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Vice Cancels YaoiCon Filming After Attendee Complaints

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The staff of Yaoi-Con announced on Monday that Vice Media would film part of a documentary about American conventions at the event, which will be held at Hyatt Regency Santa Clara in California on October 6-8. Fans and attendees expressed concern both that the filming was scheduled and that staff announced the filming only four days before the convention. The event's staff then revealed on Twitter and Facebook that Vice Media has decided not to film at the event this year.

Many fans have responded positively to the cancellation, but some online commenters continued to criticize the event staff's decision to approve Vice Media's planned filming.

Yaoi-Con did not respond to an e-mail request by press time, but a representative Nicole Nowlin‏ did reply on Twitter that the attendee concerns regarding filming were sent to both Vice and Digital Manga, Inc. (DMI). According to Nowlin, Vice only responded first because the DMI representative was in transit to the convention. Nowlin stated both companies were in agreement about canceling filming after hearing the feedback from attendees.

Yaoi-Con's initial filming announcement posted on the event's official Facebook page reads:

Four days until Yaoi-Con 2017, and we have a special announcement to make:

Vice Media will be sending a small crew to film around the convention. They're doing a webisode on American conventions - what's new, trending, etc.

They'll be interviewing folks and filming all three days. If you do not wish to be filmed, we advise avoiding the cameras if possible.

The filming announcement received an overwhelmingly negative response from commenters on Facebook. Some people were concerned about the potential negative impact on their lives if they appeared in the webisode. One commenter said:

But with a camera crew coming in, it jeopardizes one of the best things about Yaoi-Con, which is privacy. Attendees (and artists, etc) who are uncomfortable with being shown at Yaoi-Con for the internet to see are going to lose that sense of security. They might not come back either.

Another commenter noted that the event's code of conduct on its official website states, "If you would like to take a picture with or of another attendee, always ask first and be respectful of their decision whether it is a yes or no." However, some people feel the staff's decision to allow filming had the potential to violate the code of conduct because they may have been unable to avoid being filmed. Some attendees wondered if the convention would use waivers, and they also called for refunds for people who no longer want to attend.

The staff has responded to many of the comments on Facebook and said that they have notified the people in charge of the decision to allow Vice to film at the event. The staff said, "We understand that people definitely have concerns and will work to make sure you feel heard and make your convention experience as great as it can possibly be." The staff also said in another response:

We're going to pass along as much feedback as possible. While the person who approved it may not have intended for this effect, we'll make it clear how people feel about the issue.

We didn't want people to feel unsafe and stressed, and we apologize.

The convention focused on yaoi anime and manga debuted in 2001. Digital Manga Publishing has organized the event since 2012.

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