The Great Shadow Cast-Off Of 2020

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The Great Shadow Cast-Off Of 2020, also known as "The Rocky Horror Karen Show", "Rocky Newbies Show Their Heels", "Revenge Of The Young Queens", "Rocky’s COVID Crack-Up", and "The COVID Generation Coup", were a series of events that took place via social media in the Rocky Horror "community" during the end of June 2020. It was an attempt to transform a "community" that was originally founded on the ideas of inclusion, diversity, and tolerance into a rigid, moralistic, self-serving hierarchy in which exclusion would become the accepted norm.


During the summer of the worldwide 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, all North American venues that showed The Rocky Horror Picture Show on a regular basis had been closed for nearly three months or more. All Rocky Horror screenings, Conventions, Audience Participation, shadowcast events and activities had been cancelled until further notice. On June 20, 2020, a long-time cast leader resigned from a long-held leadership position in response to allegations of failing to act on previous reports of harassment and abuse committed by other members of that particular cast. This was followed by an overwhelming rejection of what had been perceived as that particular cast leaders presumed authority over the Rocky Horror "community". Sensing opportunities to expand their own power and influence over the Rocky Horror "community", several self-appointed, ambitious, and at times, delusional Rocky Horror fans began behaving in "full Loretta mode", and began to vie for the non-existent position of "#1 King/Queen Shit of Rocky Horror". Operating from the relatively safe and comfortable environment of social media, many of these individuals waged a campaign with the stated goal of seeking out, identifying, purging, and eliminating all so-called "abusers" from the Rocky Horror "community". Long-time rivalries, personal vendettas, animosities, and other hostilities finally reached critical mass, often along generational lines. As a result, an atmosphere of fear, mass hysteria, mistrust, and paranoia gripped the Rocky Horror "community", augmented by lies, hearsay, innuendo, gossip, unsubstantiated claims, rumors, false accusations, finger-pointing, character assassination, smears, threats, insults, name-calling, petty jealousies, ageism, and guilt by association fallacies. Individuals who had been involved with Rocky Horror for decades, none of whom had ever committed, been suspected of, formally charged with, or convicted of any crime by any legal authority in any jurisdiction were targeted and had their lives negatively impacted. Friendships ended, and old friends became enemies. It was considered to be one of the most significant changes in both attitudes and behavior among Rocky Horror fans since Fame opened in 1980, and like The Rocky Horror Glee Show and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again, it ranks as one of the saddest and most unfortunate events in the history of Rocky Horror.