We’d like to generally comment on the recent Richard Bui scandal…
Today I want to talk about the exploitation and solicitation of Cosplayers. In recent weeks, a man known as Richard Bui has been accused of soliciting cosplayers for nudes in exchange for doing “Photoshoots” for them with the promise that he can help make the cosplayer famous. He has allegedly asked them to send him nudes as a show of faith or commitment by the cosplayer to the project. We’re not really sure how sending nudes will do or allow for that. We did want to give him the benefit of the doubt and thought, maybe they’re doing a risky shoot of some sort. But then we read the actual messages..
Personally, I don’t know Richard and I’m not trying to throw blame on him, I don’t know if it really was him or just some person impersonating him, I’m just using his story as an example of something that seems to happen in every community where there are attractive women and some type of modeling is involved; The exploitation and the solicitation of women.
I’ve been part of my fair share of communities (Raving, Cosplay, Video games, etc.) and this is something that I tend to see more than I wish I did. People that will take advantage of other people and prey upon their hopes and dreams like some vile Disney villain! Villains that promise our unsuspecting victims the world and fill their heads with tall tales about how they can help them but first, they need them to do something for them (There’s always a catch!)
They trick them into selling their dignity by lying to them and conning them into doing things that they might not otherwise do.
“What’s the harm if someone takes a few risky pictures?”
For starters, blackmail or just public humiliation as some form of payback is a real thing. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times, where somehow pictures of female friends have ended up online on community websites. I’ve heard of people even almost getting fired due to the fact that stuff like this has gotten out. It’s embarrassing and damaging to the victim.
To villainous people like that, I say “FOR SHAME!”. How dare you prey upon them like that? Sell them the world just to trick them into giving you what you want! Have you no shame? Have you no dignity and morals? Don’t you know that sort of thing is as vile as vile can be? Why would you ruin something as good and amazing as (insert Cosplay, Raving, etc.) community? People like that probably are reading this article and laughing because they have no heart, no soul.
At the end of the day, they probably only care about what’s best for them. Some would say “Well, duh! You gotta look out for number 1!” but there’s a difference between watching out for “Number 1” as a survival instinct and just being a scumbag! Some would even go as far as to say “Well, no one forced these people to send out nudes or to submit to a shady part of an agreement? It’s their fault for agreeing to it!” Yes, of course, personal responsibility is always an important issue but the thing is, if someone promised you fame and fortune, wouldn’t you consider it too? If someone tricked you into a bad situation, is it really your fault if you’re tricked in it?
Everyone wants to have their skills acknowledged to some degree. Whether it’s achieving cosplay fame, awards at work, or becoming successful within their hobby. And if someone told you “I can make it happen”, you probably would consider it too!
Unfortunately, just like every other community, there is always a dark side to it. But we say don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. Or however, that saying goes. The cosplay community is one that is solid and built on support and trust. And we have many fond memories of cosplaying and attending conventions.
Just think of this as a nice friendly reminder that there are always people out there that will always try to take advantage of a good, friendly environment. If someone promises you something that sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is. Be alert, be aware. And maybe even ask for advice if you are approached with a scenario where you are unsure. It never hurts to get a third party opinion. And, if anyone tries to solicit or exploit you for pictures or something else that seems shady, don’t ever be afraid to put them on blast. Let the whole community know so others don’t fall prey to scumbags. If enough people speak up about scum like that, scumbags will know better than to try again!