Antifan activism as a response to MTV's "The Valleys"

  • Bethan Jones Aberystwyth University
Keywords: Jonathan Gray, National identity, Reality TV, Wales


MTV has launched several reality TV shows in the United Kingdom, but one, The Valleys (2012–14), about youth moving from the South Wales Valleys to Cardiff, has received much criticism. Grassroots criticism of the show arose, and a Valleys-centric campaign, The Valleys Are Here, took direct action. I adopt Jonathan Gray's definition of antifans to complicate ideas of fan activism. I utilize comments and posts made on the Valleys Are Here Twitter feed and Facebook account, as well as the organization's Web site, to examine the ways in which they encourage activism among antifans of the series. I pay particular attention to activist calls for MTV to be held accountable for its positioning of Wales and the Valleys, and to how it encourages participation among varied groups of people whose common denominator is their dislike of the series. Fan activism is not exclusive to people who consider themselves fans, and notions of fan activism can be complicated by drawing in antifans.

Author Biography

Bethan Jones, Aberystwyth University
PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University researching The X-Files fan fiction and gender.