It’s no secret that the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” franchise has made a huge impact on kids and adults alike. My six year old loves the scary characters with sad backstories. For the adults, an entire community has been built out of it including fan artists and cosplayers, many of whom are LGBTQ+.
After fans discovered Scott Cawthon, creator of the game, donated to some big republicans (including Trump), he’s come under fire from the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” community. Cawthorn has decided to hang up the animatronics permanently, and retire.
I’m not going to say this is blown out of proportion. Politics is always a tricky thing. And underlying beliefs can be a massive hit to any fanbase. I mean just look at how divided the Harry Potter fandom is now after J.K. Rowling came out as a trans exclusionary radical feminist, aka TERF. But does that mean you can’t like the fandom anymore?
When first accused of being too right wing for the community, Cawthon called it “surreal.” He posted to the “Five Nights At Freddy’s” Reddit that he won’t apologize for donating to causes and people he believed in.
Many people believe in separating the art from the artist. Even though this is going on and I could explain it to my kid that she can’t like it anymore because X reasons, that’s not going to make her not like it. This may have to be a case of the fandom taking it over from here.
Another thing I wanted to point out is that its not really surprising Scott Cawthon supports right-wing Republicans. He used to make Christian games for a living. Any quick google search would have told you that. Some of his notable Christian games include “The Desolate Hope” which has a strong pro-life message and “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
“Five Nights At Freddy’s” was only created after negative feedback on his game “Chipper & Sons Lumber Co.” where you play as a beaver. People who played the game said that the beaver looked like a scary animatronic. After that he really leaned into the scary aspect and that’s how FNAF was born.
He’s always been supportive of the community that was built around his game, and kept his personal beliefs out of it. And although he is a Christian Republican, he’s never been obtuse (a troll I guess in simpler terms) online about it. If that were the case he would have had this happen far before now.
In a statement posted to his website today, Cawthon said:
“I’ve had a blessed, fulfilling, and rich career. I’ve been shown great kindness and I’ve tried to show great kindness in return. I’ve tried to make some good games (let the debate ensue), and I’ve witnessed the creation of possibly the most creative and talented fanbase on the planet.
All of this is to say that I am retiring. I have been shown tremendous love and support over this last week, a lot of which has come from the LGBTQ community.”