Cosplay Is Not Consent – Even After A Drink

The MCM London Comic Con promotes the principle that cosplay is not consent. It was being enforced as well, by staff and cosplayers alike. I heard a number of people ask photographers if they had permission to shoot the shots they were taking. But people were looking after each other, inside and out of the show, and I was asked the same in the bar later (I had permission). But not everyone seemed to be observing it.

Cosplayer Kitty Rozovsky posted to the MCM group, with a long response thread that has now been removed 

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Instantly adding “inb4 “you shouldn’t be drinking anyway”. And she was right. There was a lot of back and forth about that exact point, as Kitty pointed out that she has stopped drinking, she was sitting alone, trying to sober up, when the individual in question suddenly come over and made his uninvited move before she was given a chance to reject it.

This was one of many similar comments.

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The difference is that RJ Anderson lists himself as a Crew Member of the MCM London Comic Con. After Kitty responded with a “wow”, he continued,

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In the situation, as described, the aggressor is the drunk driver, she’s the person sitting on a bench on the side of the road. In conversation, RJ told me,

My initial post was something like, both were drunk, he was bad, she was bad, end of. Although people react to assault differently and i myself have as such been a victim of varying degrees, circumstances and scenarios, it is naive to think that overconsumption of alcohol isn’t also a substantial fault of the other party. As i clarify, i do not approve of what he allegedly did, neither do i approve of her getting drunk to the point she made herself vulnerable, obviously not deliberately.

But he did have other concerns,

My main issue with the post… is that posting that did nothing but highlight that alleged creepers attend and get away with things and are incapable of being caught/reported/punished in the long run. It did splatter a highly negative image and considering it’s supposed to be a family target marketed event it does instil a high sense of insecurity for people who are unsure whether to attend or continue attending.

I won’t say that sexual predators/rapists of the like won’t ever appear at Excel either, they are everywhere and anywhere throughout all areas of the world, but if this was reported properly to MCM, Excel or any authorities at the earliest convenience APART from a public Facebook page, it would have been met professionally and dealt with accordingly.

He elaborated,

I have the bias of defending MCM to high degree because i work for them, i don’t agree with everything that goes on however i still contribute a lot of my blood, sweat and tears to the event like other crew and issues like this where they are immaturely publicised do nothing but put a lot of people down who try to make the event to the best of it’s ability to it’s patrons.

All shows have PR difficulties of one sort of another, but victim blaming has never really helped that. Indeed, this could have been an opportunity to show empathy, to address the problem and maybe even help resolve it, rather than dismiss it. This is, however, just one crew member, MCM senior representatives later told me.

Unacceptable behaviour is not an issue that anyone can tackle alone. We strongly urge people to report any such incidents to us at an event, or the authorities if outside the event. Don’t accept that such actions by this tiny minority of offenders are inevitable and shrug it off; together we can discourage and hopefully stop such incidents.

Which might be a better way of addressing the issue.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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