Sounds like it was ripped right from an episode of Scandal: reports surfaced yesterday that a high-level ABC Network executive may have been behind a controversial Scandal-fan blog titled Scandal 411. The blog, along with its Twitter handle @Scandal411 (which has since been deleted), achieved nearly 25,000 followers on Twitter, but oftentimes found itself in hot water because of profanity laced tweets, arguing with fans over the show’s direction and spoiling storylines in advance. Here, from The Daily Mail is a sample of their since-deleted tweets:

A tweet from September 22 read, ‘If cursing offends you I apologize in advance … block me if you’d like … Don’t think for a second I won’t be pointing out glaring absurdities or errors when I start writing about Season 3. I will, however, point them out with a lot of ‘f–ks’ and hopefully with a lot of humor.’

A caption of Scandal411 tweets prior to being deleted (Source: The Wrap)

A caption of Scandal411 tweets prior to being deleted. The person goes on to attack The Wrap. (Source: The Wrap)

Deleted tweets from Scandall411 (Source: The Daily Mail)

Deleted tweets from Scandal411 (Source: The Daily Mail)

TheWrap.com was the first to report, according their anonymous sources, that a woman named Courtney Pajor, a sales specialist from ABC’s New York City offices is “one of the most influential fan voices on Scandal” and is indeed behind the @Scandal411 twitter and the Scandal411 blog. TheWrap also reported that they have documents linking Pajor to the website/account.

Perhaps in a moment of panic, @Scandal411 was deleted from Twitter within hours of the report being leaked. Quickly the person surfaced as @GrantforPrez, but has since deleted that account, as well.

Hours after other news sites such as EW.com, New York Daily News and The Daily Mail picked up on the story, ABC representatives followed up with a statement ‘confirming’ that Pajor is not behind the Scandal twitter/fan site:

“After an exhaustive investigation, we have determined that Courtney Pajor is NOT the creator or driving force behind Scandal411, nor do we have reason to believe she had anything to do with the website or twitter account. The fact is, Scandal411 was the brainchild of an ex roommate of Courtney’s, who has no affiliation with ABC or the program.”

However, if I were to believe anything that I’ve learned while watching Scandal is that you don’t always have to believe whatever the higher power tells you. It sounds pretty convenient that Pajor’s former roommate is the culprit. What doesn’t sound good is that somebody who works for the network is actively promoting a show they are probably being paid to promote through “formal” ways: advertising, promotions, in an off-color way as a rabid, diehard, loyal fan. If this person was being paid by ABC to promote the show on an official capacity, what does this say about the way he/she circulated the web as Scandal411? Were they posing as a fan to generate buzz for the show and for the network, or was he/she just simply a dedicated, authentic fan of the show who happened to work for the network? Here is just a taste of what Scandal fans are thinking:

There are those in the Scandal fan community that have shown their support for this person, whether it is Pajor or not and whether or not ABC is behind this.

Or are they fans? Here is a supportive tweet from Lyn Paolo, Scandal’s costume designer.

Things that make you go hmm…

While all content from Scandal411.com has since been deleted (although I do have a few lingering posts from my RSS feed of their website, which they linked to their twitter account), the person in question did leave an apologetic, heartfelt blog post, in which they label Scandal as a ‘fun escape’ that allowed them to open up to others in this community.

Perhaps somebody should get Olivia Pope and her Gladiators on the case (Source: OnTheRedCarpet)

Perhaps somebody should get Olivia Pope and her Gladiators on the case. (Source: OnTheRedCarpet)

No word on when Scandal411 will emerge next, but I’ll hedge a bet that’ll happen the next time Scandal drums up a crazy, twisty, good storyline.

Written with StackEdit.

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Whilst receiving a intensive treatment last year I was introduced to scandal season 1. Shonda’s show was a wonderful escape (thank god for her). the various commentary were a welcome lighthearted relief. However as various tumblr writers began to indulge in the personal life’s of the cast I stopped reading their blogs. The only blog I enjoyed reading were 1shara scandalfan101 and scandal411. There appears to be a sinister undercurrent in “the wrap” article and Suspect it originated within the fandom. Silly of “the wrap” to be duped by jealous haters of scandal411.

    Reply
    • Hi Scandal411Lover, thanks for checking out my blog. I am currently working on a Wiki page to compile all of the developments. I know Scandal411 went off on the wrap because either the interview they did with Kerry Washington or the reporter mentioned a plot inconsistency…I am not sure what Scandal 411 is up too now, I know the blog is now marked private. I agree with you, I do not like when television fan blogs turn into gossipy reads, there are separate websites for things like that…

      Reply
  2. I wonder if you had considered sandal411 an anti-fan at any level. They do seem to be fulfilling some of the requirements, what with the violent reactions to the fan object and the violations of fan community values-like the spoilers. Your comment at the end-about scandal411 surfacing during controversial storylines, recalls Duffet’s example of anti-fans disliking certain periods of the fan object, like Dylan’s electric period. What do you think?

    Reply
    • I actually think that’s a really good observation and I think in many ways we can categorize Scandal 411 as an “anti-fan.” Going through some of the archived tweets and reading what other fans are saying in relation to his/her behavior over the last few months, I think Scandal411 was more focused on getting the reaction from others- i.e. found one tweet where, in short, they blast a couple of fans of a particular couple and replied by saying this couple “isn’t together right now so enjoy (those scenes) while they last-ha!” I think having, or pretending to have “insider” information creates some sort of power for many of these anti-fans. Takes the fun out of discussing these text, too.

      Reply
  3. […] feel free to check out my presentation below, created on Prezi, and take a look at my blog post (“Who is Scandal411?)” to see how everything came […]

    Reply
  4. […] feel free to check out my presentation below, created on Prezi, and take a look at my blog post (“Who is Scandal411?)” to see how everything came […]

    Reply

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About Christina Maxwell

I’m a young professional journalist with a dual B.A. degree in Radio-TV-Film and Journalism and I am currently working on my M.A. in Writing, specializing in Journalism and New Media Studies (both at Rowan University). Although my advanced degree allows me to have options in the future, for now, my main goal is finding a job in journalism. I am a journalist at heart. First hand knowledge, original reporting and precisive answers are what I strive for when I'm working. For the past two years, I have done freelance reporting with the Gloucester Township Patch, but my goal is to have a sustainable, consistent job in journalism.

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fandom, participatory culture

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