Comic Pros Ponder Comic Con Safety After Online Threats
Since the decision at Ferguson, tensions and emotions have rode high, especially on social networks where the power to posts one’s thoughts with just the tapping of a few keys has allowed everyone to vent. One of those is Bill in San diego @BillntwrkBill (identified as Bill Purcell by Bleeding Cool) who has since gone off on threatening and misogynistic rants geared towards individuals and society at large. Bill describes himself as:
U. S . Navy Vet. Comic Con Regular Committee member. Married to wonderful woman. My tweets are my own. Go to CCI official website for factual information.
The Comic Con in question is San Diego Comic-Con, the mecha of geek conventions that brings hundreds of thousands to San Diego each year and generates millions of dollars. Bill is a volunteer at the convention who numerous times tweeted his connections to the show, even hinting at working as security and offering access to the show for favors.
Why this matters isn’t that Bill is racist or a misogynist, lots of assholes volunteer or attend conventions. Why this matters, and we’re covering it, is Bill aimed threats at numerous creators who attend the show (and in general shows a penchant for violence), in fact Bill showed anger towards Hollywood as a whole (and makes me wonder why someone who hates Hollywood attends a convention like this).
Here’s some of his tweets including some of the threats (just check his Twitter feed for more, there’s only so much we can stomach):
The abuse and threats hurled by Bill by those in the industry got enough folks talking that they felt in danger if Bill attended the convention in 2015, and calls to ban Bill from the show have risen over the days.
We reached out to Comic-Con for a statement, and one was released to other sites:
There is no excuse for offensive or threatening behavior. The fact that it comes from a purported member of our committee is clearly upsetting. Even though we cannot control what an individual says, we can address issues that have a direct effect on our organization or persons affiliated with our organization. We would also like to mention this individual no longer holds a volunteer position with our association. We encourage any individual who feels threatened by these comments or others to seek assistance from law enforcement.
While we agree the convention can’t control what individuals say, they do control who can volunteer and attend the show. With so many feeling unsafe, and especially in the light of two high profile incidents last year, the convention needs to go a step further and outright ban Bill from this coming year’s and future conventions