Via Jeff Vandermeer and the Tor.com blog…
In some universe, the name “Syfy” is less geeky than the name “Sci Fi.” Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, is betting it’s this one.
To that end, the 16-year-old network–owned by NBC Universal–plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.
So, the executives of the Sci Fi Channel are stupid *and* sexist? I happen to not only know a wide swath of female science fiction fans (and proud of that fact), but I have friendly relationships with a number of female SF *writers*.
A channel which openly mocks and denigrates its fan base is a channel that I am not so inclined to watch. Why should I, really, when they clearly think so little of me?
And while I am on this rant, let’s look at the top box office drawing movies of all time and see the power of “geeks and dysfunctional antisocial types” that the
Sci Fi Syfy channel thinks I am.
Worldwide Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $1,835,300,000
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $1,129,219,252
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $1,060,332,628
4. The Dark Knight (2008) $997,316,061
5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $968,657,891
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) $958,404,152
7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $937,000,866
8. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) $922,379,000
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $921,600,000
10. Jurassic Park (1993) $919,700,000
And really, I am being somewhat generous in NOT labelling Jurassic Park or the Pirates movies as geek movies, despite the SF elements of the former and the fantasy aspects of the latter. So, really, the only movie on that list which has no real F/SF elements at all is Titanic.
Dear Syfy channel: You might get better ratings if you had more things like BSG and Tin Man, and less of “Mansquito”. Your ratings have nothing to do with being branded as a channel for dysfunctional geeks.