Okay. I finally caught up to this thread! I started reading it when it was 10 pages long, and it's 16 as I start writing this (I wouldn't be surprised if it got to 17 or even 18 before I post this).
Edit: Yep. I was on the mark. Page 18 when I posted this.
There is a lot of entitlement and a lot of "true D&D"-ist language going around here.
I'm a newer player. I've been in the hobby for just over 4.5 years now, and I've been a DM for almost all of that. I felt the need to learn as much lore about the Forgotten Realms as I could before I was able to run a campaign in it. It took me nearly a month before I discovered that it was useless, the Forgotten Realms is so bloated with lore that I don't even know 1/100th of it, even after spending hours upon hours studying the Forgotten Realms wiki, watching Forgotten Realms lore Youtube channels like Jorphdan and Mr.Rhexx, reading many of the previous editions' FR setting books, and slaving through R.A. Salvatore's prequel and original series Drizzt novels to understand Menzoberranzan, Icewind Dale, and other parts of the Sword Coast.
I have absolutely no desire to relive that or put anyone else in the game through that. Sure, it wasn't "required" for me to do that, but I felt the need to all the same, because why would anyone that newly comes to the game feel satisfied going against the "official/canon lore"? If I was going to run a campaign in the Forgotten Realms, I wanted to understand the setting, which I'm sure is a regular feeling that new players have. On website forums discussing D&D there are a countless amount of "what the heck is this part of FR's lore about?" threads, and endless discussions on everything Elminster and Drizzt have done in their centuries-long escapades on Toril. The Forgotten Realms is just filled with so much lore that it is impossible for a new player to be able to comprehend all of it, and it's absolutely idiotic to say "if you don't care about the lore, you're not a real D&D/FR fan", which I have encountered several times throughout my attempt to get a better grasp of the Forgotten Realm's deities. Even if my life was staked on it, I could not name 12 deities from the Main Deities table in the SCAG, or the names of all of the Seven Sisters and which version of Mystra was their mother.
This is why I prefer Exandria and Eberron now. Eberron does have a bit of lore bloat, IMO, but it doesn't have the same feeling of being required to learn all of it due to the "It's your
Eberron" part of the setting that's made explicit through the mysteries of the Mourning and campaign-dependent setting details. Exandria does have a lot of information from the 2 campaigns of Critical Role, but the campaign setting books ignore them as a default. The only real part of the campaigns' lore that you need to know to play in that setting is that Vecna became a god and was banished to the Outer Planes. These settings are much more user-friendly to new DMs than the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and other settings.
This statement saying "you don't need to learn the lore from past editions and the novels/video-games, all that matters if 5e's lore books" takes a lot of weight off of a new DMs shoulders. It's saying "Hey, don't worry about all that stuff. It's there for if you want to use it, and we may use it in the future and make it explicitly official, but do what you want and not what the vast quantities of lore want". It's a good thing. In no way is it saying "we don't care about the people who care about the lore", to try to spin it as that is a sign of entitlement and a selfish attempt to label yourself as a victim, when, in fact, there have been victims of lore in the past (most especially female gamers, but anyone that has had an experience similar to mine with lore also has been harmed by the feeling of having to learn the "canon of the game"). You still have your lore books from previous editions, your D&D novels, video games, blog posts, podcasts, and everything else. You still have the experiences from your campaigns that included that now "un-canon" lore. No statement from WotC can undo that. No one from Wizards of the Coast is going to force you to play without any of the content from those books. There is no victimization being done to you. None. It's selfish and disrespectful to the people who have been victimized by "canon" in the past to try to claim that. It bears the same amount of weight as the people who say that their feelings were hurt by the reclassification of Pluto as a Dwarf Planet.
It doesn't matter. The only thing that this statement can bring about is good, positive change in the community's approach to canon and "official" lore. WotC isn't actively alienating any of you or attacking the authors of the FR novels. They're just lowering the requirements for the amount of lore you need to know to play in the FR and similar settings from "the whole of the FR wiki", to "what is published in 5e's PHB, DMG, MM, as well as Volo's, Mordenkainen's, Fizban's, and the SCAG" (which is no small feat, either).