Being Safe in the Cosplay Community

Recently, it came to light in the cosplay community that a well-known west coast photographer by the name of Richard T. Bui had been messaging with girls of various ages. Now, this wouldn’t necessarily be of concern, except most of the majority of the messages were asking for nudes, of said girls, for “posing usage” for later photography sessions. If the girls stated they were uncomfortable, he’d press for them, promising to keep them private… Then turning around and messaging other girls and offering to show the nude photos of others to make others comfortable to send theirs.

Needless to say, as one story came to light, more soon followed. He has since taken down his photography page and a lot of people have stepped forward to state how to best move on as a community from this. I recently did an article concerning Cosplay is not Consent and how to best watch for behaviors that were displayed here by Bui, and I recommend reading it and using it wisely. The girls that had been messaged did the best thing by stepping up and speaking out. It proved here wasn’t only one person he was doing this to, but at most recent count… At least ten have spoken up with screen shots. You can check out some of the screen shots and see Bui himself on Cosplay Creepers. Currently, there is a rumor that Richard is facing criminal charges as some of the victims have been underaged.. However, I have yet to find anything full proving this.

To the other photographers in the cosplay community, kudos to those of you stepping up and saying these actions are not all right. If someone isn’t comfortable shooting with you, that it’s okay to bring a friend or not shoot at all. There are so many I could list that have stepped up and basically apologized for someone else’s actions because you are all not like that, and that the cosplayers in the community, need to remember that. However, to any other potential creepers out there… Remember, we’re watching.

For everyone, just remember to be safe. Yes, while we’re supposed to have fun, the bigger the cosplay scene gets, the more we need to remember basic safety. Again, always speak up when something is wrong, just like so many of these girls did.

Screencaps of actual conversation with Richard T. Bui.

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A cosplayer for over a decade now, Yunie is a giant nerd who still pretends she’s cool. She runs several sites on her own, including Engi no Shouzoku! Cosplay, Cosplay Blog with a Brain, and her store, Yunie’s Designs. An avid fan of fellow nerds, Yunie loves attending conventions and dorking around in costumes with all types. Oh, and if there’s shenanigans, even better!

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