The cosplay community is one that gets a lot of crap from people from time to time, but it’s generally a well-meaning, welcoming group of people who are just there to celebrate their fandoms in very open ways. While controversies occasionally arise about the appropriateness of certain racy cosplay costumes, how cosplayers get treated by objectifying onlookers and other such topics, on the whole it is a fun and infectious hobby/passion that allow people to show support for the pop culture properties they love.
And then there are the people who cosplayed as the Twin Towers at DragonCon this weekend. No, seriously.
The story began quickly making the rounds on social media and Reddit this weekend after the pair, showed up at the Atlanta, Georgia convention (which hosts 70,000 visitors a year) in “cosplay outfits” that amounted to flaming buildings with Barbie dolls suspended in order to portray people falling to their deaths. They were also wearing hats that read “Make FishCenter Great Again,” a reference to both Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim series. The association was obvious and people shared the posts across Twitter and Facebook, giving what was pretty much the appropriate reaction:
So wrong & inappropriate! More than just a cosplay fail, it's foul. Cosplaying as the Twin Towers 9/11 = Disgusting pic.twitter.com/1dIphxArkX
— Alex Matsuo (@alexmatsuo) September 5, 2016
@Kevind04 The best information I can provide is that pretty much the entirety of Peachtree Center Mall were highly shocked and/or disgusted.
— V. Kim / Kimsynth (@mrkimchinim) September 5, 2016
Lest we be unfair to these people, it must be noted that some are suggesting they were doing cosplay of an anime, with some commenters suggesting that they were the towers depicted in Terror in Resonance, also known as Tokyo in Resonance and Terror in Tokyo. However, that series (directed by Shinichiro Watanabe) depicts a single building, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building), and no one fell to their deaths when that building was destroyed in the anime.
Another commenter claimed that they were cosplaying as “a Japanese anime that centers around two buildings that are being burned by demonic wraiths and during the climax, the victims in the buildings jump to their deaths.” It isn’t known which anime that might be, and any attempts to locate it online using permutations of keywords in that summary came up with nothing.
According to reports from people who were in attendance, the two acknowledged that they were “the twin towers” and said things suggesting that they were being intentionally controversial. They also claimed that they were doing something for “a Cartoon Network shoot” but there’s no evidence of such.
A rep for DragonCon told First Coast News that they considered the costume “offensive, distasteful and completely inappropriate…We became aware of these individuals in the evening and dispatched both Dragon Con and hotel security to find them, pull their badges, and escort them from the property for violating convention policies. They had apparently left the Dragon Con convention area shortly after the photographs were taken.” The representative added, “Based on other photographs we have seen, we do not believe that these individuals were members of Dragon Con, meaning that they had not purchased badges that would have allowed them to enter the convention.”
This coming Sunday is the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. [Jeremy Thomas]
What were they thinking? SMH