Many In The Comic Book And Cosplay Community Are Now Boycotting Supanova

In the wake of Supanova's announcement that Adam Baldwin would be attending Supanova — and organiser Daniel Zachariou's statement explaining the decision — a number of high-profile artists and cosplayers have officially announced they will not be attending the show in protest. The Ledger Awards, a non-profit organisation designed to reward the best work done by Australian comic book artists, has announced it is dissolving its sponsorship relationship with Supanova following the decision.

Last year Supanova was a major sponsor of The Ledger Awards. The team posted the following on their Facebook page:

The Ledger Awards Organising Committee would like to advise that last year’s Platinum Sponsor, Supanova, will not be returning for this year’s awards. We thank them for their support and participation in last year’s awards. We are seeking new sponsors at the Gold, Silver and Bronze level to financially support this event and to join several of last year’s sponsors in acknowledging excellence in Australian comics.

We confirmed with Gary Chaloner, a member of the Ledger Awards committee, that the decision was a result of Baldwin's attendance at Supanova. He confirmed the team decided to return sponsorship funds from Supanova as a result of this issue.

"Hopefully our actions speak for themselves," he told Kotaku, "but the Organising Committee have to make decisions that best reflect the aims and values of the Awards and what they represent."

Daniel Zachariou, the event director of Supanova, confirmed The Ledger Awards refused sponsorship funds.

"The same amount of not-insignificant sponsorship money was provided this year as last but then returned," he told Kotaku. "We disagree that the two are connected in any meaningful way that should undermine our relationship. That’s their call to make however."

A number of previous Supanova supporters have informed Kotaku they would no longer be attending the event, with most individuals asking not to be named because of their fear of online harassment, from either supporters of Baldwin or Gamergate. One refused to speak publicly for fear their family would be targeted.

"I am fearful for my safety," said one cosplayer, who asked to remain anonymous. "Having first-hand experiences with stalkers, and a history of assault from strangers at conventions, including at Sydney Supanova last year, the potential for just one angry "Baldwin supporter" to follow through on a threat or physical or sexual violence is tangible."

Stand-up comic and feminist activist Kirsty Mac was among the first to withdraw her support in the wake of the Adam Baldwin decision, writing an editorial piece for Daily Life. Kirsty also received a significant amount of harassment post-publication. She says many are abandoning Supanova in the wake of Supanova's decision.

"Thousands of people are boycotting," she told Kotaku. "Women, men and particularly people with children."

Eve Beauregard, a popular cosplayer, is among those boycotting the show. She says Supanova was a fundamental part of her introduction to cosplay, which makes the decision to bring Adam Baldwin to the event all the more disappointing.

"Supanova was my first pop culture event," she told Kotaku, "and it's the one that sparked so much of my love for the geeky communities I'm a part of now."

Eve has been attending Supanova since she was 13 years old.

"The reason I love these events is that they are a safe haven where people are free to express their passion for the things they love. That's what geek culture has always been about for me — inclusion, fun and safety. By hosting a guest who actively seeks to divide our community, Supanova is sending a message I simply cannot align myself with."

Eve had previously turned down media requests to discuss her reasons for boycotting Supanova, particularly since so many of her friends had suffered harassment after speaking out.

"Countless people have been threatened, harassed and targeted in the name of the movement which Adam Baldwin is the celebrity face of, many simply for voicing an opposing view,"she said. "To ask your attendees to publicly speak out against GamerGate is to ask them to make targets of themselves. This quickly became apparent as several community members were doxxed for speaking about why they disagreed with having Baldwin as a guest."

According to Eve, safety is the real issue. Many community members simply don't feel safe attending Supanova.

"From my perspective, the moment a guest or their supporters makes a considerable portion of your attendees feel unsafe, you have a very cut-and- dried decision to make. You either remove that guest from your event or you send a very public message that you're comfortable with your attendees fearing for their personal safety and in turn not attending out of fear."

Speaking to Kotaku, Daniel Zachariou expressed disappointment at the boycotts.

"Its clear that Gamergate brings out a highly emotional response in all too many people including some that we’ve helped build up, protected, worked with and promoted extensively through the years and who are now seeing us in a very negative light," he said.

Zachariou defended his decision to allow Adam Baldwin to attend, stating that Baldwin had already previously attended a Supanova event ("Adam was previously our guest and as strident in his opinions then as he is now"). He also made mention of the fact that he had "no knowledge of Gamergate" when Baldwin was originally booked and Supanova has a contract that they're "legally beholden to".

"The argument that we're being exclusive by being inclusive is vacuous and exactly the opposite of the historical mentality of the creative communities represented at Supanova," added Zachariou.

According to Zachariou, many members of the Supanova team have also suffered harassment in the wake of the Adam Baldwin decision.

"Our core team of about twelve has itself felt bullied and harassed," he said. "To see such emotion in trying to force Gamergate politics into what has up until now been, and which we’re still fighting for, an apolitical and asexual environment based around the mutual love of created and imaginary worlds that's always been family friendly in that everyone is treated like family, is disheartening and ultimately very sad."

But Eve Beauregard maintains that Supanova's organisers handled the Adam Baldwin issue poorly and fundamentally misunderstand concerns people have with his attendance.

