‘Bring Back Legends’ devotees upgraded to actual harassment at DragonCon

dragonconIn addition to the nuttery going on with Aftermath and the ever-present comment hijacking on official Facebook pages, it appears that a faction of the ‘Bring Back Legends‘ crew was actually harassing VIPs and fans at DragonCon last weekend, Brian at Tosche Station reports:

One panelist and moderator was stalked to a restroom by someone from Bring Back Legends. Another panelist was halted in the Marriott atrium and, again, was talked at and had a set of flyers pushed off on them even though the panelist said they didn’t want one. The Bring Back Legends folks at Dragon Con had become general nuisances, but more than once it went beyond that. I spoke with several fans and panelists who confided that they were made extremely uncomfortable by the advances of the individuals from Bring Back Legends. Others corroborated my story, that they were cornered after panels and had a difficult time escaping their speeches and questioning. The combination of forced interaction and awareness of what the general behavior of these people online proved to be an unsettling experience every time we were approached. We knew they weren’t interested in talking to us, they wanted to talk at us and recruit us to their cause.

And those are far from the only incidents he experienced or heard about – there are more at the link.

The Legends folks were, from reports, fairly courteous at SDCC – and I don’t recall any stories from Celebration at all. Did DragonCon just luck into a particularly obnoxious contingent? Did the more fan-run nature of the con make people think they could get away with this sort of thing more easily? Or are we just dealing with a few individuals who don’t understand basic social cues? In any case, this is not how you get folks on your side.

10 thoughts on “‘Bring Back Legends’ devotees upgraded to actual harassment at DragonCon

  1. Matt

    This was an offshoot group that had been kicked out of the main EU movement over a year ago and went on to form their own (very small) band.

    I’m guessing they live around Atlanta too because you’re right, the movement has been very respectful at Cons in the past.

    1. Dunc Post author

      It’s hard to tell if there really is any center to this ‘movement,’ and this may have simply been one or a few individuals at DC, but the fact is that it simply wasn’t the surprising that this happened, given how bothersome, negative and inappropriate people have been online over the issue on (mostly) the Del Rey FB page.

      If there is a center, they need to be discussing ways to get their point across respectfully, to both fans and pros. Hijacking Facebook comment sections is the only thing they seem to actually be effective at, and that is not going to help them in the long run.

  2. Brian

    There was that story group panel at Celebration where a handful of them were in the back of the room spent the whole time shouting at the panelists, so Dragon Con definitely isn’t the first time they’ve behaved badly at a convention. They’ve just gotten, sadly, more aggressive since then.

    The big problem I think these folks have is they just don’t pick up on social cues or know where the line of decency is. I got an angry and hostile 2,000 word email from the person who cornered me after the TFA panel claiming that I wasn’t actually uncomfortable. Me saying “Yeah, I’ll check it out later” repeatedly while trying to back away from the stage definitely is not me being comfortable with the situation.

    And that was the same story with just about everyone I talked to. They were uncomfortable and trying to extract themselves carefully from the situation to avoid earning the BBL ire. It really doesn’t matter how polite they thing they were at the convention. We all knew what their general behavior is online, so being approached by them in the physical realm and having fliers shoved at us was always going to feel uncomfortable and borderline unsafe.

    1. Dunc Post author

      I’m glad you brought up the Celebration canon panel this morning on Twitter, because I forgot. That was a stunning lack of convention – hell, basic human – etiquette with the shouting from the audience. And it wasn’t just one or two incidents in an hour of panel, it happened throughout the whole damn thing! Ugh.

  3. Bria

    You know, I’ve actually been wondering if Dragon Con’s status as a fan run convention has anything to do with the difference in behavior. Like Brian said, yeah we saw some awful behavior during the canon panel at Celebration but there just seems to be a difference between how some have acted at an industry versus a non industry event. Plus, I’m sure the release of Aftermath at the same time had nothing to do with it. [/sarcasm]

    1. jawajames

      I tend to agree that being a fan-run convention with no ‘official’ LFL or licensee presence (other than authors) brought out the crazy a bit more from the GUL crowd (i think we should call them GULs rather than BBLs, as gulls squawk a lot and are a general nuisance and think they own the beach)

      From working the Del Rey SW books booth at SDCC, we had a lot of people ask us about canon and the new books. we were selling only canon novels and some non-fic (craft book, Mad About Star Wars, MF and DS owner’s manuals). we had a few people show up and ask for more Legends, and we’d just tell them that we liked Legends too, but there weren’t any plans at the moment. and usually that would satisfy them and end the conversation.

      The release of Aftermath is significant since it is the first canon novel that is really paving over the old post-ROTJ EU. All the previous novels could co-exist with the EU for the most part.

      I wonder how many rabid GULs there actually were at D Con? Is it just one or two main people?

      1. Dunc Post author

        Yeah, I’m actually not sure they use Bring Back Legends, even though it is marginally more polite than Give Us Legends.

        I get the impression it wasn’t that many at DC.

  4. Nanci

    The main problem I have with this “movement” is that I don’t understand the point. Legends is not going to be brought back, just like Clone Wars. It’s like people asking for Mara to return from the dead. Instead, we asked for other stories about her set earlier in the timeline. And now, fans of the old EU are asking for Legends characters/stories/ideas to be brought into the new canon.

    Note that word–we’re asking. Not demanding. Not telling. Not yelling.

    Just saying “GIVE US LEGENDS” or “BRING BACK LEGENDS”? That reeks of entitlement, and is just completely pointless.

    1. Dunc Post author

      I don’t know why they seem to think that ‘angry mob’ is going to work for them. There’s no clear voice there at all, no skill or finesse in any of their so-called outreach. ‘Just join our Facebook group’ is not the answer.

      And forget the books, what are they going to do if TFA does well on all fronts? Which of the half-dozen EU stories about the Death Star plans are they going to back instead of Rogue One?

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