Several days ago an all out war of words between rival fan bases erupted on Twitter, after some tweets by TV Guide Canada journalist, Nelson Branco, regarding Days of our Lives star, Kristian Alfonso (Hope). As fans became upset surrounding the comments in the tweets, Crystal Chappell (Carly) entered the fray to try to calm down the explosion that was happening on Twitter. But she was taken to task for what appeared to some that she chose not to defend her castmate, but defended Branco’s honor and right to speak his mind.
Chappell, asked to speak exclusively with On-Air On-Soaps to publicly clear the air on what went down and to address the public attacks on her for just trying to diffuse the situation, and how we all must use social media more wisely and stop attacking one another. And with or without intent, this entire Twitter episode erupted, sad to say, as a form of Cyberbulling… something no group or individual should have to experience. So, here below is what Crystal wanted to relay to soapers everywhere! It is our hope that this will give everyone some perspective on the subject.
I know you wanted to make a statement about what happened on Twitter. Where do you want to start?
CRYSTAL: First, I don’t agree with what was said, and when you are walking into something blindly, you just want the madness to stop. It would not matter who it was. I would probably find a way to diffuse the situation. I think that is probably what a lot of people were trying to do, but people were angry, and then all of a sudden fists were flying everywhere at everyone. It was a melee and over-the-top. You know I don’t condone hatred of any kind, and I think people have the right to speak their mind. But, I really do think we have to choose our words more carefully. If you want to have a discussion, ask questions. If you just want to hate on somebody, what I have done is I go for the “block”, and then that becomes a weird football game, too. But there should be no reason for it. If you want something from me, tell me. If you want to tell me that you hate me, tell me. Tell me that you hate me and move on. Fans and fellow actors being attacked for no reason based on what somebody else said, was not right. My whole aim with this was to say, “Stop fighting. I don’t know what is going on either. But this is not O.K.!” The intensity of the hatred was astounding. It was not, “I am angry with you or I don’t like you,” it was one of those things where I thought, “Am I going to have to call the F.B.I.?” I think these people want to kill me. They were not threatening bodily harm, but it was a violent attack of words. And, I don’t understand that coming from anybody. I don’t understand that with members of the press. I don’t condone that!
Let’s clear the air also, about your feelings on Kristian Alfonso and how this negative turn with this whole Twitter debacle affected you, your castmates and other fans.
CRYSTAL: I never said an unkind word about Kristian Alfonso and I do not have bad feelings about her. I brushed by her today at work and we said, “Hello. How are you?” There is no problem between her and me. And this is what is so sadly wrong about all of this. I just wanted to make a point of let’s not hurt each other. But, the intensity of this hatred said something to me. So I thought, “I will take it” because I am used to it after over 20 years in this business. But to do this to others fans, and to have four people tweeting me going, “Why are they being so mean to me? They don’t even know me.” And these are DAYS fans! These are people that are supporting the show! I thought, “Dear God. This is so sad and unnecessary.” You really don’t know what anyone knows, or don’t know. There is just this rage. I don’t blame people for being upset about what was said about Kristian. I was upset when I read it the next day and I did something about it. My people made a phone call to Nelson. I have to ask people; what would you do if you were walking down the street and you saw two people fighting? Would you just walk by? Would you stand there and cheer them on? Would you say, “Before I try to help you, I am gonna ask which one of you threw the first stone?” Or, would you just try to break the fight up? Now, I go for break the fight up and then figure out what is going on. But to sit there and judge anything and anyone for what I think was a sane decision, and to spin that to be something else is a little maddening, and unacceptable. I spoke with Molly Burnett (Melanie, DAYS) today and thanked her for being a decent person. She was just trying to diffuse the situation. She should not be hated because of that. But this is about polarizing and winning something. What are you going to win? I am not even on DAYS anymore. Where is the win here? You get to be the bigger hater? I just don’t get it and I don’t want that for the fans. Like I said, I understand their rage completely. But I don’t understand the win. You don’t have all the facts and you are attacking people who are absolutely innocent based on what one person said. I don’t get it.
Had you known the whole back-story about what was unfolding on twitter, and what had preceded you coming in to it, would you perhaps not chosen to post your original tweet, but something else?
CRYSTAL: What I would have done would have been to go in to Twitter and say something different, which would have been, “Stop the hate! I don’t care which camp it is coming from… stop!“ We all have the right to speak our minds. I think back to what happened last week with Tracy Morgan. But, there are boundaries and lines, and things you need to be aware of that effect people. That is true for everyone: press, an actor, or a fan. The only reason I bring this whole issue up is for a couple of reasons. One is to be respectful of each other as human beings, and we deserve to go to bed knowing not that we won a hate war, but we have calmly and civilly spoken to each other respectfully. And, I am not pointing the finger at any one fan base. I am saying that for everybody. Also, that if we don’t pull together as fans of daytime television, you are going to see it go away. This is the last thing, trust me. I am on the inside of this, and the last thing daytime TV needs is fractured fan bases. It is totally unacceptable what is going on. There is too much going on out there in the world right now. We don’t need to be going off on each other. Just say what you have to say, but be willing to listen to somebody. Have a dialog. That is what I wanted to have, a dialog.
In a perfect world, how would you have preferred people to let you know their feelings about you in this scenario?
CRYSTAL: In a perfect world, tell me you are pissed off about what Nelson said. Tell me you are pissed off at me, because I defended him. Let me have an opportunity – and as I said- I don’t condone hatred. But nobody said, “Crystal, do you agree that Nelson said that Kristian got you fired?” And I would have said, “No, I don’t agree with that.” There was no dialog. There was lot of name-calling 101, and nothing I haven’t heard before. I am a little disappointed in that. If you are going to call me names, come up with something more interesting or new. Give me something to entertain me! (Laughs) It was schoolyard bullying and antics. Just tell me what you want me to hear, because I am receptive. But I have to be honest, and I have to own this. By the end of the night, I had the attitude of “screw this”. I did. I am not going to lie. I apologize for that. But at the end of the night that is where my head was at. But I want to start over. I believe that love is louder and that is where we are moving. There is the impersonality of social media, and that is why I wanted to speak to you about this, and again I think this is important. And I am not judging anybody. I am just saying that we all, including me, really need to be careful. Let’s just have a good time, which is the point of it.
What do you think, in the bigger picture, this all really says about social networking and communication in 2012?
CRYSTAL: I will tell you a story. Last year, I had friend who was having a tough time communicating with her co-workers, as she mainly communicated with them through email. She is a wonderful, funny, smart and kind person, and none of that translated. So what ended up on the other end was a lot of bad feelings. And it made me stop and think that this is such an impersonal way to communicate with people. I do think that Twitter is a little bit better, but if you miss an LOL or “wink”, you’re screwed. (Laughs) I am conscious of that, but I have certainly sent out tweets, where people go, “Oh, my God. She does not like me.” And you can’t read a tone in a tweet, and it made me think it’s so important to pick up the phone and have that one-on-one time and to take the time to cultivate relationships. People feel too comfortable behind the wheel, or in this case, behind the keyboard. It is so easy just to hit “send” or to send something out, because you don’t have to be held accountable. I also think there is no way to fully communicate what is going on via Twitter. It really comes down to how you treat people. And at the end of the day, whether you are standing in front of people or on Twitter, it’s about how you treat people, and unfortunately that is so out of hand.