"When Daniel Zachariou made the first statement on the Supanova Facebook page, I was disappointed at the approach being taken to gauging the response of the community," she told Kotaku. "The statement essentially asked people to voice their opinion on the matter publicly, with the aim being that Supanova could then make an informed decision as to whether they should still be hosting Baldwin. It's possible that this was written with good intentions, however it shows a complete lack of understanding of the reasons attendees were and are concerned about Baldwin's presence."

It's been difficult for Eve to part ways with an event so central to her passion for cosplay. She maintains hope this gap could be bridged in the future.

"Supanova has always been a fun event with some excellent people working to make it a great experience for everyone," she said. "It's difficult to express how disappointing it is that this particular decision has been handled so poorly. The bottom line is that Australian pop culture events are growing in size and number now. As a community we're beginning to have a lot of choice as to which events we want to support. I hope that Daniel Zachariou realises how vital it is to show Supanova values the support this community has given the show for so many years, and can work towards earning that back."


Comments

    What did he do wrong?
    Please excuse my ignorance.

      Apparently something about gamergate and doxxing and vaccinations. I'm not entirely sure myself.

      Seems funny that people are boycotting the event because they are letting everyone attend.

        People are boycotting not just because they disagree with his views but on the basis that they feel that Baldwin will attract a crowd of gamergate supporters who could potentially pose a threat to them, given that many pro-gamergate views come with a fairly sexist/misogynist/violent slant to them.

        I don't necessarily agree there's any genuine threat but you can't stop people feeling threatened, and if they choose to boycott an event that isn't sligned with their views, well, that's their call. I hope everyone learns from the experience. This has been a PR nightmare for Supanova, at least among the vocal minority involved in the gamergate debate online. It'll be interesting to see how they grow and approach these issues in the future.

          Pretty sure Supanova will just attract a bunch of nerds.... I know this, because I'll be there.

            I'm waiting to see if they bring more talent on board. At the moment it is pretty lackluster (Sydney). The Adam Baldwin thing I don't give a stuff about. He's free to say what he likes as long as he doesn't break the law. I don't agree with him but it won't affect my enjoyment of the event. People are acting as if he's going to whip the crowd into a frenzy of misogynistic hatred just by being there...

              I agree, I think this entire thing is just #pandergate2015

            Again, it's not on you. It's like when your teacher used to say "If you're playing and your friend says 'it's hurting,' then stop. It doesn't matter how much fun you think you're having, stop." It's the same thing. If people feel threatened because of his presence, who are we to say otherwise? For the record, Adam Baldwin should be free to say what he wants, but sponsors are also free to take their business elsewhere if they disagree with his terrible worldviews.

              please refrain from posting you are causing me great distress, thank you for complying without comment.

                Cheers for making light of real persons' concerns. It's cosplayers we're talking about, people who already attract creepy oglers and perverts. If they feel that Adam Baldwin's presence will attract a type of person who makes them feel threatened, to the convention, is that so implausible?

                  Real persons' imaginary concerns, I'd say.

                  We're not talking playing and physically hurting here, and you know it.

                  Adam Baldwin, and similar, are people you DISAGREE with, and claiming that he's hurting you with his mere presence and perhaps some words that bother your FEELZ, is nothing more than blacklisting.

                  What you're ACTUALLY worried about is that people might show up who don't care about your particular issues, and will do far worse than shout you down: they'll IGNORE you. And being ignored causes you great butt-hurt. . .

                  How dare you reply; you're invalidating his REAL thoughts and feelings; you're blaming the victim and attacking him too!

                  Oh, you thought they weren't real? Not an excuse; we think these GG idiots are lying and only offended by his politics; but you're still for silencing Baldwin;' so clearly silencing you would be within the same area of acceptance.

                  Wait, I think i missed the proper liberal SJW moral high ground:
                  "It's only good when WE do it"

                  Does that sum up your thoughts; or are they more complex somehow?

              Yeah but that's a bit of a black and white analogy.

              According to that then "Supanova is not threatened by his presence" because they are allowing him to stay. Of course they would have weighed up the pros and cons. I think the minority who are legitimately offended by him have a very loud online presence.

              From everything I've read about him I'm pretty sure he'll rock up, do his thing and leave. I don't think his intentions are to rock up, stir the pot and start rallying the perverts to make inappropriate advances towards women.

                Of course. Supanova's well within their rights. I don't know what sort of contract they signed with his agents and honestly, letting him speak is the best course for all (the amount of drama that would ensue in GG circles if they did bar him would be historic). I applaud them at least for sticking to their guns, now we just need to see if it meaningfully affects their attendance. Personally, I'm not going to Supanova this year for reasons other than Adam Baldwin, (i.e. I'll be abroad), but missing him is a little silver lining.

            As a massive nerd, and Supanova Goldcoast and Brisbane devotee, I've gotta say I've been seeing WAY more "Alpha Nerd" behaviour of late. Now, I'm nominally on the 'side' of GG, insamuch as I agree with the bits they say, and am generally critical of Anita Sarkeesian and so-called "tumblr femininsts," but the fact is as nerds become, well, the big thing, there is a MASSIVE increase in harassment and - let's face it - bullying coming from nerds. I've experienced it myself. If you say ANYTHING against GG or just about ANYTHING to do with gaming, you're automatically anti-GG, Anti-gaming, and basically a horrible genetic mix of Sarkeesian and Jack Thompson.

