I’ve been a phan long before the 2004 movie, but there was still plenty of Raoul hate back then. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Nothing much has changed in the Phandom. I remember sitting on my dial up PC back in 2001 reading “you know you’re a Phan when…” top ten lists on old angelfire websites and lots of them included E/C shipping and Raoul bashing. None of this is new.
As long as there have been Phantom fans, there has been immaturity, condescension, hating and bashing.
The thing is, it takes time to get over that. A “lifelong” phan typically starts out hating Raoul, shipping Christine and Erik. Then you read more material, view more performances, see more movies, let things sink in, learn to appreciate other points of view, encounter different life experiences pertaining to relationships, love, loss and obsession…and eventually, the lifelong phan will turn around one day and say “I think I know what those Raoul fans were getting at” or “I think I know why Christine staying with Erik wasn’t such a good idea” or “…I think I can finally admit Gerard Butler really can’t sing worth a damn.”