Just days before HeroesCon kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina, organizers have released a code of conduct addressing harassment and cautioning exhibitors about images and materials that exceed the event's PG-13 standards.
Signed by founder Shelton Drum, the policy extends beyond the exhibition floor to after-hours events at host hotels, and spells out that, "HeroesCon is dedicated to providing a fun, safe and harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion."
"If you are being harassed, witness someone else being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the HeroesCon staff or a volunteer," it states. "We are happy to contact our security or local law enforcement, provide escort, a safe place or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention." Anyone deemed to be violating the anti-harassment rules "may be sanctioned or expelled from HeroesCon without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers."
The policy, posted Thursday evening on the HeroesCon blog, arrives amid increased scrutiny to the response by convention organizers nationwide to harassment. DragonCon revised its policy last year to make its position more clear -- "If people tell you NO, your business with them is done" -- while Emerald City Comicon received widespread praise this spring for its "zero-tolerance zone for harassment," trumpeted with a "Costumes Are Not Consent" logo that places cosplayer concerns front and center.
However, Comic-Con International, has been pressured to make its code of conduct more specific and more visible, something organizers resist. "My concern is, the minute you start pointing out the types of harassment you don't allow, does that imply other types of harassment are allowed?" David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations, told Comic Book Resources. "I hope nobody would make that leap, but as a gay man, I wouldn't want to see harassment codified against a certain element by omitting orientation, or gender, or race, or religion, or disability. Comic-Con has always had an amazingly diverse group of attendees, and we want all of those attendees to have fun in what we hope is a safe environment."
HeroesCon will be held Friday through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center,
(via The Beat)