            I'm frankly getting sick of it, because as someone who SUFFERED for being a "nerd" in school, it hurts a LOT to see the same kind of hate coming from the people I thought understood me.

              Yeah it's so bizarre, I think with any sort of group large or small there's bound to be things like this going on. It's a culture that should be celebrated. I'm not going to bog myself down in the details of GG and get fired up against people who are pro or anti. I'll just go and have a good time, and if I see anyone being a dick IRL I'll just remind them how to act like a human being.

          "..given that many pro-gamergate views come with a fairly sexist/misogynist/violent slant to them."

          Very witty.

          OH those poor dainty flowrers.

        He started the gamergate hashtag by tweeting links to YouTube videos promoting baseless conspiracy theories about Zoe Quinn, and has supported the movement since then. To the extent that there's a figurehead for the movement, he's it.

          "baseless" = "I refuse to believe this so it must not be true"

      He is a (accidental) founding member of what many to be a video game based, anti-woman hate group.

      I didn't know either, after a quick Google search found this;

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-18/keogh-like-it-or-not-supanova-popular-culture-is-political/6128572

        Cheers for actually posting an article that explains the reason people are pissed. Kotaku could learn a lot from this format.

      I'd like to know this too.

      From what I can gather it's something to do with gamergate and he's some kind of public face, but I really don't understand what the big fuss is all about.

      @markserrels, can we get an explanation to what Adam Baldwin did wrong? To me he was an actor in a short running but nevertheless cult sci-fi TV series and I would have thought his presence at Supanova would have been a big perk for them.

        He had different opinions. That what he's done wrong

          His "different opinions" include extreme sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. He deliberately encourages harassment of women online. He's a repulsive creep.

            Can you link to where he's deliberately encouraged harassment of women online, or extreme sexism or racism? These are common arguments in this issue but nobody has been able to provide evidence so far when asked. I'm trying to get a full picture of the issue and I take a dim view on "I don't have evidence but I'll tell everyone he did" responses.

            Last edited 22/02/15 8:11 am

              I don't know much about the guy but simply searching his name revealed a Twitter rant about how gay marriage is like incest.

              Apparently questions about GG are off topic for him too but he is seen as a figure head for certain people.

              Last edited 22/02/15 10:05 am

                I've seen comments from him that would be considered homophobic or transphobic, which is why I didn't ask about those. Making homophobic comments idoesn't justify throwing in false accusations on top just for fun though, which is why I want to see evidence for the other things people claim about him. Thus far I haven't seen any, and if it exists I'd genuinely like to review it.

            Yes please give us examples of the "extreme sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. He deliberately encourages harassment of women online." If you don't have the evidence then you are smearing someone just on the basis of rumors and innuendo, which really is not appropriate.

        He's the male Jenny McCarthy.

          Did he pose for Playgirl, get the award for being a naked man of the year then go into acting?

            Did he then convince people that vaccinating your children gives them a fate worse than death (that fate being 'contracting' autism), which is totally legitimate because some guy published a (later retracted) report confirming it (which cost him his medical license)?

            Last edited 23/02/15 12:50 am

              You forgot to mention the part where she hooked up with Dave Navarro. Should have been a sign right there ole' Jenny isn't playing with a full deck of cards ;)

        So what I gather from the explanation of this article is that the people that have decided not to go because of said changes are people that no one cares about?

        - Self righteous feminist/s
        - a unfunny comedian

        Cool.

          Not just them, Baldwin's voiced particularly distasteful ideas about women and transgendered people.

            - I strongly dislike Tones abbot and his views but I still live here.
            - I like themeparks but I dislike waiting in the long lines and the lack of sun shade, but I still go anyway.
            - I hate that mcdonalds is unhealthy but it tastes really good, so I still eat it.
            - The coffee that I drink probably has been made with some form of slave labour yet I still consume it on a daily basis.
            - I like a certain TV channel but I don't agree with the views and values of the networks CEO yet I still watch it because there are shows I like.
            - I own a Iphone and macbook pro but I don't like how apple treat their workers in China
            - I drive a VW amarock but I dislike how VW was pro nazi back in the war.

            - A guy said mean things about some values that I strongly believe in and is going to said convention, I'm still going to go because I enjoy it. Being trivial and deciding not to go is retarded in it's self.

            no one is going to genuinely care if you go or not.

            Put things into perspective and compare them to the grand scheme of things.

            Last edited 20/02/15 1:18 pm

              Created an account specifically to like this comment

                haha, thanks! was preparing myself for the imminent swarm of down votes

                  Nah you just got the usual white knights.

                  Last edited 20/02/15 5:22 pm

                  Pish posh, you'll just get a stream of rational individuals who are sick of both sides shouting at each other. Can I just like games? Is that ok?

              So what is grand enough to care about about to boycott, or oppose, in your opinion?

              Someone will care, it just won't be you.

                so in a few year's time are you going to remember back when that one person decided not to go because of said reasons, are you going to lay in bed late at night and think back to that day when that one guy/girl decided not to go and think what an amazing feat it was, "wow what a cool person" you will say as you fall into a dreamy sleep with a smile on your face.

                Will this person put such an awesome achievement of choosing not to go to supernova in his/her resume as lots of people care about this persons choices and values?

                So, yeah someone will care but it's not going to matter either way.

                Last edited 20/02/15 2:47 pm

              Agreed, we are talking about a pretty obscure celebrity going to a Pop Culture Convention - high up on the list of priorities it is not.

