Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Long Wiggly Drama

Unless you're from Australia or have little kids, you probably don't know about the uproar regarding The Wiggles. Several days ago they announced that Sam Moran, the yellow Wiggle, would be leaving. They were replacing him with the original yellow Wiggle, Greg Page. Greg became ill five years ago and had to give up the position. Sam's contract was coming to an end, and when they found out Greg was doing better and managing his condition, they asked him to come back. We were thrilled to hear this, to say the least.

Well, this has caused a major uproar in their fan base. For one, the guys gave an interview explaining the situation and many people felt the blue Wiggle, Anthony Field came off as sounding uncaring and insensitive about Sam leaving. The fans are upset that Sam didn't get a better farewell. Actually, they seem to be upset over just about everything you can imagine -- from Sam not being given a better farewell, to how much money they're giving him, to who is better -- Sam or Greg. The fans are ticked off, to say the least, and it's gotten to a point where they're insulting the entire cast. I've seen insults about their ages, them being creepy, their talents, their appearances (hair, teeth, you name it), even attacks on their little children.

It's been absolutely mind-boggling how these people are so upset over this. Many are saying The Wiggles are banned in their homes, how they won't spend anymore money on concerts, DVDs, or merchandise. Others have said they've destroyed all their kid's Wiggles stuff and threw it in the trash. One comment today said they were burning theirs. Other parents have been callous to their children saying things like, "The Wiggles sacked Sam!" or "Anthony doesn't like Sam, so he kicked Sam out." Then they have the gall to say their kid cried for an hour. It's crazy! They keep saying how "un-Australian" it was the way they've treated Sam, and yet, it appears to me that they're doing it themselves. Just the fact that they're punishing their children is appalling. I mean, seriously -- who are these people?

I've gotten into a few heated discussions on The Wiggles' Facebook page recently. I'm trying to understand where they're coming from. One lady last night told me, "We're upset because it should have been handled differently." I replied, "Maybe it should have been, but it wasn't. Isn't it water under the bridge?" I swear, there is no compassion, no forgiveness, or any understanding with these irate people. Perhaps it wasn't handled correctly. People make mistakes. People should be forgiven. And, I'm not even saying they made a mistake. I'm just blown away by this. If these irate people's children make a mistake, do they get this upset? Do they burn all their kid's toys because they're ticked off? Again -- who are these people?

Some of you might know my boys and I are Wiggles fans. We went to our first concert around 2003. Neil wasn't even a year old yet. My girls are a lot older and went through the Barney phase. By the time the boys came around, The Wiggles were just hitting it big in America. Nathan and Neil loved their clips in between shows on the Disney Channel. This was way before they even had a television show. Well, we got involved by going to concerts. I started hanging out on The Wiggles Message Board, which we refer to as WMB. So, over the past 9+ years, a lot of friendships have been made. I've met many of these people in person. Our kids have seen concerts together and played together. Some of them I chat online with nearly every day. It's all because of a kid's group. I have over 100 friends online because of The Wiggles. And yes, I've spent a lot of money on The Wiggles, but there is absolutely NO PRICE I can put on those friendships -- none.

So, when I see these so-called fans acting all lunatic-like, I'm blown away. The Wiggles have given up so much to entertain people's children. They tour 8 months of the year and are away from their families. They leave their homes every Christmas morning to visit sick kids in the hospital. They do meet & greets before every show and meet with terminally ill children. They're ambassadors and spokespeople for more organizations I can even list. Anthony just became a spokesperson for an organization that deals with childhood food allergies. These people do so much and give up a lot. And now, they make what some people think is a terrible mistake, and everyone dumps on them. Burn all the toys! Cut up all the DVDs! The Wiggles are banned in this house! Shame on you, Wiggles! And trust me -- I'm not even saying all the bad stuff they've said, including some pretty nasty names.

Real fans don't do this. A few years back they were switching to a new website and planned on charging a fee because it would feature high-tech games, videos, etc. Well, they said the message board would be part of that. Some of us, myself included, got pretty upset over this. How dare they? All they think about is money! Blah, blah, blah ... and yeah, I was a part of that. I never, however, bashed them as individuals. I simply couldn't afford to pay for a message board, so I moved on. Sure, I was upset because it was the WMB that kept me in contact with other adults. It was an outlet for me, and it just happened to be related to something that my boys loved. So, to have that taken away was disappointing. I finally joined Facebook. I remember one of the first comments I got on my wall. It was my good friend Julie who said, "Yay! Rena's here!" So, all of us loony Wiggles fans moved to Facebook and all was good again. I don't think it was but a few weeks later The Wiggles followed suit. If you can't beat them, join them! About time guys!

