The upcoming Anime NYC anime convention has instituted a ban prohibiting cosplayers from dressing up in “[c]ostumes associated with organized hate groups.”
According to the convention’s ‘About’ page, convention organizers LeftField Media have instituted three rules for cosplayers who plan on attending Anime NYC in November. While the first two listed rules are common across most conventions, the third rule is a newly introduced policy banning a specific category of costume:
Costumes must be appropriate to wear in public – if you can’t wear it on the streets of New York, you can’t wear it in Anime NYC.
Naked isn’t a costume. Anime NYC is an event which will draw fans of all ages, including those under 18.
Costumes associated with organized hate groups are forbidden. This includes cosplay of fictitious Nazis or Nazi-like organizations from Hellsing, Tanya the Evil, Captain America, Indiana Jones, etc. Absolutely no swastika imagery is allowed.
Though the rule in question specifically targets the promotion or display of “fictitious Nazis or Nazi-like organizations,” Anime NYC has been highly inconsistent in its application of the rule. Tanya the Evil, a series specifically noted in the rules, features allusions to aspects of World War II (such as the appearance of the World War II-era MP40 submachine guns or a character based on Werner Von Braun) but is entirely set in a fictional country based heavily on World War I-era Europe.
Furthermore, in a move deemed hypocritical by some fans, the close professional partnership between LeftField Media and Crunchyroll led to Anime NYC promoting a special screening of The Saga of Tanya the Evil – the Movie:
GLORY AWAITS! Enlist to see The Saga of Tanya the Evil – the Movie – TONIGHT thanks to @crunchyroll and @fathomevents! #tanyamovie https://t.co/V98ecjANXA pic.twitter.com/9n665f68PU
— Anime NYC (@animenyc) May 16, 2019
Ready to enlist pic.twitter.com/MsRmo8Wpvw
— Anime NYC (@animenyc) May 17, 2019
Anime NYC is not the first convention to ban this type of cosplay. Back in 2017, Rose City Comic Con banned Red Skull and other fictitious Nazi cosplay.
Similar to Anime NYC their statement read:
“Hateful symbols aren’t welcome at Rose City Comic Con. Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate – this goes for Old School Hydra and Red Skull or any other Nazis from entertainment properties. Those figures, while comic-related, are still very much Nazis. As a result, they are 100% banned, always. This includes any sort of “ironic” or satirical costumes that re-appropriate Nazi paraphernalia or gear. You won’t just be banned from that year’s convention. You will be banned from coming to RCCC for life.”
What do you make of Anime NYC’s move to ban “fictitious Nazis or Nazi-like organizations?”