Fellow bronies: Brace yourself for incoming fandom drama.
And here's the weird part — this time, it's not actually our fault.
For the second year in a row, the Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF) literary fandom is going into a mass meltdown over the long-running and prestigious Hugo Awards. The finalists were just announced, after thousands of readers cast thousands of ballots for things they thought were the best SFF of the year. Over the award's 60-year history, this has been an organic, chaotic process, in which everyone agitates for their personal favorites and the top five vote-getters float to the top of each category — but the past few years have seen organized voting campaigns whose participants were encouraged (blatantly, or nod-nod-wink-wink-ly) to fill out ballots with a "slate" of the same five nominations to fill up each given category. There was enough of a critical mass of slate voters — about 10% to 15% of the electorate — that this became a numerically dominant strategy. The end result was that, for many categories, the preferences of good-faith voters picking their personal favorites did not appear on the final ballot, only the five items chosen by the slate organizer.
To make things worse, one of the groups that offered a slate did so with the explicit aim of vandalism — their leader saying "I wanted to leave a big, smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were. All this has ever been is a giant ‘f*ck you’." 
As it turns out, the Hugo Awards have a category for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" — which includes television episodes, or media presentations up to 60 minutes in length — and this year there's a nominee on it that might be familiar to all y'all:
Here's where we become a football in someone else's game: That My Little Pony episode almost certainly became a finalist because it was listed on the slate of the vandals.
It is ambiguous whether the nomination was serious and ideological (the episode in question is about Starlight Glimmer's "equality cult", making it a potential political statement), or whether it was a "joke" nomination in the same vein as short-story finalist Space Raptor Butt Invasion, but in either case it was pretty transparently proposed as a slap in the face to Hugo voters.
If you don't give a crap about SFF or American culture wars, that should be all the context you need to understand what has other people upset, and help you avoid falling into the drama if you stumble into someone slamming MLP. This goes, however, much deeper. It gets long and messy below the break.Read More