Another creepy camera crew was stalking cosplayers at London Super Comic Con

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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

Comments

  1. Al™ says:

    How are camera crews granted access now? Do they need to submit credentials or examples of past work to obtain a press pass? Maybe they just pay their admission and then produce the camera once they are inside the show.

  2. Remco says:

    It appears that the gentlemen (and I use that word ironically) knew they’d messed up, and then shot one video stripped of their brand of ‘humour’ which basically left nothing worth wile at all. The name of this group is indeed a give away; it appears that their sole purpose was to be jerks – it’s a style of comedy, you know, though it ceased being edgy many years ago.

    When I hung round in the Goth scene, camera crews sometimes popped up at parties (ladies in corsets, tight latex, do the math). If they were not expected they did not get entrance, and otherwise they’d have a member of the organisation accompanying them to make sure there were no misunderstandings.

    Perhaps it’d be a good idea for any convention that film crews are not allowed, unless pre-vetted and accompanied by a gopher from the organisation. Any security staff will be able to stop & check out (and if needed: chuck out) any film crew that’s breaking this rule.

  3. “Offence” is the British spelling of “offense.”

  4. Michael P says:

    Oh, so they were being creepy jerks *ironically*? That makes it all better, then. [/sarcasm]

  5. Glenn Simpson says:

    Maybe we are one step closer to living in a society where pranks in general are frowned upon. It’s a pet peeve of mine – I hate pranks.

  6. Burrell says:

    So did anybody do anything at the Con? Did anyone tell these guys off? Or did everyone just go along with it, smiling and laughing for the camera, then complain about it online when they got back home?

    I wish someone would finally show some backbone and actually confront people like this on the spot. Get confrontational. Then maybe some of them will start thinking twice about it.

  7. >> So did anybody do anything at the Con? >>

    Yes, as described in the account that’s linked to.

  8. Can I just say once again how much I loathe non-apologies? IF someone took offense. IF someone was offended.

    No, assholes, it’s on you not on the people you were a dick to. Own up to it and make a proper apology.

  9. The Beat Herself says:

    To the guy who keeps calling cosplayers names, let’s point out that being looked at is one thing—I thinkwe all agree people in amazing costumes want to be seen—but inappropriate language, touching and other unwanted behavior that goes way over the line of being seen.

    I believe it was Cliff Galbraith who said here cosplay is like the beach. You don’t go to the beach to touch and kiss strangers, even though everyone is wearing minimal clothing. So in the future I’ll call this the Galbraith Principle: cosplayers should be treated with the same social rules as beachgoers.

  10. Dave Hartley says:

    The principle is a sound one but I doubt that the kind of turnip who confuses cosplayers with a porn fantasy conception of sex workers ever gets closer to the beach than Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.

  11. LesserEvil says:

    “I believe it was Cliff Galbraith who said here cosplay is like the beach. You don’t go to the beach to touch and kiss strangers, even though everyone is wearing minimal clothing. So in the future I’ll call this the Galbraith Principle: cosplayers should be treated with the same social rules as beachgoers.”

    Yeah, and even though it was pointed out how stupid the comparison was it was happily accepted so that you could easily point to something and say “Look! It’s like this other thing so it must be true!” If you can’t understand that there’s a difference and it’s a stupid comparison, then nobody can help you.

    Making false equivalencies doesn’t help your position, and they’re often unnecessary. People, in general, need to rediscover the concept of appropriate behavior no matter the situation.

  12. Johnny Memeonic says:

    How come no flags got raised at the pass desk when they said their name was “Going in Dry” Media?

  13. Dave Hartley says:

    LesserEvil said :

    (…) and even though it was pointed out how stupid the comparison was (…)

    Interestingly aggressive piece of ‘splaining Lesserevil, but not very well founded.

    In the thread Heidi referred to
    http://comicsbeat.com/new-york-comic-con-2013-creepy-camera-crews-arizonas-big-cans-and-harassment/
    Cliff Galbraith said :

    I think the beach is a good example of how normal humans behave. Women (and men) are exposing themselves in various degrees while at the beach or public pools, but we don’t have this sort of behavior.

    Eva Hopkins agreed and said

    People wear very little on the beach, but somehow we manage to act with basic human courtesy to each other. A string bikini doesn’t mean you get to touch or talk nastily to a woman you don’t know. Why would a Red Sonja chainmail bikini?

    The only person who questioned Cliff’s analogy was someone called “Sigh” (responding to Eve Hopkins rather than him) :

    If she was wearing it at a beach, it probably wouldn’t. Beach attire is worn by a majority if not 90% or more of people that go to the beach. Sexy costumes are NOT worn by the same percentage of convention attendees. They stick out, and it’s probably intentional. It comes off as attention-seeking behavior. People react accordingly.

    Beach attire at the beach=commonplace.
    Sexy costumes at a convention=eccentricity

    Maybe that explains why they’re not treated the same way and why it’s not even close to being the smartest thing anyone has said in this thread. Also, this was about a few people causing a problem at a thing. The same crap or worse does occasionally happen at beaches. It can and does happen anywhere at any time, and what’s really interesting is that it happens for the same reason as dressing up in a costume–grabbing someone’s attention.

    When it comes to “touching”, I think the Supreme Being said it best, “Never Without My Permission.

    So did “Sigh” succeed in undermining Cliff’s analogy ?
    No.

    1. Because cosplay has been part of comics (and other) conventions for decades. If you see it as “eccentricity” you’re simply displaying complete ignorance of the fan culture you’re claiming to speak about.

    2. Because cosplay (of any kind) is undertaken for lots of different reasons most of which have nothing to do with seeking (sexual) attention.

    3. Because the argument that problems are ’caused’ by female attention seeking is utter bullshit. The problem is caused by inadequates (mostly, but not always, male) some of whom imagine that what they project onto other people is real and justifies them in crossing boundaries, and others who can tell the difference between their fantasies and reality but are just arseholes.

    The job of demonstrating that Cliff’s analogy is “stupid” still remains to be done.

  14. The Going In Dry creeps have hidden their online presence. Lady Noctis has deleted her blog post. This article is about all the record left of what happened.

  15. Snikt Snakt says:

    Hate to break it to you all, but when you attend any sort of convention, whether you are a vendor/customer/cosplayer etc., you are ALL considered “pieces of meat”…

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