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(io9)   Not news: A Sci-Fi convention is cancelled. News: Because the hotel didn't agree to the convention's anti-harassment policy. FARK: The hotel staff called the attendees "costumed freaks"   (observationdeck.io9.com) divider line 39
    More: Asinine, science fiction convention, hotel staff, harassment  
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4167 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jan 2014 at 2:34 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-01-15 03:31:49 PM  
4 votes:

meathome: redsquid: Oh no! He called me a name- kick him out!
So SF stands for "snow flake' now?

It's more about, "they wanted to give us money, he/she insulted them so they went to the considerable time/expense of dissolving their contract with us and cost us $100,00 up front, and probably quite a bit more than from cancelled hotel reservations, etc.  Now it's public.  Fire him/her."

I can't blame the convention (if it's true).  Unless I'm in a Montey Python skit, I don't normally pay to be insulted by the staff.  If they feel the need to do so, then I and my $ will go somewhere else.


You ever notice that the biggest assholes think that they have the right to insult people without any repercussion, and when a person retaliates against being insulted the asshole will claim something is wrong with the person for retaliating.
2014-01-15 01:27:46 PM  
4 votes:
I know nothing about these folks except that there are a lot of them. That's gonna be an expensive cancellation.
2014-01-15 03:19:06 PM  
3 votes:

ongbok: Too bad most o the women attending those conventions don't look like that, or the women that are featured in the pictures from the conventions that show up on the internet. Most of the women at those conventions are about 20-30 pounds, or more, heavier and trying to squeeze into a costume the size of the one the girl in your picture is wearing.


Awww, you might have to see an "uggo" at all those SciFi conventions you don't go to.

Grow the fark up.
2014-01-15 03:11:23 PM  
3 votes:
Yeah, you know what? If a business can't respect its customers, it doesn't deserve the business. Any service industry job I held, I would have gotten fired for calling the customers freaks. Go somewhere where you guys will at least get treated like customers, fark this shiat-ass hotel.
2014-01-15 02:40:28 PM  
3 votes:
So many other nice hotels suck it up and deal with us "costume freaks" for conventions. Hell, most of them welcome us nerds and our money (many of us have lots of money). I go to DragonCon every year, and pretty much the entirety of downtown Atlanta welcomes the con attendees. I know one of the offsite hotels throws their guests a goddamned barbecue, because they're happy to be full up for 4 or 5 nights. And this is definitely not a Westin thing... I've stayed in the Westin in Atlanta during con. they did everything they could to make my stay even better. The local Westin in my city is hosting a Doctor Who con in June.

So yeah... someone is gonna lose his job over this. Good.

/can I have it please...
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-15 02:03:39 PM  
3 votes:
Seems to be a win-win situation. The hotel is better off without the demanding freaks and the freaks are better off without the uptight hotel.

The article reminds me of a type of person who used to pop up in book related discussions. He/she would complain that he/she liked to go into bookstores, grab a book, and read. Eventually the staff would tire of this and make a request like, buy something if you're going to sit here all day. The browser would get outraged, return the book to the shelf, walk out, and NEVER GO BACK. Each thought the other had been taught a lesson and lost the exchange. Win-win.

(For you younger Farkers, bookstores used to be places you could go to find bound paper versions of books. Like modern bookstores, they often allowed patrons to read excerpts of books before buying the whole thing.)
2014-01-15 01:57:49 PM  
3 votes:
Let's be honest here - those sci-fi conventions scare most of us.
2014-01-15 01:38:38 PM  
3 votes:
So the hotel lost $100,000 in business, and another hotel will get it.

What's the problem, again?
Ant
2014-01-15 03:50:34 PM  
2 votes:

insertsnarkyusername: What exactly was the hotel's duties in the harassment policy? It didn't seem very clear. It kind of seems like they wanted to be able to use hotel security every time someone got their feelings hurt?


They just wanted to be able to kick out people who were making the con miserable for others. I don't see a problem. Keep your asshole comments to yourself and/or don't be a lecherous creep. Is that really so difficult?
2014-01-15 03:39:49 PM  
2 votes:

Ant: ongbok: Most of the women at those conventions are about 20-30 pounds, or more, heavier and trying to squeeze into a costume the size of the one the girl in your picture is wearing.

OMG! They should be banned from showing themselves in public! They should live in shame!


