Comic conventions have become an increasingly popular destination these past few years for both fans and artists. While such places once struggled to book significant talent and gain mainstream attention from consumers, they’re now big business and are held all over the country.
Many conventions have become great platforms for fans to connect directly with the creators they so admire — but they’re also places artists can make a little dough and promote new material.
Cast members from such shows as “The Walking Dead” or “Comic Book Men,” for example, show up at various conventions — or fans can grab autographs and photos from such film legends as Robert Englund and Kane Hodder.
The last thing most fans want to do when they see their idols is talk politics. People instead want to ask Englund about his time scaring teenagers on Elm Street as Freddy Krueger — or they’re dying to ask Kane Hodder whether he’ll play Jason Vorhees again.
They want keen insight from their favorite comic book writers or fun behind-the-scenes stories about films they’ve seen countless times.
One promoter, however, seems to think politics are exactly what these events are about. East Coast Comic Con promoter Chris Gailbraith recently announced quite proudly on Facebook that he had turned away “Hercules” star Kevin Sorbo from a New Jersey con because — wait for it — Sorbo is friendly with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“I turned down Kevin Sorbo for East Coast Comicon. He’s pals with Sean Hannity. I just can’t do it,” wrote Gailbraith.
Sorbo has attended plenty of conventions in the past, mostly thanks to his work on the still-popular “Hercules” television series, along with his lead role as Captain Hunt on television’s “Andromeda,” a five-season science fiction series from “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
“Hercules,” “Andromeda,” and other projects are most likely what fans want to talk to Sorbo about when they see him at conventions — not his relationship with Sean Hannity.
Gailbraith’s choice to exclude Sorbo for his politics is not only absurd, but it’s also a slap in the face to fans. It’s also indicative of a larger cultural polarization in the country. Too many people today seem to think it’s normal to completely alienate someone if that person’s politics happen to be different.
Art and creativity of all kinds are supposed to be unifying. A comic convention could be a place where one doesn’t need to think about politics, but instead can connect with others who think in a variety of ways even as these individuals enjoy celebrating the same creations.
“They need their safe little spaces because I am too scary to them.”
Sorbo seems to be taking the exclusion in stride. “Ah, the lovely Lefties who scream for tolerance and freedom of speech,” he told PJ Media. “Too bad it is all a one-way street for them. They need their little safe spaces because I am too scary to them. I would love to debate these socialists who hate people who work hard for a living and want Big Government to baby them through their pathetic lives.”
The reason the actor and director seems so unfazed is likely because he’s used to such treatment, as are most right-of-center artists.
Interestingly, Sorbo added in a response on Twitter to the story that he had never heard of the con and neither had his booking agent.
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It’s become increasingly difficult for people to ignore a blacklist against right-of-center thinkers in the entertainment world as proof continues to pile up. It’s sad to see such bias worm its way into a place that is meant to connect fans with creators. Is there any part of modern life that has yet to be infected by politics?
PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].