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Thanks Yahoo for falsely misrepresenting cosplayers

The flyer for Friday night's Saints & Sinners ball in Melbourne.Source:

Dear Yahoo,

This is how you failed at accurately reporting the news. I woke up this morning to an account reported by your news outlet that two people who dressed as Harley Quinn and Joker were shot at a club because it just so happened that the gentleman dressed as the Joker was waving a gun. What didn’t help was that in your article, in fact, LEADING your article was a picture of 2 random cosplayers who were dressed as ‘joker and harley quinn’ at New York Comic Con from 2014.

These are NOT the people in the club, Yahoo!!!! (The image in Yahoo via Getty images)

I am curious to know why your outlet would be so lazy as to use a photo of random COSPLAYERS to depict the people who were shot at the club? What kind of message are you trying to send to people by using this photo? Are you trying to say that cosplaying causes run ins with the law? Are you saying that cosplayers are irresponsible? I am not sure what message your outlet is trying to send, but randomly using two people who are in costume and at a public event misrepresents not only them but what we all as cosplayers do, especially since the cause of the shooting has nothing to do with how they were dressed.

Let’s look at the actual story for the facts and how it was reported from the source. First and foremost, the event was a costume ball which was described below:

Last night’s event at Inflation nightclub was believed to be a Saints and Sinners Ball which the website says is “for Australian swingers and those who are just curious”.

The event encourages erotic outfits and describes itself as having: “A well-earned reputation as Australia’s, if not the world’s, raunchiest party.”

Next and this is where the story really is, the gentleman was waving a toy gun in a crowded nightclub. He also just happened to be dressed as the Joker. It’s critical to note that your source actually reported about what may have brought about the shooting BEFORE even stating that they were in costume.

TWO people, including a man wielding what is believed to be a toy gun, have been shot by police at a fancy dress “swingers party” in Melbourne in the early hours of this morning.

Police say they received multiple reports that a man was armed with a gun in an upstairs room at the Inflation nightclub in the CBD shortly before 3am.

Reports the weapon was actually a toy gun are being investigated by police. The man was dressed as the Joker from the Batman films, and the venue’s staff said a toy gun was part of his costume.

Your lead sentence was:

“Australian police shot a man and a woman dressed as comic book characters while they performed a sexual act at a nightclub early Saturday morning, reported. The man and the woman were dressed as the Joker and Harley Quinn.”

This is not the story!!! Going by this alone, people would think that their costumes (especially in a club that has not seen trouble in 20 years) are what got them shot and this is not the case. Regardless of how they were dressed, the incident happened because there was a toy gun flashed in a club!

What makes this more irresponsible on Yahoo’s part is that the source outlet, to give people an idea of what the couple was dressed as, used stock photos of the characters instead of randomly grabbing images of innocent cosplayers, which could possibly give others the impression, that cosplayers are trouble makers. Now to be clear, this has nothing to do with the fact that the couple in question was in a sex club; that is their business. I am not crazy about the idea of a news agency grabbing a photo of random cosplayers and misrepresenting all of us in a hobby because some guy thought it was a great idea to wave a toy gun around and wound up getting shot.

Yahoo, if you are going to be responsible in reporting news, report the facts first. There was no reason to attempt to sensationalize this and falsely make it seem as if cosplayers randomly engage in behavior which causes them to be harmed by law enforcement.

That makes a world of difference to us who cosplay and how we are represented.

About Armand (1259 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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