by AJ Adejare
MomoCon usually is a good convention that has a lot of things going on, whether it’s panels or announcements. However, for some Cosplayers their con experience was not all positive. Otageeku reports that Cosplayer Luna Lanie experience harassment at the convention from multiple guests and when coming from a meeting with the staffers about the incident, she then had a string of harassing comments from the security. Lanie then went to social media websites Facebook and Twitter, explaining the events that happened to her. She directed these messages at MomoCon, in particular their twitter but the convention did not respond promptly to said tweets.
Jessica Merriman, the founder and co-chair of MomoCon, on behalf of the convention contacted Otageeku when requesting a responce, apologizing for the silence, and detailed the situation at hand. The convention stated that they did contact Laine, offering her a direct line to the co-chair Chris Stuckey, as well as explained the meeting held in regards to the cosplay policies. The convention details what happened after the discussion:
While her attire that day violated our dress code, Chris did not mention it during the meeting because he recognized this would be victim-blaming. The cosplayer says when she left the meeting and returned to the convention some team of security, who would have been unaware of the situation as Chris did not mention her attire to anyone, rudely said her costume did not meet the guidelines. We have been unable to confirm this, but are still actively attempting to find the involved person(s) in order to ensure they are no longer affiliated with MomoCon.
The convention once again apologized for the happening and will do their best to find the people who made these comments and to make sure that they will “no longer affiliated with MomoCon“.
They finally summed up their plan of action:
Moving forward, we will clearly and delicately communicate dress code violations in addition to continue to increase the amount of law enforcement and hired security on site. As MomoCon continues to grow we will do whatever is necessary to increase awareness among the general public that cosplay is not consent
This issue is very delicate. While conventions have policies to enforce for cosplay, a lot of these policies come from societal norms. As such, things such as cosplay attire tend to affect women more so than men which leads to scenarios such as above. With that said, it is good that MomoCon is working to be proactive on this event. While some of their ways of handling could improve, they’re learning and working to change their methods to protect cosplayers and create a better environment for them.
Read the full statement as well as more information from Otageeku.