Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
24 Sep 2018
9:42 am

Sunday Times Comic Con article slammed for ‘slut and body shaming’

Citizen Reporter

South African geeks are not amused following an unpopular article in the Sunday Times on the recent Comic Con Africa.

Cosplayers attend the first ever multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention Comi Con Africa in Johannesburg, on September 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Giovanni MAZZUCHELLI

A piece of writing on the inaugural Comic Con Africa held at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg from September 14 to 16 has left a bitter taste in the mouth of those who consider themselves geeks.

The article, titled My Big Fat Geek Expo and written by Oliver Roberts, has been slammed on social media, with some accusing the author of “slut and body shaming.”

TV personality Pippa Tshabalala, a prominent promoter of South African gaming culture, took to Twitter to label the article “rubbish” and express her view that author went out of his way to “publicly shame and belittle a group of people simply because they are outside of ‘the norm’.”

Gareth Woods, MD of gaming marketing agency Good Game Well Played, said apart from being “badly written” and “ill spirited,” the article was full of “body shaming.”

Blogger Jonathan R Harding, whose blog Fandom is Awesome is published under the nickname ‘Silver-Back”, wrote a post about the article.

“As a geek, I take offence to your lack of research on our community. As a human being, I take offence to your slut and body-shaming,” Harding wrote.

Cosplayer Teri Ferreira ripped into the article for “fat shaming and slut shaming” on Facebook, labelling it a “pathetic excuse for an article” and calling on The Sunday Times to fire the author.

Picture: Screenshot.

Comic Con Africa saw comic book fans, cosplayers and other contributors to geek culture descend on Kyalami’s Covention Centre for what was South Africa’s first ever Comic Con.

While the event took a couple of knocks – including the cancelation of Aquaman actor Jason Momoa – South Africa’s geek collective swarmed toward Johannesburg looking to play games, enjoy VR experiences, buy merchandise, show off their costume-making skills and attend panel discussions with some Hollywood celebs and comic book writers.

Tickets for the comic, animation and gaming convention were sold out before the gates opened, which attracted roughly 18,000 people on each day, so many that organisers appealed for fans without tickets to stay away.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the blog post linked to in this article was written by Alan Marriott, a hypnotist and mentalist. Marriott was only posting the article on his Twitter, not saying that he’d written it. As mentioned above, the article was actually by Jonathan R Harding, who writes under the pseudonym “Silver-Back.”

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