Comments From The Big Chair
June 14, 1999 - When I started this site, I wanted to create a positive environment for fans to get together and appreciate Ryan for who he is and what he does. I also wanted to make this an ultimate clearinghouse for information on him for those who held an interest in someone truly worthy of such recognition.
However, recently it has come to my attention that there have been fans, perhaps just overzealous in their enthusiasm, who have tiptoed across the line of what is "acceptable fan behavior". Not only did this concern me as well as other fans, but the man at the center of all of this. I take that very seriously.
His privacy is very important to me - as it should be to all fans. Ryan is no longer in front of the cameras by his own choice. He has chosen a quieter life and is not 100% a public figure. He has been gracious and lended his support but should not have to sacrifice his privacy in the process. I certainly don't expect him to and neither should any fan. Yet I was unable to obtain a simple promise to respect his privacy from those involved. Needless to say I was stunned and became even more concerned as to the seriousness of the matter. Then even greater ugliness erupted on the internet, especially on a board that is not and will not be linked to this site.
The hatefulness and personal attacks have taken a horrible toll on my personal well-being. The emotional impact has been intense. I realized this when I discovered I was starting to wish I had never entered into this venture which is entirely unfair to Ryan and those of you who are true fans and continue to support him in the appropriate ways. I'm embarassed to say that I was even starting to feel sorry I spoke to the man -- and that is totally inappropriate since he has been nothing but kind, genuine and sincere. He is simply one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking to. It has been the actions of a few impacting negatively on the rest of you out there.
For those of you who are visiting for the first time, I am sorry that you have to witness someting like this. Cassidy fans in general are wonderful people - just like the family they support. It is just the few who care only about their own pursuits that have brought these results. I am not shutting down the site, nor am I abandoning it. However, I am taking a vacation to clear my mind and redetermine my priorities. A site like this shouldn't hurt anyone - especially those caught in the center of things. I respect Ryan. That's why I did this site. I can't express that appropriately when I'm caught under a pile of ugliness and hatred and feel I might be hurting him as I glorify him. I don't know how long I will be stepping out - it could be days or a week or longer. Whether I will return to working on other sites is unclear at the moment.
I just know I shouldn't be in this much pain while I do something I love to do. I don't anticipate this being a long break which is why I did not send out an e-mail and why I won't be contacting Ryan about it (he shouldn't have to deal with something like this - but then again no one should). I will still check my e-mail and gather messages for Ryan, so please continue to send them. I will let everyone know if I hear from him regarding the questionnaire and such. Thank you.