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Bet you weren’t as psyched as Chris Colfer about his film playing in Fresno

UPDATE: Colfer responds to us on Twitter, saying he wasn’t taking a dig at Fresno. Fair enough. We’re sorry, Chris. Either way, we’re happy to hear the film was well attended.


ORIGINAL POST, 9:25 P.M.: As you know, Chris Colfer’s film “Struck By Lightning” played tonight at the Reel Pride Film Festival, and nobody was prouder than Colfer, a Clovis East grad.

Apparently Tower Theatre — capacity 761 — was packed. But, hey, let’s not let the truth get in the way of some Fresno jokes.

Responses to "Bet you weren’t as psyched as Chris Colfer about his film playing in Fresno"

Strucker says:

Get a grip, Fresno. Chris was clearly joking about his many relatives attending the screening. He even took the time to clarify that for you. Let it go.

Leslie W says:

Thank you for having the integrity to update this post with his clarification. I can see how easy it would be to misinterpret his first tweet. He didn’t mean that the theater was small, just that his family and friends in attendance would be so numerous that they would only leave ten seats available to the public.

He has said many times that Clovis was a lovely place to grow up, in spite of the many individual people who tried to make his youth there a living hell, and at one point caused him to be home schooled for two years. I understand that you’re sensitive about any perceived negativity about your home town and the surrounding area, but if you aren’t also sensitive to the fact that Chris personally had many negative experiences there (which he will carry with him for the rest of his life) then you will come off sounding petty. So, again, thank you very much for the update with his response. A lot of journalists might not have done the same.

cb says:

Is it any wonder that people who get out of Fresno and into the public eye always have so many negative experiences to recount? When you treat them this way, twist their words, and then give some half-assed, Mean Girls style apology? And for what? A comment he made about his family buying out the house? So far as I can tell, Chris Colfer has previously said that Clovis and Fresno are lovely places, but that he never fit in and that the some people treated him like sh**. There’s notjing wrong with him saying that and it doesn’t make him a hater. Grow up.

nl says:

As someone who grew up in a town that wasn’t always the best at stopping bullying, I don’t think it’s fair that anyone should be classed as a ‘hater’ for talking about his experiences. It’s only when we dismiss experiences that nothing gets done about the issues of bullying and intolerance.

Dribble says:

Clearly it was self-deprecating humor on Chris’s part but, his point is correct.. It’s whatever spin will get you more hits.

Jean says:

“Fresno haters”? Haha. Wow, someone is bitter! I’d say Chris Colfer and anyone like him has plenty of reasons to “hate” Fresno and the towns like it, considering they treat people who are different like crap. But, hey, let’s not let the truth get in the way of some passive-aggressive digs at someone who was lucky enough to get out of that place, am I right?

But, oh, I guess he’s not much of a hater after all, is he? Anyone who isn’t nursing a jealous grudge could tell he was joking about how many tickets his family members bought. This entire article is embarrassing.

Mike Oz says:

We are sensitive to what Chris went through here. We’ve never knocked him for having the opinions he does/did about growing up here.

My view on this — prior to his clarification — was that this was basically an event celebrating him, the opening night of a big annual film festival, definitely our community being proud of him. So if he was going to be dismissive about it, I thought that was lame.

Jean says:

“We’ve never knocked him for having the opinions he does/did about growing up here.”

You’ve done so in this very article, by childishly tagging it as “Fresno haters” when Chris Colfer has very legitimate reasons for being wary of the area he grew up in. If Chris hates Fresno and Clovis (although he doesn’t), he has every right to, and it’s ridiculous to begrudge him that or try to shame him for it.

Then even your response to him was problematic, with “But surely you understand, given some of your previous statements, how it could seem like a dig,” as if anything he has ever said hasn’t been the truth. Chris is allowed to share his experience growing up. Don’t like it? Then maybe you should try to change the culture of the area instead of trying to silence the people it hurt.

Mike Oz says:

How have we tried to silence him? We’ve written about his numerous successes. He’s been interviewed by us various times. I wrote a post yesterday about his film showing here. I also wrote something when he came out about how he’s someone all of us can be proud of — despite the very conservative, anti-gay attitudes that exist here.

If you’ve read our blog over the years, you’d find that we’ve been very supportive of the arts, our local artists and we push Fresno to open its mind a bit.

The “Fresno haters” tag is simply a way to lump together posts about people who talk trash about where we live. Obviously, there was some misinterpretation in this case (as we’ve since learned), but it’s more about organizing posts than labeling people.

Rosario says:

Chris clarified what he meant and the beehive graciously accepted it. I don’t see the big issue. As to jerks and intolerance, that is found everywhere and I just hate stereotyping a whole area.

