Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I Was Not Impressed With Heroes Of Cosplay

 Plain and simple, after checking out tonight's episode of Heroes Of Cosplay I had a bad taste in my mouth.  It just seemed like yet another reality show, but it missed the point of cosplay. While I know the people on the show had no control over the editing, it was disappointing to see them only focus on the competition aspect of it and not showcase the cosplayers who also do it because they love it and have fun doing it. Many of my friends who cosplay come up with some amazing and great costumes. Some compete and some do it for fun, but both love it and enjoy themselves. I really didn't see a lot of joy on this show. I saw a lot of drama, negativity, and judging the other person because they didn't agree with their cosplay choice.
 I know it's for TV and it's "scripted", but it would have been nice to see some positive things, such as how encouraging cosplayers can be and supportive of each other about costume choices, or how helpful they can be when asked about how to make a cosplay better or more cost efficient without missing out on making a great costume. Instead, it was essentially The Jersey Shore of cosplay and it was awful. To have the only good thing be Yaya Han with an amazing League Of Legends cosplay by the way, does not make for a good show. There's also the factor that Mark Cronin, an executive producer of the show basically dismissed male cosplayers in a TV Guide interview by stating that their costumes were simpler because it's just body armor, capes, and weaponry and the female cosplayers were more interesting, sexy, and cool.  Seriously? Tell that to one of my friends who MAKES his own armor and weapons, actual chain mail and the like. Trust me, there's no simple about it. Both genders put a lot of work into their cosplay, there isn't one is better than the other. Just from that statement alone, I should have known this show was in trouble and not going to be done right at all.
 Then there's this wonderful stunt that Syfy pulled:
 That's right. They used the photographers' photos WITHOUT permission and they knew exactly what they were doing, as they cropped them so the watermarks did not show on the page, and did not give them credit or get a copyright release from them. They did it to at least seven photographers that we know of. Of course the people who they blatantly STOLE from were angry and they had every right to be. Not only does this show an outrageous show of disrespect to the cosplay community as well as the photographers' whose work they ripped off, it's mind boggling that they thought they could get away with it without anyone noticing! The only one who actually took the time to try and make it right was Yaya Han who stated on her fan page that she had immediately informed Syfy's PR department about it and was doing everything in her power to make sure that the photographers did get credit for their work.
 I like Yaya Han. She comes across as genuinely kind, loves cosplay as much as her fans, and unlike Syfy's craptastic PR department, cares about doing the right thing. This is why I really wanted to like this show. I really did. I was pleased to see she was doing this show about cosplay, but after watching this first episode and seeing that Syfy apologized on their page only AFTER they were caught and informed (But let's face it, they KNOW the rules about copyright infringement) that hey, it's bad to steal an artist's work, not even the fantastic Yaya Han can convince me to watch.  It's really a shame, because they had an opportunity to do something great and showcase all the aspects of cosplay and what it means to those who enjoy and love it. Instead, they went the let's be gigantic a-holes route and behaved pretty damn shamefully.
 So, no I will not be watching this again. One episode was enough.

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