San Diego Comic Con responds: by refusing to improve their policies!

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SDCC’s spokesperson, David Glanzer, responded to our petition so flippantly it is clear he didn’t even read it! In Glanzer’s full response, he makes it clear that SDCC is refusing to post signs about the harassment policy because they don’t want bad press to result. They will not make their policy more specific. They have not committed to train their volunteers. They have not outlined ANY plans for actually enforcing their vague policy.

As an illustration of how far away SDCC currently is from having a specific, comprehensive policy, combined with adequate volunteer training, check out this vague excerpt from SDCC’s 2013 volunteer training manual:

All harassment complaints should be documented in writing and submitted within twenty-four (24) hours, or as soon as it is possible. All submitted complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken. The investigation will be as objective and complete as reasonably possible. Upon completion of the investigation, a determination will be made and the results will be communicated to the complainant, the alleged harasser and, as appropriate, to all others directly concerned. If inappropriate conduct is proven, prompt and effective remedial action will be taken. You must submit any reports of harassment in writing within 24 hours and wait an undetermined amount of time to see if they decide you have sufficiently proven that something bad happened. Then they will take unspecified “appropriate action”. 

This is nowhere near good enough. The Mary Sue breaks down exactly how Glanzer’s response to our petition is not only inaccurate, but completely insufficient.

Glanzer’s response makes it clear that they care more about press and publicity than making the largest convention in the world a safe, inclusive space. Tell them this blatant disrespect of the concerns and desires of their patrons is what will give them bad press. Our safety, and the integrity of our geek community, will not be protected unless we stand up for what we know is right, and hold Glanzer and the convention accountable for their policies. Contact local press and conventions, use social media to keep up the pressure, and join us in July to vocally demand better from them as a leading convention.

When tweeting the petition to media contacts, use these twitter handles: @fox5sandiego, @10news, @abcsandiego, @bleedingcool and the #CONsent hashtag. And check out the feeds of @JillPantozi and @DCwomenkickingass breaking down how SDCC’s weapons and pet policies are WAY more specific than their anti harassment policy.

Thank you for joining us in this fight!

The GeeksForCONsent Team

It’s time to hold San Diego Comic Con accountable for the harassment and groping that happens every year!

The above video illustrates examples of cosplayer harassment and the effects it has on making people feel unsafe in convention spaces, to the point of avoiding certain conventions, choosing not to dress as their favorite characters, or only feeling safe when they bring cis-male companions as a sort of shield at the conventions. Enough is enough – it is time for the major conventions to follow the example being set by smaller conventions — creating and publicizing thorough anti-harassment policies, having educational and zero tolerance posters throughout the convention, trained staff who will appropriately handle reports of harassment, and effective internal procedures for being sure the appropriate actions are taken when a convention guest is engaging in this offensive and exclusive behavior.

GeeksForCONsent has emailed San Diego Comic Con staff multiple times about their insufficient anti-harassment efforts, but has received no response. Today, GeeksForCONsent launched a petition demanding that San Diego Comic con create and enforce a thorough anti-harassment policy, train its volunteers to adequately respond when people report harassment, and have designated staff who can guide con-goers through the process of reporting the harassment.

Ways You Can Help:

  • Sign the Change.org Petition here.
  • Share the petition on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to tag Comic-Con International on Facebook, and @Comic_Con on Twitter.
  • If you’ve experienced harassment at conventions, share your story at GeeksForCONsent to help spread the word about the types of harassment people experience, and how widespread the problem is.
  • Join our team at the actual convention, July 23-26. We will be personally delivering the petition and spreading the word about San Diego Comic Con’s insufficient response to harassment and groping at their convention. Email us at GeeksForCONsent@gmail.com or tweet at us @GeeksForCONSent for more details!