Fat people should live in shame, even if we can't ban them from showing themselves in public.   However, the original point was not that, but that the pictures of professional models that losers put up in these threads is not exactly representative of the type of person who would actually be at the cons for something other than a paycheck.
2014-01-15 03:28:17 PM  
2 votes:

redsquid: Oh no! He called me a name- kick him out!
So SF stands for "snow flake' now?


It's more about, "they wanted to give us money, he/she insulted them so they went to the considerable time/expense of dissolving their contract with us and cost us $100,00 up front, and probably quite a bit more than from cancelled hotel reservations, etc.  Now it's public.  Fire him/her."

I can't blame the convention (if it's true).  Unless I'm in a Montey Python skit, I don't normally pay to be insulted by the staff.  If they feel the need to do so, then I and my $ will go somewhere else.
2014-01-15 03:25:25 PM  
2 votes:

harlock: Also, something that is worth mentioning is that in most cases, SciFi cons fill up hotels on otherwise dead weekends where there would be nothing else.   So they are likely losing that money in its entirety, it won't be replaced by another event.


And the linked article said an expected 2,000 to 3,000 attendees. With a (very) conservative outlay of $200 per attendee, there would have to be some head rolling for this one.
2014-01-15 03:13:04 PM  
2 votes:
The last time I stayed at the convention center Hyatt in Seattle there was an anime convention that took place shortly after I arrived. For some reason there was a contingent of furries, so yes costumed freaks. It's bad when even the nerdiest 16 year old dressed as an obscure character is talking about how those people are making all of the "regular" cosplayers look bad.
2014-01-15 02:46:04 PM  
2 votes:
Also, something that is worth mentioning is that in most cases, SciFi cons fill up hotels on otherwise dead weekends where there would be nothing else.   So they are likely losing that money in its entirety, it won't be replaced by another event.
2014-01-15 06:21:59 PM  
1 votes:

flondrix: Perception is not reality.  The SF congoers may look weird, but the Shriners do far more damage and illegal activity.


This.

A group of people who often times spent much of their lives being shiat on by others, make other outsiders their family, and in general are very accepting of those outside of the "norm" take events like this to let loose with like minded people. They're there to have fun with others and since they don't spend their lives making trouble this non-trouble making continues to their fun times. I've never seen scifi/anime con goers be shait-heads in general. The worst you'll get are thousand-yard stares.
2014-01-15 06:14:30 PM  
1 votes:

tillerman35: I've never been to a hotel and had the check-in clerk say "we apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused by the insurance agents' convention that's going on during your stay." I've heard apologies for the sci-fi/comic-book/whatever conventions going on plenty of times.


Perception is not reality.  The SF congoers may look weird, but the Shriners do far more damage and illegal activity.
2014-01-15 05:43:06 PM  
1 votes:

rjakobi: As Ashkuyun mentioned above, business conventions are way more destructive and less willing to pay for damages.  I think this is partially image-related, and partially entitlement. A bunch of geeks and nerds are generally much more considerate with the staff and space, even though they look wild.

This.

Business conventions may smell less of body odor and shattered dreams, but when it comes to drunken rampages and property damage, it's business conventions hands-down.

Though now I'm curious which comicon that tillerman35 had run afoul of.


It's not just business conventions, either.  There's a small sci-fi convention in Silicon Valley on Memorial Day weekend that always ends up sharing hotel space with a Catholic Charisma convention.  The sci-fi convention has never had issues with underage drinking, but I can't say the same about the Catholic Charisma convention.

Although my favorite story about simultaneous conventions has to be from about a year ago, when the San Jose Convention Center hosted a volleyball convention and a furry convention on the same weekend.
2014-01-15 04:42:39 PM  
1 votes:
This reminds me of the reason that Battlestar Galactica wasn't revived in 1995, it was revived in 2003.

Seriously.

In 1993 science fiction on TV was undergoing something of a revival.  The most famous shows of that era were Deep Space 9 and Babylon 5, but there were several dozen other less famous shows which came and went as well.  FOX wanted a sci-fi action-adventure series, with lots of spaceships and fighting and stuff blowing up and big heroes.

Well, Richard Hatch, the guy who played Apollo on the old Battlestar Galactica (and played Tom Zarek in the new one) had been trying for years to get the show revived.  He even funded a promo/trailer out of his own pocket for the effort.  He'd been shopping this idea of a BSG revival series around, and FOX was interested.

