Friday, September 20, 2013

Heroes of Cosplay causes online war

Heroes of Cosplay, the SyFy reality television series has caused an online war between the “stars” of the show and some cosplayers from the season finale. If you don’t know about the series, it follows a select group of people as they pursue contests in various conventions for the sake of their careers and reputations. 

Yes, they tell us that Cosplay is about having fun, but the producers don’t support that very much with how the show plays out. YaYa Han, a noted cosplayer and judge says the word “reputation” more than any other in her entire vocabulary. If we are to believe the commentary (even though she says it’s about having fun) every single thing she does is of utmost importance because of her reputation. Also, before I get too far:

Cosplayer: One who dresses up as iconic characters of various fantasy or science fiction genres (nutshell explanation, because there is lots more to it than that).

In the season finale, the cast goes to Planet Comicon in Kansas City, MO. In the second part of the finale, we get to see what looks like a group of “locals” making nasty comments to the members of CrabCat Industries and their partner Becky. But all is not as it appears and it has exploded into an online war that just makes everyone look bad.  Check out these two links (and those attached to them) for both sides of the story:



Now I’m going to use some quotes from Chloe (Sorry, Chloe) to hit a few highlights and make some points. Chloe’s response missed some essentials that I think bear pointing out. Let’s start with this:

What if I told you those judgmental Doctor Who cosplayers were plants? That Syfy told them they needed to cause drama with some of the cast so it would be a more interesting competition?
That’s not true, but you’d believe me, wouldn’t you? Because guess what, you want to demonize a dumb reality show.”

Aaand stop right there. While the following points of that paragraph are fine for showing that the cast were real people doing real things, this statement essentially calls us a bunch of idiots and haters.  Actually, and this may come as a surprise, you’d be shocked to find out just how many people watch reality shows and believe everything they see. Not because the want to “demonize” anything at all. It’s because people are people. Something that should have been remembered here. But alas, it doesn’t get better from there.

Syfy didn’t tell the Doctor Who girls they needed to cause drama. It happened all by itself because of three things:
1-People don’t like things like TV shows invading their small community (understandable).
2-People don’t like when the odds are stacked against them in a way that feels unfair (though the cast entirely made their own costumes and paid for almost everything). Either way, they won something.
3-Cosplayers tend to tear down their own kind when they feel threatened. All people do. Especially the cosplay community, though, as I’ve noticed A LOT on Tumblr during the airing of this show.”

I just plain don’t agree with this and you’ll see why as you read on.

The way it started was that someone from the audience identified my friends as “Syfy plants”.”

Ahh, but that’s not what really blew things up. You leave out the fact that the comment was dubbed and what we, the viewers, heard was: “Out of towners go home!” Something tells me you didn’t watch your own finale. Worse yet, they made it look like the Who Girls were the ones who said it, and you know they didn’t. These girls are somehow supposed to take it and shut up when they are directly accused of saying something they didn’t say. One of them admits she lost her temper, so it’s not like they are denying the skirmish even happened. But that’s okay, because, as you later say no one could make them sign a waiver (so it must have been all their fault).

Worse yet, dubbing that comment into something it wasn’t, made the whole convention look bad. I’m sure when they agreed to filming, they weren’t looking for the chance to make themselves look like hateful small town hicks. The fact that I haven’t seen a single member of the cast admonish this behavior is highly disappointing. So maybe you should be upset with your own producers, because they made you and them look bad as a result.

No one can make you sign a waiver. It was their choice to appear on the show.”

This totally dismisses the fact that the cast were not the only people to feel stressed out. It also suggests that the layman who is put on the spot by surprise should automatically have their eyes wide open going into this. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Let me tell you something:

It was totally unfair: Chloe points out how people get when they “feel” something is unfair, but wait, it totally was. Compare the facts. Take the cast who knew they had skits to perform and had more than a day to rehearse, with props and assistants, and stage hands, etc. Now take everyone else who got the information, not just on the spot, but for some it was minutes before going onstage. That’s like taking a heavyweight prize fighter and putting him in the ring with someone who’s never thrown a punch before. Sound like a fair fight to you? Sound fairly informed to you? It’s not. It was unexpected at a capacity that had to feel ridiculous to everyone else, who hasn’t been touring around on a reality show. For any member of the cast to dismiss the feelings of people who were wrongly taken completely by surprise on the details, is just poor form.

Don’t expect laymen to act like professionals: You’re right, no one can make you sign that waiver. But you dismiss the human factor of others again. You aren’t considering the fact that these girls spent a year of planning only to be surprised on site with “oh by the way, if you want to compete you have to do this.” So for them, on the spot with NO warning, they have to decide to either throw away a year of planning and work, or suck it up and go ahead. This also dismisses the fact that the cast has been doing this all year long, but these girls get it tossed in their faces at the last possible second. So you of the cast knew what you were in for… they had no clue at all.

To top it off, expect them to have no feelings: Ignore the fact that they were there for shoots and reshoots that the cast are used to and likely PAID FOR. Ignore the fact that they were every bit as exhausted as you were. Don’t tell me that they won 500 bucks and should suck it up because everyone there knows the whole thing went into about 5 hours of overtime (and what’s 500 divided by 11 again?). Overtime on a Sunday when things were supposed to close around 4pm. Overtime that could have even jeopardized someone’s job because they had a shift to go work. Overtime only expected by the cast.  Then label them as cruel and support a horde of negative comments about them online because they had feelings too.

I think you’re getting “cruel” confused with “just as tired and upset as you could ever be”.


The cast of the show knew what to expect 100% more than the Who Girls could dream of because of sheer lack of consideration and information. Now they get to be the villains, hated on by the internet and the cast is willing to support that. Not only is that not a fair fight, but it’s something else in words I don’t use here.

6 comments:

Mistress Noire said...

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David Wilde said...

Mistress Noire, I read all of them. I wanted to make sure to get as many POVs as I could. I only wish there were more said from the cast to help this issue. It just didn't need to go like that.

David Wilde said...

For all, I just want to point out that I totally understand where Chloe is coming from. She has a huge heart and she's standing up for her friends through thick and thin. So I'm not trying to be mean to her in any way. Unfortunately hers is the only response to this situation that I could find. I really wish maybe YaYa or one of the other cast would toss in on this. If nothing else, to offer peace and to defuse the situation. There's just no reason to accept what the producers did and the false light that got put on the whole situation.

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wajmgirl said...

I don't entirely even know why Chloe gave her two cents on this topic and butted into... I thought she was in the audience when this happened? Was she actually backstage? Seems odd to speak of this if she wasn't there.

Mistress Noire said...

Wajmgirl - she wasn't backstage she was in the crowd she was going by with what the other girls told her