I respect Chris statements as what he personally went through, but let’s not make sweeping assumptions about the whole darn community. From what I understand his family all still live there.

Craig Miller says:

As a gay man growing up in this area I have had my share of the negative. But lay off Fresno. It is our society. I have also lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Some of the worse bullying I have ever seen was in Los Angeles. A lot of teenage kids just seem to have a mean streak in them.

tse says:

He didn’t make any sweeping assumptions, though. He made a joke about his family and friends buying out all the tickets for his film. He’s professed his love for his hometown many times, while telling the truth about the hard time he had growing up in an area were he was forced to pretend to be straight. The Fresnobee made a sweeping assumption, at best, and it worst they purposefully twisted his words.

Lynne says:

This is my first time ever hearing of this blog and the fact that you cannot take a joke really does not impress me. People like you are so quick to take something anyone says that could possibly make your blog THAT much more intriguing when it just makes you look like the bad guy. Chris has enough to deal with without people twisting his words like this. What was done on your part is immature and I for one will not be back on this site.

tse says:

No one here has said anything bad about Fresno, including Chris. It’s not just a matter of mean spirited teens, either. Chris said the hardest part of growing up in Clovis wasn’t the bullying by teens at school; it was walking home after school past all the Yes to Prop 8 signs in his neighborhood, and the general lack of acceptance or even tolerance he felt because of that atmosphere.

Drew says:

Are you kidding with this comment? This has nothing to do with the people involved but instead is just a reaction to your comment that people should “lay off Fresno. It is our society.” How about no? Just because you live there, or because this kind of behavior goes on all the time, doesn’t mean it, or any place else, should get a free pass for it. Yeah, let’s just sit around, keeping quiet and doing nothing while intolerance and bullying goes on. Change: It’ll happen as long as we ignore the problem! Gross.

Allie says:

This article is actually embarrassing and shameful. You have absolutely no right to make any of the comments you did. Chris has never done anything but tell the truth about his life and his experiences growing up. I’m sorry if he doesn’t have perfect stories to tell, but that’s obviously your problem in your community. Chris worked his ass off to get out of there and become who he is now. The fact that he’s not even better about it shows how strong of a person he is. Afraid that the world might find out your community is full of homophobia and bullying? Maybe you should take steps to change that instead of insulting victims of the abuse who managed to rise above it. You’re truly disgusting.

GleeWhispererTownie says:

Thank you Chris Colfer, Clovis kid made good, for being such a gentleman in response to the contempt shown by The Fresno Beehive and it’s blogger Mike Oz. Colfer you are a class act.

Colfer need not have clarified anything. Mr. Oz is way out of line in his misguided and gutless blog post; neither did Oz “graciously” accept Colfer’s explanation, he basically told Colfer, (my own words!) : “Well, Colfer, you Hollywood bigshot, you had it coming…you know, with all the things you have said about Fresno in the past…it’s not MY fault I misconstrued your tweet … ” … Oh but FAIR ENOUGH … We will change the post righttttt away for you Mr. Bigshot…” (However you will get no apology!) Am I being snarky? Yes. Is it deserved? Yes! Think about it! This is the little crap type reporting whose only goal results in causing harm; to Colfer, his family who still reside in the area, and to locals who care about this community and it’s success stories. And frankly Fresno needs more success stories.

This paper and it’s writer seem confused; one moment in supposed rapture over their local boy done well (and bragging about their own scant reporting on Colfer, *gag*) and the next finding something about the young actor they could twist into a hateful damaging slur about his character which at the same time makes Fresno look terrible. Thanks, Mr. Oz.

While this sad blog post at first seems to simple be about Fresno, it’s also about more than that ; it gives one pause to think about what we say as reporters, as bloggers and what we say to each other. I mean with so much to say about Colfer and his journey from Clovis to where he is now; and this crap is all the paper could talk about? Hmmm. How about how we have a talented local kid, bullied for being gay, who got out of town to portray a young bullied gay kid living in another small town (made up in Hollywood) where his real life and acting life has combined to inspire millions to have courage, to end bullying, and to follow their own dreams? How about how he stars in a hit TV show but also found time to write a best selling (damn good) book this year? (Land of Stories) And did I mention he starred in a feature length film in which he also wrote the screenplay? And that film got great reviews? (Struck by Lightning)

Keep on trucking Colfer – Your fans in Fresno, Clovis and all of your fans living in big and small towns have your back and we are thrilled for your success. Furthermore, we hope you do not stop sharing your life experiences from Clovis because despite what crap we read in the papers and this blog we are grateful for your story!