There was a catch.  They would have to pay money to get the rights to BSG, while developing their own show from scratch was free.  FOX would need to be convinced that there were enough fans and support for Galactica to warrant paying for a revival instead of a new show.

Well, the 15th anniversary Battlestar Galactica convention was being held at the Universal City Hilton in Los Angeles in October.  It would be a perfect place to show the executives that Galactica wasn't forgotten and that a revival would get instant fans.  Word went out in the sci-fi community that if you loved BSG, this was THE con to go to, because FOX executives would be there to test the waters for a revival.  If they liked what they saw from fan response, a new show was very likely.

Well, there's a reason that Galactica wasn't revived in the 1990's.  An executive in the Hilton chain was getting married that weekend, and to save money on renting a venue, he was using one of that chain's hotels for his wedding and reception. . .the Universal City Hilton.  He didn't want a bunch of "costume freaks" running around, so on his authority, he ordered the hotel to sabotage the convention.  They didn't cancel on the organizers, they kept their money. . .but anybody who said they were there for the con, was told their reservation was lost, or the convention was cancelled, and turned away.  They even turned away some of the invited guests, who were cast members of the old series.

One guest, Dirk Benedict (i.e.old Starbuck) was turned away and was walking out the door when he saw a fan in costume walking around and came up to him to find out what was happening, and found the con that way.

Basically the bulk of the congoers were shooed away by the hotel.  By the time the FOX executives showed up, the convention had a pathetic, anemic turnout of a small fraction of the pre-registrations they had.  FOX was unimpressed and the revival was dead.

FOX created their own space adventure series to fill their demand: Space: Above and Beyond.

. . .and the revival wouldn't get underway for another decade.

Eventually, after word of this got around and a number of complaints and angry letters from fans, an apology letter was printed in Starlog magazine from the Hilton chain about the incident.
2014-01-15 04:37:36 PM  
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: pxlboy: Ant: insertsnarkyusername: What exactly was the hotel's duties in the harassment policy? It didn't seem very clear. It kind of seems like they wanted to be able to use hotel security every time someone got their feelings hurt?

They just wanted to be able to kick out people who were making the con miserable for others. I don't see a problem. Keep your asshole comments to yourself and/or don't be a lecherous creep. Is that really so difficult?

For some people, it is.


yep,
[img62.imageshack.us image 480x270]


FYI that's Jessica Nigri. She does cosplay and conventions for a living. She probably has had to deal with perverts and creeps on a scale I can't imagine. I would pay cash money to find out what would make her react that way.


It's a joke. The concept of "hover hand: is when awkward geeks try to get their picture taken with celebrities/girls in cosplay, but are shy/awkward about where to put their hand so it hovers just around the shoulder of the person whose picture they want. The picture posted is one that's been staged where the guy told her about "hover hand" and they exaggerated it for comedic effect.

/make checks payable to Dr. Hunk Steadman...I have a tax thing....
2014-01-15 04:10:34 PM  
1 votes:

AspectRatio: Oh, no! The most materially privileged social demographic in history is being oppressed again!


Choosing to spend money at a different hotel because an employee insulted you at the original isn't oppression, and aside from what you wrote, no one is claiming that they're being oppressed.
2014-01-15 04:09:34 PM  
1 votes:

Gneisskate: tillerman35: Betcha it has more to do with the average age of attendees than the purpose of the con.  "Let's go to a sedate, business oriented, uncontroversial convention to display our desire to conform to social norms by causing as little disruption to the people around us..." said absolutely NO ONE going to a sci-fi convention.  If you're going to one of those, you're doing it because it's FUN and you want to be around people who are going to let loose and have as much fun as you want to have.  Which is why those cons are awesome.  Except that they're also messier and louder, and they do more damage to the hotel and/or convention center, disrupt more of the other meetings/conventions going on at the same time, have more in-room events that make noise up and down the hallways (despite organizers' dire warnings and/or enforcement).

In my experience having worked a number of cons and dealt with multiple hotels, this is simply not true.  As Ashkuyun mentioned above, business conventions are way more destructive and less willing to pay for damages.  I think this is partially image-related, and partially entitlement. A bunch of geeks and nerds are generally much more considerate with the staff and space, even though they look wild.


This.

Business conventions may smell less of body odor and shattered dreams, but when it comes to drunken rampages and property damage, it's business conventions hands-down.