Thinking back and remembering the frustration, I do understand how some of these newer fans feel. But, it's NO excuse to be so hateful and vindictive. I can't help but view them as some angry mob running around with pitchforks and torches. It's one thing to be upset. It's another to take it to such a disgusting extreme to where you're insulting them on a personal level. And to take it out on their kids is just cruel. Now they've resorted to attacking the boardies, which is what we refer to those of us who were on the WMB. They've ran out of insults for The Wiggles, so now they're attacking us. I saw one comment last night from some man saying The Wiggles didn't care about their fans. Then this morning another left a snarky comment about The Wiggles taking credit for all the nursery rhyme songs they've recorded.

Little do they know -- Anthony came to us on the WMB and asked what we thought our kids would like. This was about the time Greg left and Sam was taking over. Anthony asked us for suggestions on what to do next. Not because they ran out of ideas, but because he cared about what the kids liked. I think I suggested camping and the circus -- go figure. Wiggles fans will understand that one {snort}. However, it was a boardie in the UK named Louise, who went by the user name of Henrysmum, who suggested nursery rhymes. Anthony came back to the board and asked us what we thought, and we all agreed it was a great idea. So, the nursery rhymes DVD came out, right about the time Sam was just getting involved. And they say The Wiggles don't care about their fans? These are the same people who rave how Sam saved The Wiggles and how great it is to see their kids dancing and singing to the nursery rhymes. Ummm ... yeah ... you're welcome.

So, to sum this horribly long rant up, I guess that's why I'm upset about how these people are treating this band. They've done so much, not only for me, but for thousands of people around the world. After following someone for almost 10 years, you start to think of them as friends, or even family. To see them attacked like this is heartbreaking. It makes you want to defend or protect them, just as you would your children. As for Sam, we've always loved him. We've been around long enough to see he's an extremely talented young man who is capable of wearing many hats. We've seen him as a Wiggly Red Coat Dancer, as Captain Feathersword, as Greg's understudy, as a singer of the Manzillas, and as the Yellow Wiggle. And now, he can move forward and concentrate on his solo CD, his musical talents (he's trained in opera), as well as spend more time with his lovely family. And at the same time, we're excited to see Greg is back and wiggling. Even though my boys are past the wiggling age, they're thrilled Greg is coming back.

And finally, what is going on The Wiggles' Facebook page right now is appalling. That's not what The Wiggles are about. It's about the picture below. It's about children having fun. As you can see, Neil and his little girl friends are dancing. They could care less Murray is on stage right behind them playing his guitar. They don't care if Sam is wearing the yellow skivvy, or if Greg is. They're kids. They're having fun. That's what it's about. That's what it has ALWAYS been about.


  1. That is beautifully said, Rena. You said everything I've ever felt or wanted to say myself. I remember when we made a bone for Wags and Em got to give it to Anthony personally and he danced the next song or so holding it. She was so proud. Seeing them in the airport in Vegas and Anthony telling us about Lucia and showing us how she was learning to walk. So many beautiful memories. You are one of the many blessings I got from the WMB, I am so thankful!


  2. Rena, beautiful and brave post. Thank you.

    It really is sad how people seem to be reacting to the entire thing. You know our story...You know what the Wiggles (psrticularly, Greg) have meant to my Jaimie. It's their MUSIC that should be the focus...the beauty that the music does. I've seen it, I've experienced it and as long as all of my kids like the music, respond to it and love it, I'm right there Wiggling with them.



  3. WOW. That is quite an uproar! It's sad that "fans" are being so mean and negative.

    That kind of anger is worrisome.

  4. I agree so much Rena! People are just being mean for hte sake of meaness.

    I too owe many of my friends to the WMB. ( Including you!) I remember when I joined Facebook,one of the very first comments was from you, saying, "It's about time you showed up!"


  5. Beautiful post, Rena. Well said. I didn't realize it was you until I saw pics of your adorable Dilly books! What fun! Do you still have those pickle earrings? Lol! I think my old WMB name was GrammaTo2, back then. Well, now there's a 3d little one, and we're still a Wiggly family! We love ALL the guys, and that means Sam AND Greg, and have tons of DVD's with both of our dear Yellow fellas! My darling Autistic granddaughter dances and kisses at them equally, and adores Sam's Twinkle Twinkle as much as Greg's Rockabye Your Bear. She can't talk, but she smiles and laughs for them. Her little heart loves her Wiggles, and so do we! They are part of the center of her world.