Aki-con, held October 25-27, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, had an incident occur over the course of the convention weekend which has resulted in a massive fallout. A minor was sexually assaulted by a guest DJ for the convention, DJ Victor Malice. He has been charged, with a trial date planned sometime in February.
I found this when I was searching for photos of my cosplays from Wondercon of this year back in March on tumblr. Here you can see that I am clearly dressed up as Poison Ivy. Like most cosplayers I know, I love to find photos of myself. Obviously I can’t keep track of all the people who take shots of me; I just pose when I’m asked for photos and tons of people swarm by for shots. And that’s okay.
However, a LOT of these ‘ass’ shots happen to me when I’m in this costume. And people like to think that cosplayers are too stupid to realize that others will take inappropriate photos or videos of them. My friends actually COUNT people who take ass shots of me when I’m in that costume. I know this also happens to a lot of other cosplayers, especially ladies*.
Personally, it doesn’t bother me too much. I’m used to being nude for work and am comfortable enough with my body. However, this does NOT mean that this should continue. NEVER TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO WITHOUT SOMEONE’S PERMISSION. There are lots of cosplayers out there who would be appalled to find such shots of them on the internet. We aren’t stupid idiots who never find these things out; this goes for the grotesque comments that people leave behind. One member of g4tv’s community called me a man when my Poison Ivy cosplay was posted on their site a few years ago probably thinking I wouldn’t see and having no regard for the fact that there is a real person in that photo he was looking at.
So, I have a story to tell from Anime Expo this year.
First - some context. Last year there was an incident where a guy came to the booth and was flirting pretty heavily with one of our lovely models at the Cosplay Deviants booth. She is a sweetheart but she has a very vivacious and flirtatious…
THIS is exactly what we’re talking about when we say progress through education. Most people do not know they are doing anything wrong, and a calm response will normally garner a mature response and apology. Together, as a community, we can make conventions fun and safe again.
last year at SDCC i was videotaped without consent, had my body criticized, my gender called into question and my costume called "garbage" because he didn't know what character and series i was cosplaying. the worst part about it is that this was not a small operation, this was a professional production and it was posted to machinima's official youtube channel. i have not worn that cosplay since that happened.
We’re sorry that happened!
This video was sent to us by a female Cosplayer who agreed to be in the video, but was appalled when she saw the context it was used in. How do you you feel about the type of behavior displayed here?
Tomorrow we head off to Anime Expo, the largest Anime convention in the United States. We will be hosting a panel on Cosplay is NOT Consent on Friday at 3pm and have placed a Cosplay is NOT Consent flyer with specific guidelines for addressing harassment in every attendee bag. We will also be handing out our first set of Cosplay is NOT Consent buttons all weekend at the Cosplay Deviants booth # 1031. We look forward to seeing everyone there, and moving one step further in making conventions a safe place to be.
I think this movement would really get A LOT larger of a following if those in charge/position of power would make it perfectly clear that this movement is not an attack on male con-goers or males in general. I think that a lot of the discussions, PSA's, etc regarding this topic don't really make enough of an effort to do this. I think that this should be made clear early and often anytime there is to be a serious discussion on this topic.
We agree, infact our upcoming PSA includes almost 50% male cosplayers. We are not attacking anyone but are working directly with conventions to take a proactive step towards preventing this type of behavior by letting offenders know directly that serious consequences will be taken should anyone harass an attendee. Likewise we hope to instill easy to follow directions on how to locate security and staff at each convention so should someone feel harassed they can easily find out what steps need to be taken. We aim to end this issue through education and communication, not with blame and anger.
This was sent by a fan who attended Denver Comic Con! Way to go guys having this in your con guide!
A great comic telling people to stand up for their fellow fans!
Cosplay is NOT Consent aims to educate the community by using the experiences of cosplayers, and convention staff to help put an end to unwanted harassment of convention attendees. We will work with convention owners to help bring comfort and safety back to fan events all around the world.
Any cosplayer, new or old should know this. It seriously pisses me off when people attack or molest or do anything unwanted by and to a cosplayer because they like the character or they’re ‘in character’.