8/28/2013

SyFy's Heroes of Cosplay Causes Controversy

SyFy Channel's latest reality show, Heroes of Cosplay, has been fanning the flames of controversy amongst viewers, since it began airing on the channel just three weeks ago. From the get go the fans have not liked that it focuses so much on the competitive aspect of cosplaying or that it has the drama inherent to most reality shows. They also seem to complain about the fact that it focuses so much on sexy and beautiful women, who cosplay. The flames have been fanned even higher now thanks to a photographer who is threatening to sue the show.

Let's begin with the whole photographer aspect. Darrell Ardita of BGZ Studios, the photographer in question. He claims that SyFy used his pics on the show without his permission. SyFy defended their stance at first, but eventually recanted this and pushed the blame on to the cosplayers, something Ardita claims that he never wanted to occur. His words on this:

Very soon after my response, SyFy did the unthinkable. They turned it around and started attacking the cosplayers in question – which was completely not my intention. SyFy threatened to compromise the careers of the cosplayers featured in the show. Reality TV production at its best.
Everyone needs to know this – the VAST MAJORITY of the cosplayers on the show have forwarded all photographer information over to the studio along with the photographs since BEFORE the show aired. Yes, I do have proof of that too. These people are not stupid – I respect them very much and most of them did 100% the right thing.
The people at fault are those who made the decision to not contact the photographers and still proceed with the show.

You can read more of his thoughts here:
http://bgzstudios.com/blog/photography/heroes-of-copyright-infringement-the-photographer-litigation-against-syfy/

Popular cosplayer, Nelson D. Martinez, who has been featured on this blog quite a few times, has this to say on the subject of cosplaying photograph ownership:

 In regards to this whole photographer sueing Heroes of Cosplay, or SyFy, for not crediting him for the photos, I do understand most of what he is saying, but besides stating an actual Law, he is also, stating his style, and how he, personally thinks rights should or shouldn't be, between Cosplayers, and Photographers. What he states, doesn't hold true, to all Models, Cosplayers, and/ or Photographers. I personally wouldn't work with anyone, who tells me, that I have no rights at all to do what I want with the photos, that I myself, have also worked hard on. I always credit my photographers, but they do give me equal rights to do as I wish with the photographs. My advice to Cosplayers and Models, work with people you know, and trust, not someone who your not really sure what their style or intentions are.
Martinez, in his X-Force Deadpool cosplay, and myself at last year's NYCC.
 
 I have to fully agree with what Martinez says. While, writing is my prime job, I do shoot pics myself, frequently, for this site and my Facebook fan page. I also work with various photographers and video-men and women. All of them get credit here. Just look at my Master's Minions page, for further proof. And, of course all models, cosplayers, etc get their credit, as well. But, like Nelson said work with people you trust and/ or know. This goes for all aspects of the entertainment business. 
Picture I took of Riki, aka Riddle, at the 2011 NYCC. She is one of the cosplayers featured on the show.

As to the show, itself, well, I missed the first episode, but I caught the last two. I like the show. Let's start with the competitive aspect of the show: almost all conventions have cosplaying contests nowadays. It's common place. Having it be the focus of the show is obviously done so that it gives the show some drama. It's needed, for the sake of TV, whether we like or not. I admit that some of what is shown might make some of the cosplayers look bad. I have seen Yaya Han, on her Twitter and Facebook fan page, state that the editing is what causes. And, well who is to say that that ain't the case? After all, drama causes people to watch, for better or for worse. Is right or wrong? Well, I don't think that question matters to the channel. As to the sex aspect, hey sex sells. This blog is spawned from that. People like looking at gorgeous women in skimpy outfits. That's the way the world works, more so the entertainment world. Perhaps, a great documentary is needed on cosplayer. This ain't it, though. This is reality TV. And, as it is; it's still light years ahead of shit like the WWE inspired Total Divas or whatever other filth infests E!, MTV, etc.
 Monika Lee, the youngest girl on the show, and the one to wear the skimpiest outfits. The above cosplay is a Poison Ivy one she wore on last week's episode. Oh, and I didn't take the above or bottom pic.

This is Nelson's thoughts on the show and the misconceptions of cosplayers that it may have inspired among viewers:

I would just like to say a few words, and this is for Everyone! Many of us may dislike the Heroes of Cosplay show, for whatever the reason may be, many feel it may not show what many of us are actually capable of, or may not show a certain personality that we either have or don't have. But before you Knock any individuals, you need to know many of them, and us, give back more than you know, and or see. Riddle's Messy Wardrobe, Yaya Han and many others, run a Charitable Calendar, Cosplay for a Cause, they started it awhile back, and it helps many of the Victims in Japan, which I donated to. Some of you think that because some of us don't actually have the time of day to visit a Hospital for Children, means we haven't gave back, that's a misconception. I myself have served a tour in Iraq, and I've been serving in the U.S. Army for over 6 years and still going. There are many Veterans that I personally know that are in the Cosplay Community, but many of you, aren't aware they even exist, like I said, know someone, before you choose to bash or knock them, for doing their thing. We all like to have fun, I don't care who you are or how old you are, so don't act like You, are any better than anyone else.

We shall see where this controversy leads in the coming days and months, but I think, I hope, we can agree, at the very least, that is nice to see cosplayers getting some sort of mention on TV. And not just the random mention of them at a convention.

4 comments:

Baldwin A. Saintilus said...

Competition happens at every convention. No one wants to see a show about cosplayers making these costumes just for fun.

giovanni deldio said...

Exactly. Maybe the cosplayers do, but they're a small part of the audience. And, even they may get bored of what they are watching; if that was all the show focused on.

Doug Roos said...

SyFy... I still can't believe they changed it from Sci-Fi. I didn't even know this show existed.

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