Cosplay Creepiness: It’s not just for Fanboys anymore

As someone who has been a part of the geek-culture scene in various roles, I can attest to the notion of Cosplay Related Creepiness being a serious issue. It is a matter that has persisted for so long that the grassroots Cosplay =/= Consent is spreading like wildfire in the community. By getting this out in the open, it is the hope that people become aware that someone dressing up as their favorite character (among other things) is no excuse to disrespect them as a person. With all movements of this type, progress will be met with setbacks, an unfortunate reality that appears to be being displayed in the Dealer’s Room of AnimeNEXT this weekend.

UPDATE: The female cosplayer that we mentioned in this article was not the person on the pillow.  Her likeness was also used for this purpose, but she was Dark Phoenix, which isn’t mentioned here.  This was verified by people that are associated with her.

UPDATE 2: 2Image Solutions has written back to The Outhousers with a response that is listed below.

This morning, a local cosplayer posted two photos of cosplayers who are well known in the Northeast Convention Circuit. Of course, stock photos of even well-known cosplayers is not news by itself. However as you can plainly see here…

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…these are not ordinary photos. From the same source that broke the story, it has been confirmed that Imagesolutions is selling full body pillows featuring these images, and the cosplayers say they don’t have permission. In fact, the Superman Cosplayer, Dustin Dorough, went on record as to say, “Whoa… I DEFINITELY did not give permission for this.  I never signed any sort of release for any products or prints. I’ve only done photoshoots with 4 photographers and never in this suit. This pillow is a random convention candid from Dragon*Con.”

As for the Lady Loki Cosplayer, it was divulged that she did sign an agreement with ImageSolutions, but that the full body pillow allegedly goes beyond the “Scope of Business” (i.e. The Limit of Exploitable Activity) that the agreement was originally signed for. Her statement supports the suspicion that this vendor could be illegally using the likeness of the cosplayers in question to make a buck. Needless to say, everyone involved is dismayed by this business. As to what actions might be taken against the vendor, time will tell where this leads.

My Personal Take on the situation:

Brass tacks time, ladies and gentlemen. Despite gallant efforts of those in this community to make it known that this behavior isn’t okay, there will be those that slip through the cracks and have to learn a couple of lessons the hard way. However, it is expected that these lessons do not have to be taught to people acting as professionals. It shouldn’t have to be said, but the minute you sign up to be a vendor in a Dealers Room/Exhibit Hall you are there in a business capacity, and are expected to conduct yourself with integrity. Just like straight-up bootleg products are not acceptable, products carrying the likeness of others who have not given their consent are just as unacceptable.

With that being said, there are always multiple sides to every story, and in the interest of fairness, I have invited the person in question to The Outhousers to explain their side of the story. If there is any mitigating evidence or explanations that could be made in your defense, we would be welcome to hear them. If it is found that there are any significant differences from what has been reported, I will personally rescind this article and make full apologies to those affected.

The Original article can be found here at: http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/news/122575-cosplay-creepiness-its-not-just-for-fanboys-anymore.html

Also 2Image Solutions has responded back with The Outhousers: http://www.theouthousers.com/index.php/news/122603-animenext-cosplay-pillow-maker-responds-to-controversy.html

The author of this article would like to give a special thanks to this insider source for bringing the story to my attention, along with many apologies to the cosplayer we have mistakenly posted.  That has been removed.

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3 Responses to “Cosplay Creepiness: It’s not just for Fanboys anymore”

  1. Ty says:

    Why did you reference Marie Grey when she said (here: http://thegreypoint.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/cosplayer-pillows-the-actual-story/comment-page-1/#comment-17 ) she didn’t want to be associated with your article?

  2. Jessica says:

    I’ve noticed that the feminist cosplayers who always outcry about being victims of sexual abuse at cons are usually people you’d never want to touch.

    Sexual harassment at cons is not a “serious issue”. Cons are among the safest, most fun public venues a person can attend. Stop giving cons a bad name because of you special snowflake entitlement crusade.

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