Comic-Con attendees ask convention to address sexual harrassment

BY SAMANTHA COSTANZO
Posted on DEC 11, 2018

Comic-Con, the annual San Diego convention celebrating geek culture, is facing up to the realities of operating in a #MeToo world.

Comic-Con, the annual San Diego convention celebrating geek culture, is facing up to the realities of operating in a #MeToo world, NBC News reported.

In recent years, perennial Comic-Con panelists -- including Chris Hardwick, Harry Knowles, and "Honest Trailers" creator Andy Signore -- have removed themselves from the convention amid allegations of sexual misconduct against them.
"I don't think any convention has historically been a safe or inviting space for women," says Cher Martinetti, the managing editor ofSYFY Wire's Fangrrlssite.

According to Comic-Con's code of conduct, which representatives say was designed to be a comprehensive measure, attendees are expected to "respect commonsense rules for public behavior ... harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated."

In recent years, attendees have asked for more.

A group called Geeks for CONsent petitioned for a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con in 2014, requesting that the relatively vague policy in place now be strengthened. However, the policy has remained unchanged since 2014.

Other conventions and industry gatherings, including the Sundance Film Festival, have updated harassment policies and even set up hotlines for attendees to report harassment.

Representatives from San Diego Comic-Con declined to comment on its policy but said that the convention works with the San Diego Police Department and private security companies to ensure safety.

Many women in the industry, including Martinetti, have expressed often cautious optimism about the future of conventions.

"There is so much focus on it that the #MeToo and Time's Up movement can't be ignored," said Alicia Malone, a TCM host and Fandango correspondent. "I'm so optimistic, more than ever.

 

 

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