              But I think it's still valid to talk about how we deal with people who openly express and advocate the kinds of negative things that Baldwin does.

              I feel that it's less about simply disagreeing with that he says and more about genuinely being concerned that what he says has the potential to cause harm - on the extreme end, it could incite people who follow him.

              On the more individual and subtle side, I can see how the things he says and the behaviour he supports can make some people very uncomfortable, particularly vulnerable people.

              I'm not saying he needs to be banned or something - he is after all entitled to his opinion. But like I said, I think it's important for us to talk about these issues seriously, and about how they impact us and others in our community.

              Edit: Spelling & Grammar

              Last edited 20/02/15 2:47 pm

                Ok lets.
                How should we deal with people who disagree with us politically?

                I'm for more discussion and debate when we disagree with another person on a topic.
                But I think the solution to "bad" speech is more speech. (attributed to Mike Godwin)

              It's not about him going though. It's about the people they're afraid he'll attract.
              Conventions aren't fun if you have people harassing you. I went to my first supanova last year and had it ruined by a guy telling a girl that she wasn't a real fan of Batman and to leave the convention. People are worried that they will be abused.
              So it's not that they don't dislike him, it's that they're scared. They're scared of harassment and abuse and have decided that instead of risking it, they'll step out this year.

                But A-holes go to these things all the time. And him being there or not will probably not make a statistical difference in that.

                By people saying "i'm not going cos he's going, cos I will feel unsafe" is a really gross thing to say. It's kinda reverse bullying. Assuming that his 'followers' (really) are potential rapists. I mean seriously? I've been to supanova. There's tons of weirdos in those places already.

                Very, very emotive issue.

                  I wouldn't say it's reverse bullying. It's the fact that he has encouraged people to harass others. That's why they feel unsafe.
                  I know about unsavory types going to these things. It happened last year. It tends to go unnoticed, and no one does anything about it.
                  I think it's completely understandable to not want to go somewhere if you don't feel safe. They're not assuming that everyone's a rapist. They're feeling uncomfortable about him going and the sorts of followers he'll bring. The tea partist that I read further down actively encourages find and publishing address' of people. I wouldn't feel safe. There is enough creeps, do we really need to add more?

                  Yeah, but there's "A-holes attending" and "event putting chief A-hole on a pedestal and therefore tacitly endorsing his a-holeness"

              Yeah, but why should you care? There's no threat to you, nor are you a target of a subset of people, based on these decisions. If you want talk about perspective, try being a female cosplayer who's taken a stance against either Gaters or Baldwin's opinions. I bet you'd change your tune if you were facing the sustained level of harassment, abuse and threats to their safety that those people face...

                No, because playing the victim is fucking stupid. You DON'T get anywhere in this world by playing the victim and that's the cold truth of it all. You are only on this planet for so long, life is too short to worry about trivial thing, Ultimately it's their choice and outlook on their own lives that determine the outcome on these things. .

                Last edited 20/02/15 3:40 pm

                  Taking a stance and being harassed or threatened for it, is not playing the victim though. Actually being victimised is not "playing the victim".

                  Last edited 20/02/15 4:19 pm

                  Can you explain to me the difference between a petition to boycott Supanova unless Adam Baldwin I'd removed as a guest of honour, and a petition to boycott Mirror's Edge 2 unless Anita Sarkeesian is removed from the writing staff?

                  Only one of those seems to be considered "bullying." I bet you can't guess which one...

              Do you have any idea how economics works? If enough people don't come, Supanova's attendance is down and they learn a lesson.

                Yeah but that's not going to happen. Do you know how people work? Not everyone follows what happens on the internet.

                Last edited 20/02/15 3:43 pm

                And the lesson is "all gamers are leftists, and only leftists should ever be permitted at gamer events, because they need to be a left-wing echo chamber ostracizing all others or they'll get whiny".

                The first requirement for this to work will be: "All gamers are leftists".
                Is that true? No?
                Then the rest is irrelevant and attendance won't suffer by any measurable amount, and no lesson will (or will need to be) learned.

                Good luck with your hope that all (or even a large majority) or gamers are rabid left-wing social justice warriors. But I wouldn't wager too heavily on that outcome.

              Then you sir, are part of the problem, not the solution.

        Adam Baldwin is a crazy person. I liked him on Firefly, slightly less so in his other projects, but he's a shitheel. He's perhaps most known for Gamergate, but he has a lot of fingers in many conspiracy theory/right wing pies. He's tweeted some pretty racist and homophobic things from his official account, suggested that Obama is deliberately introducing ebola into the USA (he was also the one who coined #Obola), etc.

      Pro gamergate, check his page on Wikipedia for the full story

      Go to his twitter handle. He is quite the dick, this is apart from his massively fucked opinion on certain things such as gamergate/vaccinations.

      Adam Baldwin coined #gamergate and is one of its most prominent supporters. He's also a rabid Tea Partier, so his opinions on basically everything would be considered extreme right to most Australians, including appaling racism, homophobia and transphobia.

      Many people are uncomfortable with him, and with fans of him, being at the same event, because they have experience with that level of hate turning into very real threats to their safety. Supanova's prioritisation of those fans, over the people who would like to feel safe at their event, is the main issue here.

