A recent incident involving Kevin Owens and a fan after a picture taken without his permission led to a somewhat civil conversation on Twitter about the right—and the wrong —way for fans to approach their favorite WWE superstars.
The fan/celebrity relationship is, at times, a difficult one to navigate. Yes, celebrities are in the public eye and without fans they would not be able to do the job they are doing and make the money they are making doing it. But they are still people and they feel, rightly so, that they do deserve some modicum of privacy and respect from those fans.
Paul Newman was once asked for an autograph while he was using a urinal in a men’s bathroom and from that moment on he never signed another autograph.
Among WWE superstars there are some that are some wrestlers that come across as more willing to engage with their fans than others as well.
There was a recent incident involving a fan approaching Sasha Banks at the airport, which she talked about on the Sam Roberts Podcast and compared it to stalking. Banks said that she is more than happy to sign autographs at the arena where she is performing, "But when I’m at an airport at four in the morning and I see somebody with a carry-on and they open it with a hundred items of everyone and they’re bothering everybody to get an autograph, and I see it on eBay – that’s not okay to me."
To which Bubba Ray Dudley shot back:
Never worry about fans waiting at an airport at 5am asking for your autograph. Worry when they're NOT there at 5am asking for your autograph— Bubba Ray Dudley (@bullyray5150) September 3, 2017
So, obviously there are different opinions about this, which brings us back to Kevin Owens and his recent encounter, or should we I say, non-encounter. It began when a fan tweeted at him that his girlfriend had just spotted him and that he should go, "full heel" on her. Owens replied that she had already gone "full heel" on him by trying to sneak a picture of him and his daughter without asking permission, "like a decent person." Another tweeter to respond that "maybe she didn't want to bother you?" and that Owens would have probably been just as mad had she interrupted his family time.
This lead to a conversation about how Owens likes to be asked before someone just takes his picture—especially if he is with his family. He might not always say yes, but being asked politely will never make him angry and is always the way to go.
A couple other fans chime in and make some comments that show they really hadn't read what Owens had written or just didn't understand what he was saying—which lead to one, well-deserved "numbnuts" comment from KO. But otherwise, the conversation was balanced, genuine and thoughtful, which is kind of rare on Twitter.
@FightOwensFight my girlfriend just spotted you. She's in Kenny omega gear. Please go full heel on her.— Joshua Michael (@joshuamichael) October 13, 2017
She went full heel on me already by trying to sneak a picture of me with my daughter instead of asking me for one like a decent person. https://t.co/eU2jjygZqD— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) October 13, 2017
Maybe she didn’t want to bother you? You’d probs he just as mad if she interrupted ur family time too ask for a photo js— KH (@_kane_h) October 13, 2017
Nothing irritates me more than people trying to take pics of me without asking when I'm with my family. Asking is always the way to go. https://t.co/JRsR5PG826— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) October 13, 2017
Genuine question @FightOwensFight would u prefer people ask u? If i was in your shoes I'd probably be tired of answering 100 times a day— Stephen Daly (@smdaly37) October 13, 2017
Asking is ALWAYS better. I might not be able to say yes to a picture every time but I always appreciate meeting fans. https://t.co/J74gRvOmy9— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) October 13, 2017
Then you would have got mad that she asked for a picture .. Ughhh 🙁😖— Mike (@m_i_k_e_7) October 13, 2017
That is inaccurate. It doesn't mean I would have taken a picture but being asked does not make me mad, unless it's in a rude fashion. https://t.co/2aSrB6sw5y— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) October 13, 2017
Hm. Never meet your heroes, I guess. She may have made a mistake but that doesn't justify publicly shaming and insulting her.— TheBrood73 (@TheGraySon73) October 13, 2017
She didn't meet me, numbnuts. If she had spoken to me, then she could say she met me. Taking a pic from 10 feet away isn't a meeting. https://t.co/sa7PazPRj5— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) October 13, 2017
So there you have it, folks. Always ask before snapping a picture of someone famous. Who knows, it could lead to a nice conversation. You might not always get a "yes" but it's important to remember that these are still people who have thoughts and feelings, always be respectful.