Last night twitter user Bill in San diego @BillntwrkBill got very vocal about the Ferguson protests on his account. Which is his right, as laid out by our Bill of Rights. However, it went over the line of what one might call civil commentary with calling the mother of a dead teenager a “whiny bitch” for grieving for her son, and a lot of other offensive rhetoric.
But here’s the interesting part. His bio lists
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. Socal
and Comic-Con did indeed come up in several tweets. Bill (identified in this thread on his misdeeds as Bill Purcell) claimed he was not a committee member, but rather a volunteer. A volunteer who offered to give out passes for sexual favors?
And other sexual threats against comics industry members.
— Sterling Gates (@sterlinggates) November 25, 2014
Although Bill claimed he was a volunteer for the con, I’m told he was actually a committee member for a while. And he was not a volunteer last year.
While, once again, expressing civilized opinions of current events is perfectly acceptable even if you disagree, using an association with one of the world’s biggest entertainment events—one which has a laudable track record for inclusion and diversity—as a platform for abusive, name calling language and threatening rape is probably not acceptable.
I reached out to Comic-Con and was told “This matter has been brought to our attention and we may be able to comment later in the day.
Update: and a Comic-con spokesman has released a statement.
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
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.