Though now I'm curious which comicon that tillerman35 had run afoul of.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-15 04:08:59 PM  
1 votes:
insertsnarkyusername: What exactly was the hotel's duties in the harassment policy?

As far as I can tell, the hotel had no duty. A hotel employee said something along the lines of, "those freaks have an oversensitive hyper-politically correct policy." The hypersensitive overly politically correct freaks took it badly. Words were exchanged, and the hotel let them back out of the contract. Either party could have made the other's experience miserable if they stuck to the letter of the contract.

Quite likely a hotel employee has now been told not to say such things when freaks paying customers are within earshot.

Here is the official statement from the con, based on which I made up the quote above: A senior Westin employee referred to our staff, attendees, and guests as "freaks," and hotel staff expressed their disapproval of our anti-harassment policy.
2014-01-15 04:04:56 PM  
1 votes:

AspectRatio: Oh, no! The most materially privileged social demographic in history is being oppressed again!


elves?

img17.imageshack.us
2014-01-15 04:01:27 PM  
1 votes:

Ant: insertsnarkyusername: Ant: insertsnarkyusername: What exactly was the hotel's duties in the harassment policy? It didn't seem very clear. It kind of seems like they wanted to be able to use hotel security every time someone got their feelings hurt?

They just wanted to be able to kick out people who were making the con miserable for others. I don't see a problem. Keep your asshole comments to yourself and/or don't be a lecherous creep. Is that really so difficult?

So they are asking the hotel to basically police the con and punish guests? That's a logistical nightmare that a lot of hotels would prefer to avoid. No matter what they do in any situation they are losing someone's business, even if that person is being an asshole.

I'm pretty sure they would just ask the hotel security with assistance in expelling someone who the Con staff had deemed to be a problem.


And the hotel is supposed to kick someone out who paid to be there on the word of the con staff? Ban them from the convention areas you rented out and be done with it. There is no reason the hotel should be involved in this. It's a business, it doesn't care if someone's feelings get hurt, or some girl got leered at or any of that nonsense. If there is an incident that breaks a law the hotel will call the police but that's the extent of the involvement. Being a large customer doesn't give the con the right to decide who can be in the hotel.
2014-01-15 03:56:55 PM  
1 votes:

tillerman35: Betcha it has more to do with the average age of attendees than the purpose of the con.  "Let's go to a sedate, business oriented, uncontroversial convention to display our desire to conform to social norms by causing as little disruption to the people around us..." said absolutely NO ONE going to a sci-fi convention.  If you're going to one of those, you're doing it because it's FUN and you want to be around people who are going to let loose and have as much fun as you want to have.  Which is why those cons are awesome.  Except that they're also messier and louder, and they do more damage to the hotel and/or convention center, disrupt more of the other meetings/conventions going on at the same time, have more in-room events that make noise up and down the hallways (despite organizers' dire warnings and/or enforcement).


In my experience having worked a number of cons and dealt with multiple hotels, this is simply not true.  As Ashkuyun mentioned above, business conventions are way more destructive and less willing to pay for damages.  I think this is partially image-related, and partially entitlement. A bunch of geeks and nerds are generally much more considerate with the staff and space, even though they look wild.
2014-01-15 03:53:15 PM  
1 votes:

ongbok: Dr Dreidel: ongbok: Too bad most o the women attending those conventions don't look like that, or the women that are featured in the pictures from the conventions that show up on the internet. Most of the women at those conventions are about 20-30 pounds, or more, heavier and trying to squeeze into a costume the size of the one the girl in your picture is wearing.

Awww, you might have to see an "uggo" at all those SciFi conventions you don't go to.

Grow the fark up.

I doesn't bother to me. I was pointing out that all of the pictures that people post on the internet aren't truly representative of what they will likely see. And if you didn't understand that, maybe you need to grow up.


Depends on the con in question.  Sure, you see some who are obviously the wrong body type to pull off the outfit, but you would be surprised in how many are indeed decent to hot.  There is something about being in their element, and knowing they will be the center of attention that drives a lot of cute geeks to dress up to show off what they got.
Ant
2014-01-15 03:36:26 PM  
1 votes:

redsquid: Oh no! He called me a name- kick him out!
So SF stands for "snow flake' now?


Oh no! Assholes don't get free reign to be assholes!
Ant
2014-01-15 03:32:54 PM  
1 votes:

ongbok: Most of the women at those conventions are about 20-30 pounds, or more, heavier and trying to squeeze into a costume the size of the one the girl in your picture is wearing.


