix is more worried about competition from the game Fortnite than from other streaming services. (via CBR)
  • Guess what! The government shutdown is great for Pornhub’s traffic. (via Geek.com)
  • For some reason they’re making a Monopoly movie and Kevin Hart is in talks to star in it. Defeated sigh to the contents of that entire sentence. (via io9)
  • There’s some sweet new Captain Marvel merch, like bags and hats, but let’s be real, we’re only here for products that feature. Goose the Cat. (via Comicbook)
  • Check out the trailer for Rooster Teeth’s “anime-style adventure” gen:LOCK, featuring the vocal stylings of Michael B. Jordan, Maisie Williams, David Tennant, and Dakota Fanning. (via SyFy Wire)

Happy weekend! Happy long weekend, if you’re headed into one! What did you see today?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.