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HeroesCon releases harassment policy

heroes con-harassment

Just days before HeroesCon kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, organizers have released a code of conduct addressing harassment and cautioning exhibitors about images and materials that exceed the event’s PG-13 standards.

Signed by founder Shelton Drum, the policy extends beyond the exhibition floor to after-hours events at host hotels, and spells out that, “HeroesCon is dedicated to providing a fun, safe and harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.”

“If you are being harassed, witness someone else being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the HeroesCon staff or a volunteer,” it states. “We are happy to contact our security or local law enforcement, provide escort, a safe place or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention.” Anyone deemed to be violating the anti-harassment rules “may be sanctioned or expelled from HeroesCon without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers.”

The policy, posted Thursday evening on the HeroesCon blog, arrives amid increased scrutiny to the response by convention organizers nationwide to harassment. DragonCon revised its policy last year to make its position more clear — “If people tell you NO, your business with them is done” — while Emerald City Comicon received widespread praise this spring for its “zero-tolerance zone for harassment,” trumpeted with a “Costumes Are Not Consent” logo that places cosplayer concerns front and center.

However, Comic-Con International, has been pressured to make its code of conduct more specific and more visible, something organizers resist. “My concern is, the minute you start pointing out the types of harassment you don’t allow, does that imply other types of harassment are allowed?” David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s director of marketing and public relations, told Comic Book Resources. “I hope nobody would make that leap, but as a gay man, I wouldn’t want to see harassment codified against a certain element by omitting orientation, or gender, or race, or religion, or disability. Comic-Con has always had an amazingly diverse group of attendees, and we want all of those attendees to have fun in what we hope is a safe environment.”

HeroesCon will be held Friday through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center,

(via The Beat)

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Comments

3 Comments

How is having overly gory clothing/costumes/uniforms lumped under the umbrella of harassment? I understand that the subject line of the flier says “a word about conduct”, but the entirety of the body of the message focuses on harassment.

Or so in other words, something that *may* offend someone is, in a preliminary fashion, without observation of behavior attached, already constituted as harassment? (Thus not fitting what harassment actually is)

How does this prevent HeroesCon staff members from harassing Cosplayers like what happened at SE NY this past weekend?

Rafael–I am biased as I am a huge fan of HeroesCon (and will be attending again this year), but HeroesCon is a family friendly convention that has occurred for 32 years. I have no idea who runs SE NY, but I know I run into con organizer Shelton Drum (as well as helpful volunteers and staffers) on the con floor throughout the event–and if I have ever informed them of any kind of problem (granted my situation was not harassment) they worked to resolve it immediately.

If I was a Cosplayer being harassed and I experienced actual staff behaving this way, I would escalate into you got satisfaction. Trust your instincts, if you think staffers will side with the harasser, forget contacting event management and contact one of the security officers on the floor. Escalate if that does not offer you the support you need.

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