|We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.|
Sent to Salon.com today - Who is your money going to?
Dear Amy :
As a Buffy watcher that echoed the "amen" of many a fan when Jaime J. Weinman published her article on Spike ruining Buffy as we knew it, I thought that Salon might be interested in this one. Amongst the online communities that I circulate through, Salon has a decent reputation for being straight shooters, so when this came to my attention, you were the first people I thought of.
Right now, Fox is auctioning off memorabilia from the set of Buffy. Everything from the telephone in the Summers' kitchen to, if you can believe it, the claddaugh ring that caused so much freakin' hullabaloo in the Buffy/Angel romance. (I'm not so much a B/A 'shipper myself, but when I saw that it was not only on e-bay, but up for over $4500 as of today, even I went, "That is wrong on so many levels.")
Now, needless to say, these auctions are bringing in big money. The question is, who's keeping the cash.
In the past, such auctions were for charity. When the Posting Board Parties held live auctions with items donated from the Buffy and Angel sets, the profits from that went to Make-A-Wish. These auctions were knowng to raise as much as 12k in a four hour period of time, so we're not talking about auctioning off signed napkins here. Wolfram & Hart briefcases, jewelry worn by the female characters, even a stake signed by Sarah Michelle Gellar that was finalized for $2500.00 to the bidder. All to charity.
During the fan campaign to save Firefly, several items from the set, including the official press kit, were put online for bidding in order to raise funds to run ads in Variety and cover other expenses. When Firefly was finally cancelled, all the remaining revenue was then donated to charity. This was most likely a contribution of about $500.00 - I'm not entirely sure of the specifics on it.
When Nicholas Brendon put items online from the set, the profits went to the National Stuttering Foundation. Through his official website (www.nickbrendon.com), he generously donated the hard hat worn in the episode "Pangs" in S.4, along with the hospital bracelet that Xander wore right after he lost his eye this season. I believe that the total for both of those auctions was around $1000.00.
Just by taking a look at today's listings, Fox stands to clear an estimated $20k on the first 12 items listed alone. And the bidding isn't even over for them.
(addendum - I have since been told that one poster on the Television Without Pity Forums did the math on what's already been sold and what's up for sale as of last week, and the estimate was a $600,000.00 profit for Fox.)
Now of course, with all the backing and capital that Fox has, it's going to use this as a way of helping others. I mean, what better way to not only clean house of a show it's not longer producing and have a phenomenal PR break. Rather obvious, there. So, to what worthy charity is Fox sending the proceeds of its auction to, one might ask?
Why themselves, of course. Who else?
If you think you're donating to a charity, or that this is going to a good cause - you're wrong. In fact, Fox is citing that they're using the auction to help pay for the Buffy wrap party. And to top it off even more shiningly....how do you know you're getting a one of a kind item? Case in point :
Someone bid for and won Buffy's diploma from high school. Last I heard, it went for around $1200.00. Pretty unique momento, wouldn't you think? One of a kind, none other like it. Except...maybe not.
Take you back to Season 3 - Buffy graduates (okay, she blew up the school too.) The diplomas in that ceremony? The ones that went flying?
EVERY SINGLE ONE had the name "Buffy Summers" on them. The prop master at the time hand-lettered them himself. Fox actually had hundreds of them.
Unique? One of a kind? Not so with the much, I'm afraid. Whoever you are - well, sorry. *shrug* But hey - you put $1200.00 to a good cause. Oh, wait. No, no you didn't. Sorry again.
Now, for most fans, we'd given up on Fox a long time ago. Between delayed DVDs, a soundtrack that took forever to come out, and various other slings & arrows over the years, any online fan of Buffy will hear the name "Fox" and most likely issue a derisive snort in that direction. (And that's if we're being kind.) So when this broke amongst us, we mostly just threw up our hands and thanked Fox for one final slap in the face.
However, it recently came to my attention that at least one cast member of Buffy also thought the profits were going to charity, and was outraged to find out they weren't. Which would lead one to wonder if things were donated & signed because the people giving them thought the profits were going to charity. And wouldn't that be an interesting point to ponder, indeed.
"There is no god today, just the memory of a religion, an empty church whose relics are up for grabs on e-bay. "
Thanks for taking a second to listen
~ June 11, 2003One might ask if anyone's spoken to Fox.....