      Supanova's response is that they're being inclusive, but this isn't quite accurate - what they're doing is being permissive, which is not quite the same thing. You can't be inclusive and also safe, in the same way as being inclusive of rabid wolves is certainly good for the rabid wolves but makes everyone else you've locked in the convention centre less safe.

        Seriously?

        When has a fan ever felt unsafe at Supanova.... it's nerd heaven and everyone is glowing.

        People are just jumping on the gamergate bandwagon and hating him. I don't agree with his views but I have no problem with him being there and certainly wouldn't feel threatened by him or his super fans.

          Yes, seriously. Your experience at Supanova is not universal, because you do not experience moments where you're threatened just for being you.

            I really liked this summary by Brendan Keogh, who wrote the piece of The Drum that kind of set off the most recent powderkeg:

            https://twitter.com/BRKeogh/status/568607840811634688

            Are you saying that this has first hand happened to you or your friends or is this just some moral based thing that you think is happening?

            I'm not trying to say "I don't see any prejudice so how could it possibly happen to others". I'm saying, "Dude, I'm there and people are enjoying the shit out of this place. I can't imagine anyone feeling out of place or segregated for being themselves."

            It would obviously suck if this was happening but honestly, I'm not buying it.

              It really doesn't matter if you're buying it or not? Things like this is do happen fairly regularly, though usually, it doesn't become as serious a problem as this:
              http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/organisers-of-adelaides-comic-book-conventions-ban-sex-offender-timothy-scott-marshall-from-attending-their-events/story-fni6uo1m-1227211782347

              Much of the time it's pretty low key, and I know at Oz-Comicon in Adelaide, security had to exit several people off the venue in a non-public fashion. I know there were multiple ejections at Oz-Comicon in Melbourne for individuals posing as media, or following girls around and behaving indecently. Usually, it just ends there, but then you have guys like Mr. Marshall in the link above.

              Having worked for and at several entertainment venues for some time, I know they often have shit lists of patrons who may be considered to represent various threats, and often they're either denied entry to the venues, or are escorted off site immediately if identified. You may not see it happen often, if at all (as the policy(ies) is to discreetly exit them from area), but security is a major element of these events. It wouldn't be so, if things like this didn't happen.

              I have had female friends in costume groped and "fake geek girled" at conventions.

                Still not Adam Baldwins fault

                  The poster upthread (@fenix) said

                  When has a fan ever felt unsafe at Supanova

                  and

                  "Dude, I'm there and people are enjoying the shit out of this place. I can't imagine anyone feeling out of place or segregated for being themselves."

                  and I was providing two example where, yes, someone had felt unsafe at a supanova-type con (I can't remember the specific con, but it was either supanova or oz comic con)

                  I wasn't drawing a causal link, in this case, to Adam Baldwin, I was talking about the kind of culture that the people are fearing will be amplified by his presence.

                  @RazArtifice But why? What evidence is there that Adam Baldwin who attends thousands of these conventions where he does not "amplify" anything.

                  There is no evidence that what is being stated will happen and it's highly doubtful at an Australian Supanova!

                  I've been called racist and a bigot somehow this thread but no one has shown me any evidence that a seasoned convention attendee like Baldwin will inflame anything.

                  Did you know when a Firefly con was cancelled in 2007 he still attended and met fans in the hotel bar for beers??? No politics, none of this faux outrage bull shit...

                  I don't agree with his stance on things, but I hate more this SJW bullshit to exclude anything they don't believe in.

                  This whole thing is bullshit and people should be ashamed.

                  @mypetmonkey and I'm just asking you to put yourself in the mindset of someone who perhaps doesn't feel as safe in these sorts of spaces as me or (perhaps) you (I'm not going to make assumptions about you here).

                  Sure, there is no absolutely 100% definite link between "Adam Baldwin is coming to Supanova" and "People in specific groups are going to get harassed at Supanova." That said, Baldwin has been, recently, part of a group that has (whether you think they have valid points or not) harassed and threatened (among others) women in the games industry.

                  Baldwin may come and be the model convention guest and not mention anything about any of the groups he has repeatedly denigrated on social media, but the concern is that by giving him a platform, you invite in a group that will not show the same restraint. For many people, they will feel more secure in knowing that the people running a convention won't tolerate that kind of behaviour, but it's very hard for people to understand that when on one hand they're trying to say "this convention is safe for everyone" and on the other they're inviting someone who has gone out of his way to target people in traditionally repressed groups. For that reason, many people would rather not risk it, and also disagree with Supanova's stance, so are voting with their wallets, which is well within their right.

                  and frankly, dismissing genuine concern as "SJW bullshit" is a little dismissive. You may not see this as a big deal, or think people are overreacting, but especially if you're in a group that has been harassed it's pretty damn upsetting to think that there's a possibility that you'll go to what should be a super fun event only to be harrassed.

                  I'm lucky- I'm not in a group that's easy to be made to feel unwelcome. I'm a straight white male in a society that's exceedingly good to my demographic. I'd love nothing more than for everyone to have the opportunities and experiences that I get being in this social class, but I know that changing any of those parameters instantly makes things more difficult. That's my privilege. The best thing I can do is be alert for when my privilege is blinding me to the experience of others, to examine when my default assumptions about how things work are based on my experiences alone, to recognise that the experience of others is not the same, to recognise that the nature of some of those advatages I get is systemic and ingrained, and to do my damnedest to ensure that others get the same opportunities as me, even if that opportunity is just "to have a nice day out at a convention." If that makes me a social justice warrior, I'll wear that label with pride.

