SDCC is a press convention. So are NYCC and Wondercon. Press conventions are written into talent contracts with TV shows like Teen Wolf. They don’t get paid to appear. Their appearance at the convention is part of their job, it’s the thing they do because they are promoting the show that employs them. They’re not there for the fans, though the fans obviously get to enjoy their appearance as well.
The cast of a show sit down in front of a news source with a camera at a press convention, and they don’t know what they’re getting into. They don’t know what questions will be asked. They aren’t following a script.
They’re asked to do something silly, like howl, or read fic out loud.
The cast did not choose to read portions of fanfiction aloud. They were asked to by Clevver TV to do so. They were put on the spot.
Clevver TV did this. They are the ones who decided our fanfiction is a gimmick, a device, a parlor trick for the cast to perform to set their interview apart from the other news sources.
The cast could have said no, but that would have been unprofessional and might have put them in violation of their contract with the network. I think it’s been demonstrated that the cast don’t really understand what fanfiction is, what it means to us, but they’re learning, which is good!
The cast were put on the spot. They went along with something because to not do so would have been disrespectful to Clevver TV (however much it was warranted), and would have caused damage to their relationship with that news source, and possibly with the convention, and would have damaged their reputation in general. There were cameras rolling. If they’d protested, we would have understood why, but news media in general would not have. They just would have seen an uncooperative cast who didn’t want to give a news source their time.
The cast are human beings. They’re not part of fandom. They didn’t really understand what they were doing, and they didn’t really have the power to say no. If any of them thought they should, they likely weighed the consequences of refusing versus going along with it, and I’m sure they decided that the show’s reputation and their individual obligations to the network to perform their duties at the convention, were the priority.
Is it fair? No. Is it what they did right? Debatable.
They were put in a spot where there was literally no way out but through, and each of the exits was going to cause problems. They took the one that ensured they all had jobs on the other end. I can only imagine what the network would have thought of them making a scene at an interview at a press convention.