Early this morning,
Fan Expo Canada staff (See edit notice at bottom) banned Honey Badger Brigade (HBB) from the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo (CalEx). Security staff approached the HBB booth, ordered us to leave, and refused to state the reason why unless Alison Tieman agreed to speak to them away from the other members of the group, without recording. They informed Alison that they had received complaints on social media, including 25 allegations of harassment. No evidence was presented, no request was made for information from HBB, and no specific incident was cited until further questions were asked of security.
Upon further questioning, security mentioned the Women in Comics panel discussion from the previous day, where Alison was given permission to speak. Alison spoke briefly in relation to a topic brought up by the panelists. Accusers, however, claimed that Alison derailed the conversation. Alison and myself were in attendance, and you can listen to Alison’s statement in the panel here on YouTube. You can hear Alison, myself and indeed the entire panel in the full discussion record.
As you will hear, there was no harrassment. Expo staff and mob rule, in their crusade for ending harassment against women, harassed the Honey Badgers despite having no evidence of any policy violation. To those unfamiliar, HBB was founded by three women and has a highly diverse staff of volunteers, creators and lovers of free expression. Alison Tieman, a woman who spent 7 years writing graphic novels and fighting censorship, was censored by other women for speaking her mind, and advocating equal compassion for men, and true strength in character for women.
We ask all involved to question what it means to provide an open forum, and to examine how CalEx treats it’s patrons and exhibitors. Do they provide a safe space from harassment, or a safe space for the people who want to define what harassment means?
Please send press inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information as the story develops. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter.
EDIT: Sources indicate that involved parties include Ben Marasco and Kelly Dowd, not Fan Expo. Our apologies go out to Fan Expo for any false association.
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