OMG! They should be banned from showing themselves in public! They should live in shame!
2014-01-15 03:14:35 PM  
1 votes:

redsquid: Oh no! He called me a name- kick him out!
So SF stands for "snow flake' now?


I know this seems like a page from Rick Romero's school of business, but if a group of people are willing to spend a lot of money collectively for services you offer it's best not to insult them.  At least not until after they've given you have deposited their money.
2014-01-15 03:06:48 PM  
1 votes:
There was a sort of similar incident a few years ago that threatened to derail one of Virginia's conventions a few years ago, only that the hotel spokesman used the excuse of customer safety when a person got stabbed while the con was going on. Eventually, the spokesman got yanked aside and had it patiently explained to her that the con is one of the hotel's more lucrative days (and that stabbing thing was gang related). Every now and then I hear stories about the hotel still short selling congoers who stay there, but a overall, I think they got the hint.

TL;DR. Conventions get you money. Sci-fi cons get you damn lots of money. If you do not want costume freak money, there's something wrong with you.

Ask people in Pittsburgh about Anthrocon and its effect on local business. You'll be surprised.
2014-01-15 03:05:01 PM  
1 votes:
back in the 80's I attended a few SciFi conventions, V-Con, NorwestCon and the like.  there was a contingent of Republican Jesus types who would walk in and accuse everyone of being Satanists, go through the merchant rooms and claim that every piece of merchandise was Satanic,  even crosses.   I recall walking up beside them and asking about Satanist discounts, or posting room numbers for black mass.

those were the days.
2014-01-15 02:58:35 PM  
1 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: what a costume freak may look like

[img6.imageshack.us image 850x850]
[img21.imageshack.us image 630x960]


Too bad most o the women attending those conventions don't look like that, or the women that are featured in the pictures from the conventions that show up on the internet. Most of the women at those conventions are about 20-30 pounds, or more, heavier and trying to squeeze into a costume the size of the one the girl in your picture is wearing.
2014-01-15 02:56:50 PM  
1 votes:
I remember talking to the hotel staff during an anime convention in the D.C. area some time ago and asking them how the anime/sci-fi conventions were compared to the other conventions and events that took place there. The staff said that they looked forward to the anime convention more than almost anything else because it was both interesting to watch and the attendees were better behaved on the whole than the drunken businessmen that populated the business meetings/conventions that also took place at the hotel.
2014-01-15 02:52:57 PM  
1 votes:

Pocket Ninja: So the hotel lost $100,000 in business, and another hotel will get it.

What's the problem, again?


It's gonna cost more than $100,000 to get rid of the resulting smell.
2014-01-15 02:52:13 PM  
1 votes:

2wolves: The ghost of Disclave still haunts the halls of the New Carrollton Ramada.


I was working security at that event.  So a chance for a Star Wars quote:  "It's not my fault."
2014-01-15 02:45:14 PM  
1 votes:
As a veteran of Sci Fi conventions in the late 80s and early 90s, I saw this occasionally flare up.   One time the hotel had inadvisably booked our SciFi con together with some evangelicals, and a few encounters resulted in some complaints.  As a result of that, the hotel posted a set of rules for the SciFi guests.  Rule 6 had to do with PDAs (public displays of affection) which immediately backfired and for many years afterwards T-shirts and stickers and buttons were worn with the phrase "hugs and backrubs, I break rule 6!"
2014-01-15 02:29:07 PM  
1 votes:

StrikitRich: Sounds like a furry situation.

Sounds like the fur was flying.

Sounds like someone got their back hair up.

I could probably go on.


Furries don't normally furry at Sci-Fi conventions. They usually geek/nerd out instead.

2wolves: The ghost of Disclave still haunts the halls of the New Carrollton Ramada.


fc09.deviantart.net

I'm thinking of cosplaying as Arcade Gannon at Midsouth Con this year. :)
2014-01-15 02:02:59 PM  
1 votes:
Yeah, that's a tenuous situation.  Scifi geeks overwhelmingly tend to be Grammar Nazis as well, so misspelling the word "costumed" around them might be a bad idea.
2014-01-15 01:48:28 PM  
1 votes:

Pocket Ninja: So the hotel lost $100,000 in business, and another hotel will get it.

What's the problem, again?


Exactly. Someone's gonna lose their job over this.
 
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