Another Con. Another Report of Harassment.
I feel like this is becoming a broken record, but unfortunately this past weekend saw another report of a video crew posing as a legitimate news organization, but instead harassing female cosplayers. This is something we’ve brought up WAY back when, calling into question credentialing and security at conventions (at the expense of our being blacklisted at one high profile convention).
This latest incident occurred at this past weekend’s London Super Comic Con. A cosplayer known as Lady Noctis recounted the situation.
Now I am back home from the event, I want to provide a full statement to prevent this happening to future event goers. What myself and my fellow cosplayers experienced was horrible. We were treated like pieces of meat, spoken to in an extremely perverse and derogatory manner, and the host of this so called youtube channel proceeded to touch people inappropriately, tried to kiss a lady as she tried to pull away, asked for breast sizes (while awkwardly staring at their chests) and if female cosplayers made their outfits simply to attract men and objectify themselves; and on top of all of this nearly brought one poor lady to tears!
She has even gone so far as to post pictures of the individuals involved so as to warn other cosplayers at future conventions. Their group’s name is Going in Dry Media, so right there that tells you all you need to know.
Thankfully the event organizers have zero tolerance for this and a staff member released the following statement:
The organisation they work for ‘going in dry media’ has been blacklisted from all our events.If they are spotted at future events causing issues they will be immediately escorted off site.We will not tolerate harassment at the event and if anyone ever has any issues in future do not hesitate to contact us and we will deal with it firmly.
The organization involved has since deleted their Youtube videos, posting one that “shows their innocence,” deleted their Facebook page, as well as their website. Sounds like someone attempting to cover their tracks to me. All that remains is their Twitter feed. The group did go to Lady Noctis’ original post and commented:
First and foremost please accept our sincerest apologies. Being completely real, we feel terrible that by trying to have some fun made you feel that way. That was not our intention.
We were introducing a new character that plays on awkward comedy and uncomfortable situations. On this occasion it was at the expense of others, which in hindsight was not what we were going for – or indeed what we are about. It is important to state that we were never disrespectful, objectifying or otherwise offensive outside of that character. We attempted to qualify during a pre-interview conversation that the style was alternative and was in the vein of awkward comedy. We did not do a good job of explaining the style of the interview. This was an error.
We are not going to justify what we did or try to defend it. This is still a learning curve for us. In fact, we were learning at the show as the day went on. At your request to delete the footage, we immediately did so – and apologised if any offence was caused. We immediately ceased interviewing people on the first day – and questioned our approach. On the second day we saw members of your group and apologised again. We did several interviews thereafter but in a modified style staying away from anything that could cause offence.
We have only ever been to one Comic Con and London Super Con was our first and we are most definitely not the sexual predators that you are portraying us to be. “Going In Dry” is a reference to our dry humour.
We are not going into hiding. We put our hands up and say that we are, again, sorry for any offence caused.
Here is a link to an unedited interview we did with Catwoman to show that we are in no way about the objectification of women. See for yourself:
I’ll point out the actual offending video(s) are no longer on their Youtube page, just this one. When they want to release all their videos unedited, we can talk of their “innocence.”
The lesson stands, when you see crap like this going on at conventions, stand up for your fellow convention goers, confront the offending party, and find security.
(via the Beat)