                  @redartifice but surely we can't accommodate for everyone's sometimes irrational fears. I'll stick to the fact that Adam Baldwin doesn't bring a history of anything that the people who denigrate him actually accuse him of. Bringing up past grievances of harassment when Baldwin wasn't there hardly makes him a catalyst.

                  Has Baldwin really been part of the millions of #gamergate tweets? Not really. He's just the biggest target for one side. He's got opinions, but so do we all and i'll stick with my opinion is that when you don't agree with someones opinion then you disagree but you can't ban and abolish intolerance with intolerance.

                  There is no "platform" he has already said it's not the place for political or spiritual views. He's there as an actor to meet fans of a show, something he cares about probably more. But so far we've been a bunch of hypocritical arseholes.

                  Someone today linked an article about a registered sex offender being banned from Supanova and that's to be applauded, that person has committed actual crimes. Having an opinion other than your own is still (thankfully) not a crime. You can't cater for everyone's insecurities otherwise dogs and cats would be extinct (I agree with cats though, those inconsiderate lil fucks of an animal).

                  It is SJW hyperbolic bullshit, no one has yet mentioned where Adam Baldwin appearing has incited any of the imaginary crimes held against him! Because it hasn't happened. Adam Baldwin shouldn't be burdened with the gravitas of other peoples actions anyway.

                  Please don't bring race into it, especially white-shaming. It does nothing for the argument. Humanity is racist not just white people, don't pass the buck. On top of that race doesn't mean squat when we're talking about when Adam Baldwin attends a convention. It's a deflection and that's all.

                  But what would I know? Apparently I should be ashamed i'm white and am the most childish bigot on these forums. If that's what it takes to show the hypocrisy of this whole thing then so be it.

                  I will still laugh at people pushing for inclusion of all by pushing for exclusion of those they disagree with.

                  And I say that with the utmost respect of those on these forums.

                  Last edited 21/02/15 12:27 am

                  Baldwin has been part of tweeting about gamergate, that's really not in dispute. A cursory read of his twitter feed will confirm that, and he has made several statements there even in the last 24 hours that could be seen as discriminatory. I think calling him a target presents a false equivalence between the way that sides of the "debate" have been conducted, but that's a seperate issue that I'm really not going to rehash or dig into here.

                  As I said upthread, Baldwin may be, and I'm sure will be, a model convention guest. Still, by inviting him, and then when concerns about his views and potential audience were raised - concerns you may consider hyperbolic, or overstated, but still deeply held by people - Supanova has appeared dismissive and in some ways gone on the attack. Understandably, this has put people offside. and once again they can vote with their wallet and, again, reasonably ask Supanova to make changes.

                  Also, I'm not "white-shaming," I'm pointing out that within this social context I have a degree of privilege. You'll notice I was referring to myself in that statement, as I don't know your circumstance. Within other societies, I may not have the same benefits. My point was is that I can recognise that (within the social context I'm in) I have a degree of privilege, and attempt to address that. Many people in this thread may not recognise that. At least that's my read on several of the comments here.

                  And that's about all I want to say on this matter. You can do what you like with what I've attempted to discuss with you here. Dismiss me, or disagree with me as you see fit. This is how I feel though, and if I lived in sydney I'd probably not go to Supanova. I'd spend my money elsewhere.

                  As is my right, as yours is to go there too.

                  Tweeting a hashtag doesn't incite people to harass women... none of the "even the recent ones" actually do that at all. Again you are concocting phantoms to create an argument.

                  You are still arguing that there should be a checklist of opinions that is required prior to an attending or being invited to an "all inclusive" conference. You can't have all inclusive if you exclude. They are polar opposites of each other. Some people think the government are run by lizard people... It's still not bloody well true! If they are that fragile that they think that someone that does not hold the same opinion as them attending means Armageddon then attending a public event is probably not for them and quite possibly a psychiatrist would be more appropriate next stop.

                  Deeply held or not it's still false. Adam Baldwin is not leaving in his wake a trail of sexual harassment destruction convention upon convention. You cannot deny that. Therefore, it's hyperbolic. This whole thing crushes the notion of free speech.... "It's free as long as you agree with me!"

                  Race regardless has nothing to do with this Adam Baldwin attending Supanova... At all... Ever...

                  I wouldn't go to Supanova either, it appears to be full of judgmental arseholes claiming to be all inclusive but then trying desperately to exclude people of political and religious leanings.

                  Thankyou @mypetmonkey, you've nailed the essence of what I was trying to say.
                  @redartifice I was referring to Baldwin specifically, but yes I can imagine there would have been pervs since the first supanova (let's face it pervs have been around forever, so it was bound to happen).

                  I won't chime in anymore because we're all going around in circles. Me and monkeys views are what they are and so are Raz's, happy to agree to disagree.

                  I'm glad the rage was kept to a minimum because it shows that even though we don't see eye to eye on the baldwin situation we have the fortitude to talk things out rationally (with a bit of fire :)).

                  I'll probably be at supanova soaking in all there is to offer (lets face it, mainly pinball) and if I see some piece of shit being an overt pervert, I'll point them out to security and hopefully have them escorted out the front doors :)

                By Adam Baldwin?

                I have been fake geek girled at PAX.

