A few days ago, I wrote an article calling shenanigans on SyFy‘s reality competition series Heroes of Cosplay. You can read the article in full HERE, but basically, there’s been a lot of controversy over the first two episodes accounting SyFy’s negative depiction of cosplayers and the medium in general. Specifically regarding the shows display of hyper sexualition (what with all but one of the contestants being attractive females), false drama regarding a clash of egos and sad comments made towards costuming and select body types.
Being able to distinguish reality from reality TV (which, sadly, not everyone can), I commented on SyFy’s blatant execution of manufacturing drama. Things happened, words were said, but it all was clearly taken out of context. All for the purpose of creating eye widening television.
I wrote the piece because nerds offer so much creativity and positivity in this world; we are the architects of all that is cool. I have great personal distaste for mass market media misrepresenting aspects of nerd culture. While nerdery in general has been welcomed and accepted in recent years, being a nerd and defending our passions is a hard sell to those who don’t understand it. While I won’t argue passive aggressive behavior in the cosplay community and the selective mindsets that exist, that episode of Heroes of Cosplay gave a really sour view about the cosplay scene. I’m fortunate to know cosplayers personally and am quite familiar with the community to know the difference, but had I not, I probably would have accepted the drama, egotism and ignorance on HOC as typical (which a lot of people on Twitter and message boards did). I understand it’s a show, things need to be dramatized to make for cheap entertainment, but not at the cost of misrepresentation. It’s so very hurtful to the culture and the fans. It’s important to speak up and call attention to it, hence the article.
Alright, so, where are we now? Well, I’ve come to find out (from an insider) that SyF supposedly changed out the editor/supervising director for the third episodes after the backlash especially after the second one. This new editor was credited for the softening of the segment where host Yaya Han initially talks about Jessica Nigri. The original was far more one sided. He extended the segment by a few more scenes to have Yaya say “I know I do it as well…”, referring to sexualized cosplays.
I haven’t seen the 3rd episode, but according to my source who has, the difference between it and the 1st two episodes are just bewildering. Saying that sans drama the show is now enjoyable and shareable.
A SyFy media relations person who I contacted to clarify, was unable to confirm or deny, but did say that background staffing changes happen quite often. Take that as you will.
Wow, really? I’m quite surprised SyFy would respond to the backlash and change the trajectory of the show. Maybe now the program will be enjoyable on it’s own merits and not relay on manufactured drama? I certainly hope so. I want Heroes of Cosplay to be a celebration of cosplay, showing the creativity, talent and fantastic personalities these wonderful people have to offer. Anything else would just be obtuse.
Still, the damage is done. I feel terrible at what a crushing blow some of the cast members took to their careers. Particularly to host Yaya Han, who was grossly misrepresented. The poor girl has lost fans and has taken so much heat for comments and attitudes that were taken out of context. The truth is out, and her character will prevail, but it stinks that she and other members of the show have deal to with so much unnecessary damage control.