Furries warn each other about casting call for “Life As a Furry” TV show

by Patch O'Furr

A reality show casting call is raising hackles. It presses a hot button of sensitive history. The media can inform and debunk fake news to help us all; but sometimes it lies to make a quick buck or serve the powerful.

(Skip this if you already know about “The Media.”) 

A dogma exists among furries that reporting is offensive, rather than anger at offensive reporting. Dogma can hurt us too, but it started with real offenses. See 2003’s furry-themed episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It spread a broad caricature of a pathetic loser who donned a cheap costume for sex, which is unfair to those of us who are highly accomplished and sexy in costume or out.

The bad image peaked when internet furries caught notice around 2000. CSI, MTV, Vanity Fair, and others aired exploitation (which isn’t always bad — think cult movies — except when it’s malicious and pretends to be more real than it is.) It ebbed as furry conventions exploded in size. Around 2015 there was a thaw. Nice, well-researched reporting came from independent outlets like Vice and ones as powerful as CNN. Then came the 2022 election and the revival of smear tactics. This time it was maliciously from the right-wing to pit red state voters against minorities. Transphobia spiked up and furries were like stand-ins for the weird, gay boogeyman of tolerance. Debunking fake news about school litter boxes didn’t stop it from repeating. One hit piece by Daily Wire christofascist Matt Walsh used false pretenses to recruit trans people like fandom member Naia Okami.

On the heels of recent attacks: Casting Call Concern

A tweet by @PleasantPicnic complained “Why the f* is a production company using my image for a casting call”? A furry in Georgia replied “This person tried to join our furry group on Facebook and sent this same message”. Another shared denial and confusion comments from the source of the messages, TV producer Lynn Scheid.

How To Spot Fake News tip #1 is “Consider the Source.”

Lynn Scheid was trying to engage a community from a mostly bare Twitter account, so some watchers weren’t clear if he was real. He is, but concerningly, his 200 Twitter follows were full of far-right blogs and propaganda pushers.

A deeper look for an agenda

A legitimate journalist may monitor the right wing, but Scheid’s Twitter didn’t show a reason like that. It did have red flags like a follow for the Project Veritas hoax group. Shortly after it drew criticism, Scheid’s Twitter was wiped blank.

Could a freshly made Twitter account have simply followed recommendations, meaning this was Twitter’s own bias? A media professional would recognize scummy sources. (Consider how mere furries are being eagle eyed.) Even simple carelessness bodes ill for approaching a community.

Scheid’s online footprint:

Scheid’s podcast interview is just tepid entrepeneurial speak, but the podcast itself makes telling company. It gives a hoaxer air time to rail against woke “radicalizing” and affiliates with notorious Republican strategist Roger Stone, who was convicted of 7 felonies for crime for the Trump campaign.

The podcast is very vague on personal details except that Scheid is a money guy for TV shows. After 40:00 he mentions producing reality shows for networks with 30 to 40 in production. Recently, Scheid posted a Philadelphia area documentary crew job ad, and another ad mentioning a 3 month pilot shooting time and physical office for a longer docuseries.

When warning friends about a problem, it’s good practice to try to avoid directly boosting it like by interacting with its source.

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