          You've obviously never cosplayed.
          Most people are lovely, but there is a minority that is causing a problem. Last year a guy was going around filming women and then asking to kiss them on the cheek. He ended up kissing one girl on the lips, seriously ruining her supanova. You're probably thinking, what's the big deal, it's just a kiss? Not when you feel violated.

            "You're probably thinking, what's the big deal, it's just a kiss? Not when you feel violated."

            That scenario is 100% gross and uncalled for, the guy should have been escorted out and banned on the spot.

              And it still wasn't Adam Baldwin

                The point isn't that Adam Baldwin is doing these things, it's that he's actively encouraging this type of behaviour, so people are worried that with him there, some of his more zealous supporters will try things like this.

                  Regardless of if he's there or not, this stuff is going to happen. I don't think people are going to turn into crazed hyped up pervs just because he's there.

                  "he's actively encouraging this type of behaviour"

                  HORRIBLE: show me where he does this and we can press charges against him for harassment under US law.

                  Come on, you clearly stated he is ACTIVELY ENCOURAGING this behavior.
                  A couple links and we can really put this to rest.

                  Actively and openly encouraging criminal sexual harassment is terrible; and in fact criminal in the US (where he is) so we can have him prosecuted and at the very least fined for such behavior.

                  All we need is evidence of your claim. I can't seem to find any evidence to support this, but you must have it... right?

                  Or did you make this up and hope nobody would call you on your bullsh*t?

      Yeah i'm with Troguel on this one, no idea what the fuss is lol

      He was the first twitter user to use #gamergate apparently. He used it to link two Internet Aristocrat videos.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/adam-baldwin-gay-marriage_n_4846727.html among other things.

      He's apparently going to get an army of rapists to attend according to people who dress up in sexually evocative clothing who are against the sexualisation of women in gaming and pop culture....

      But 99.9999999999999999% would probably turn up because he was Firefly...

        Ahh yes. The kind of people that beat girls up in toilets and "level up". ;)

        Actually, the majority of people who "dress up in sexually evocative clothing", as you so quaintly put it, would probably go to heckle his arse. It'd be interesting to see if that happens.

          That would be more likely than an army of rapist and sexual deviants arriving.

            ...and you were complaining about hyperbole. How ironic.

              I'm not saying that.... It's what people are "fearful about".

              Adam Baldwin incites sex offenders... except he doesn't.

      The writers of these articles need to stop making assumptions about what is common knowledge.

      Well, the Supanova appearance went off without a hitch, despite the scaremongering...

    Edit: I probably shouldn't have said anything.

    Last edited 20/02/15 7:17 pm

      Maybe she could see if Armageddon needs volunteers? That way she can still work at a con but not support Supanova? I have friends who volunteer there, I can see if they need anyone, and I'd say someone like your friend with experience would be sought after if they do, too.

        If she's not already volunteering at Armageddon, which I'd imagine she already does.

        Last edited 20/02/15 2:32 pm

          That's true. Either way, if she wants me to find out, feel free to let me know. :)

    This is why boycotting matters. The two tickets I was going to buy? Eh. Small potatoes.

    If everyone who disagrees with a corporation's business practices decides to stop financially supporting them? Big, expensive potatoes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement#Controversy

    "Tea Party members posted the home address of their opponents and encouraged readers to 'drop by' to express their anger at them"

    "it's not civil discourse, it's an invitation to intimidation..."

    "the movement tried to cotain the damage by denouncing and distancing themselves from those behind the acts"

    Remind you of anybody?

    I can't stand cons regardless. They don't care who you are there to see or how you dress up. They want to sell you pointless crap and that's it.

    Supernova should have been aware of something like this and they did not do their due diligence.

    Temper your thoughts and feelings - and yes, your politics - and put yourself in the shoes of somebody else.

    That is what this about, personal safety for all.

      Tea party members did something bad, and Baldwin is a tea party member?

      He's GUILTY!

      We'll round him up, but first we need to round up every Muslim, as they're all terrorists by the same logic.

      But once we're done rounding up every Muslim for guilt by association; we'll get to arresting Baldwin for the same crime.

      What groups are YOU a member of?
      Just so we can save time and make sure you're not one we need to round up as well.

    Good. The kind of people that would boycott an event for something one guest said are the kind that I don't want there anyway. The rational people can still go, avoid anyone they don't want to see, and have a good time.

    Yes just what we need, the culture wars infecting pop-culture expos.

    Wanting to exclude people to be more inclusive. Something doesn't add up right

      Agreed - Baffled by the trivial matters here - you can avoid seeing 1 person out of thousands at Supanova.

      If you don't like someone or don't agree with them - ignore them and move on, they will eventually fade away into nothingness don't go hurting the thousands of people wanting to attend the event by stirring this pot of nonsense (in no way am I advocating for who this guy is or what he's done but it's most certainly hasn't locked him up in jail so calm your farms?)

      *Wontsomebodypleasethinkofthechildren* -_-"

        That's fine on an individual level, particularly from a privileged position. But unfortunately a lot of the people that Baldwin has actually come out against (women, LGBT) are in the minority, and often aren't in a position to easily defend themselves.

        By allowing someone who has voiced some seriously hostile sentiments onto their stage, Supanova is ignoring the legitimate concerns that vulnerable members of their community may have.

          They are at a convention for nerds. Do you really think knuckle dragging gamerbros are going to swarn in because of Adam Baldwin and start harassing random people?

