Another report of a bunch of youtube perverts harassing cosplayers while posing as a legitimate camera crew news outlet has emerged from London Super Comic Con, as reported by a cosplayer known as Lady Noctis. The event is similar to the one that took place at New York Comic Con last fall, with a camera crew asking women in costume to be interviewed and then asking them vulgar and harassing questions.
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!
The camera crew went by the name of “Going In Dry Media,” and as with the NYCC crew, they have since removed their website and FB page, although a twitter remains. Lady Noctis continues:
These men were at the convention purely to take advantage of genuine people, by degrading them, humiliating them, and sexually objectifying them. Just because some cosplays show a bit more skin than others, does not give ANYONE an excuse to treat anyone that way. No one, no matter what, should be treated in such a fashion for the sake of “entertainment”.
The Going in Dry people responded in the comments, claiming they were trying a new kind of humor, and removed the video immediately they shot immediately.
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.
These humorist might learn how to spell “offense” since they are having to use the word a lot. That is the British spelling. With all of their media taken down it’s hard to judge what else they did, but this kind of behavior is inexcusable, but they have been banned from future shows, needless to say.
Just a reminder: Cosplayers are not to be touched, harassed and groped. They are part of nerd culture, and it’s all our jobs to make sure they are afforded the same courtesy as any convention goer.
There are so many sad things about this, including of course, that women fell less safe and welcome in a public place that used to be a safe space for them. The other is that cons will inevitably have to crack down more on camera crews as this kind of thing is happening more and more, and probably some legitimate outlets will be left out as well, but a few bad apples spoil the barrel.
Photo via Lady Noctis’s FB page, Credits: Slave Leia – Kitty KEMS Photography, Harley Quinn – Geek Pride Photography by Matt Geary
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.