Man Banter, NYCC And Cosplay Harassment – One Year Later

1375717_479474915483604_1762953293_nCosplayer Bethany Maddock posted on her Facebook about a film crew harassing cosplayers at NYCC. She writes;

The very first question that pops out if his mouth was "So, does your costume help you get laid?"
It's at that point where all my con creeper stories I've read on tumblr and heard through my friends, kicked in. I ended the interview immediately. Was able of get a very liberating "FUCK YOU" in there as I walked off.


After meeting with security, sending them this very clear picture of the offender, and being assured something would be done to protect my fellow cosplayers…. I ran into them again much later in the day in the artists alley, interviewing other cosplayers.

Needless to say I was extremely disappointed in security, the very people that are HIRED to deal with situations like this.

Apparently sexual harassment doesn't really matter to New York Comic Con. Apparently they're cool with film crews walking with their press badges making a mockery of fellow nerds.

Bethany Maddock, photographed respectfully by Endymon Mageto.

YouTube video channel Man Banter attended the convention and interviewed cosplayers in a rather Howard Stern type style. Currently, all videos have been made private and panicked apologies are being made.

As I was drafting this piece, The Mary Sue ran an article with comment from the NYCC's Lance Fensterman, revealing that Man Banter had fraudelently applied for tickets pretending to be part of Sirius radio station, that NYCC were made aware of the actions on the Saturday of the show and banned the group on the Sunday. Lance stated;

Once this was brought to our attention we immediately began working to rectify the situation.  And we now have a better sense of what these guys did to be deceitful and slip through some of the checks we have in place, thus it will allow us to do a better job in the future of stopping behaviors like this even more immediately. We demand that NYCC to be safe for all in attendance. We do have an anti harassment policy. Our team does live it and believe it. It's frustrating that in spite of all of that fans, and our favorite fans – passionate cosplayers – were harassed. That is not the kind of event I want to run – and won't.

But it's not as if this is the first time. Cosplayer Mandy Beutillon wrote about an almost identical experience at NYCC last year.

Him: I'm here with…

Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat

Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I'm hot enough to pull that off?

Me: Uh, I'm not sure, I've never seen you in drag.

Him: I've got a great ass. Go on, spank me.

Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me ). No thanks. I may hurt you, I'm a lot stronger than I look.

Him: Aw come on!

Me: No, seriously. Stop.

Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?

Same guys? Sounds like it…

Media Bistro delves into the channel and The Beat gathers up a number of accounts, and looks at other examples of similar behaviour across the show.  Bleeding Coolers were mocking that Big Cans ad every time it played… didn't realise it was at quite so many panels though. Generally these kind of things seem to be the exception rather than the norm. Things are getting better and, repeatedly, NYCC seems to have stepped up.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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