            I think for the people who are choosing to boycott, it may be less about what they think will happen and more about the feeling of what could happen. This all coming off the back of some ugly online harassment, it's not completely unreasonable to think it's within the realm of possibility. Remote, but not impossible.

          #notmyshield

          No need for a white knight.

      But if Baldwin's stance on feminism and other issues has been explicitly exclusionary, what message does that send about this event?

      If he had said, "I disagree with Feminism, but I accept that people have the right to their own opinions" that would be alright. But he's made some really terrible comments about women that are shockingly exclusionary.

      For a lot of people, it's not a boycott because they disagree with him. It's a boycott because the things he says and the position he advocates threatens them personally.

      Take his comments regarding Trans people, and imagine you're a young person struggling with that issue. If you go to the event and you see him, you'll know that there is someone who, by their own words, thinks you are an abomination. That is not inclusive.

        The only way to see him would be to line up for his photo session or to line up for his talk session. You are as likely to stumble across him on the floor as you would be to bump into him at the airport.

        I can see people not wanting to attend, but organising a boycott or picketing the place seems a stretch. He is a pop culture identity and has agreed to be there only to talk/represent his roles, status, etc. as an actor in a bunch of popular films and TV shows. Some people will be keen to see him and be able to separate the character from the person and enjoy finding out about what it was like to be in a certain film or TV show.
        I love his characters, but from what I have read, would not like the man (to say the least), but just like Alan Jones or John Laws or other people that turn my stomach, I don't think it is right to stop them appearing at events. If you don't want to go, don't go.
        Conventions are fun, people put a lot of effort into costumes, and it is a very friendly, open and accepting atmosphere, having an actor give a session who isn't friendly, open and accepting to certain sectors of society is perhaps not in the spirit of the event, but if they aren't there with that agenda, it is hard to see how you could exclude them without effectively becoming the thing you purport to hate.

          True, he is there as a Pop Culture icon, and you need to go into the talk to see him. But I do think it's important for us to consider the reasons people would choose not to go to or support Supanova. Right or wrong, we only grow as a community by talking about these issues together. Dismissing peoples concerns and saying, "Fine, don't go" kind of just says that we don't care.

          Last edited 20/02/15 2:49 pm

            Not at all, I think it is fine to voice why you aren't going, but I think that say picketting the entrance or staging a protest out the front is counterproductive.
            By all means setup a website, state opinions, let others know why one doesn't like the man and take a stand on issues. I am clearly fall inside some of his 'targets', but I'm not going to miss out on an event I enjoy each year because he is going to be there. I can also still appreciate his work as an actor, even though I couldn't stomach the guy personally. The list of artists that have horribly offensive views is huge (from the Foo-Fighters and their AIDS denial stance, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCFPwbt6uzA , Leonard Cohen's love of guns and support for bombing nations to George Bernard Shaw's support of eugenics), so the list of people you couldn't invite to an event would be very, very long.

            So from my point of view, I'm voicing my opinion to Supanova directly in a letter, but I am also going, as why let a deekhead ruin my day? I feel (and again, this is just my opinion) that by not going, I have let someone actually oppress me, i.e. that I have missed out/changed my lifestyle because of their misguided opinions/hatreds, so why let that happen?

              Yeah, it's definitely important to modulate our response to things like this depending on the situation. Slipper slopes and all that.

              And respect to you for also articulating that you disagree with the situation, but won't let it dictate your response. Of course it also doesn't discredit anyone else's choice not to attend.

          people boycotting the show are missing their chance to flip him the bird in real life.

          "If you don't want to go, don't go"

          That is basically the definition of a boycott

            No, it's the definition of not going. Boycotts are about punishment.

    I'm pretty left wing and I think Adam Baldwin is an idiot, but the fact that he's an idiot shouldn't bare him from attending events that are dedicated to an industry he is a part of. He's already said he won't be talking politics there because he doesn't feel it's the place to do so, which is a far more mature responce than most of his detractors have been giving.

    Additionally, I'd hate to see the industry (that is the general nerd/pop culture industry, not just gaming) turn into such a hostile place where people aren't allowed to be part of the culture if their political beliefs don't align to a stringent set of requirements.

      Hmm. He's not actually being barred, however; those who are uncomfortable around him are voting with their wallets as a response. Not sure that his responses to the articles (and some of the writers) around Supanova have been all that "mature", either; he's been pretty aggressive pre-event, no matter how much he may have put out a carefully worded PR statement about his behaviour at the convention itself. He is, naturally, free to express himself however he likes on Twitter, as are folks to not pay money to an organisation that funds him.

      Actually, it strikes me that the Firefly panel could be all sorts of interesting; you've got Nathan Fillion, who's apparently pretty close to Felicia Day (doxxed by GG), and Morena Baccarin, who's both publicly said she can't quite deal with Adam, but may hit a scheduling conflict anyway, having just apparently landed the female lead role in Deadpool, which shoots around the same time.

        I take it her distaste for him came about after the show had filmed? The chemistry of the whole cast was pretty amazing. Although her character did have a certain distaste for him anyway.

        If I recall correctly, her character was recast on the first day as the previous actress didn't fit with the rest of the cast.

          There's this thing called acting?

          But that aside, yeah, it seems to be a more recent thing: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=279723698776735&id=113077755441331