TikTok’s drama of the second is actually a doozy.
For the uninformed, the mixture of BookTok and hockey may sound like a Mad Libs. However these two cultural forces have change into completely intertwined as of late, spawning an argument that touches on fandom, sexual harassment, and the duty of creators.
Why does BookTok love hockey?
BookTok is a large neighborhood — the tag boasts greater than 162 billion views — that accommodates various smaller groupings specializing in particular genres or kinds. One subset devotes themselves to smutty romance novels, together with the surprisingly in style subgenre of steamy books about hockey gamers. These novels have titles like Attempting to Rating, Pucking Round, and Empty Internet. In fairly the crossover occasion, hockey smut lovers have transferred their love of the novels to real-life hockey groups. Followers make movies fan-casting gamers as fictional characters within the books. In search of even additional immersion in all issues hockey, some ended up turning into hockey followers in actual life.
This is the place the Seattle Kraken are available. Final yr, the NHL group’s TikTok embraced BookTok, and began posting content material aimed toward that viewers. Certainly one of its earliest movies mentioning BookTok posted by the group featured Alex Wennberg ingesting water it learn, “what’s booktok and why do they like wenny a lot?”
The Swedish middle grew to become a sensation, and the topic of main thirst within the hockey x BookTok neighborhood. The Kraken TikTok account fed into the obsession by posting movies of Wennberg geared in the direction of romance followers and altered its bio to “largely booktok.” It additionally engaged with followers by commenting on their Kraken movies.
Who’s Kierra Lewis?
One fervent fan that the Kraken repeatedly engaged with is the favored BookTokker creator Kierra Lewis. Lewis posted incessantly about hockey gamers and devoted a lot of her content material to creating lewd movies concerning the gamers. In a since-deleted video about Wennberg, Lewis says, “I’ll not bought 5 holes, however I’ve bought three and because you’re so good at aiding why do not you help your teammates at scoring in all three of my holes.”
The group went so far as to pay for her tickets to a Stanley Cup sport and reward her with a customized Kraken jersey with BookTok written instead of a final identify. On the sport she posted a video (additionally deleted) yelling, “yeah, I like that” whereas the gamers did their groin stretches and mentioned “I would wish to be in-between his legs” in reference to Wennberg.
Final week Wennberg’s spouse Felicia made an announcement on her Instagram story condemning the sexual harassment of her husband and different hockey gamers. Earlier, Felicia had performed together with BookTok’s obsession referring to her husband as “booktok’s w*nkb*nk.” However now Felicia feels followers have taken issues too far. On Friday (July 28) she wrote, “there was movies and feedback made that has crossed the road of what it means to fancy somebody.” She described the feedback as “predatory and exploiting.” Later within the publish she mentioned, “I really feel that ladies who’ve skilled catcalling, getting filmed in uncovered conditions (like a groin stretch at their job) ought to maintain ourselves to the next commonplace.”
The following day Alex posted his own statement to his Instagram saying that followers had crossed a line by leaving “vile” feedback on his spouse’s Instagram and on images of his baby. He wrote, “We will all take a joke and humorous feedback however when it turns private and into one thing larger that results our household we have to let you know now we have had sufficient.”
The Kraken responded to the Wennbergs’ publish by deleting all their BookTok movies and unfollowing Lewis. Lewis replied to the controversy with a collection of 5 movies uploaded to her TikTok account. Within the movies she takes problem with Felicia writing her assertion over what seems to be a screenshot of the aforementioned “I’ve bought three holes” video and with the Krakens utilizing BookTok and Lewis “for clout.” [not needed for the story, but have they said anything more broadly about oversight of the social media strategy here?
The BookTok community is divided. Some support Lewis and are coming to her defense in the comments of Felicia’s Instagram post. Others are vehemently against the sexual harassment and want it to be known that this subculture is not representative of BookTok as a whole. For example BookTokker @mynameismarines made a series of insightful videos about the controversy. One reads, “Stop doing this in BookTok’s name and maybe think a little more about consent.”