‘Final Fantasy XIV’ Theme Song Vocalist Susan Calloway Removed From KupoCon Guest List Over Her Liking Of Conservative Tweets
In the latest example of those who claim to oppose gatekeeping rushing to exclude anyone who disagrees with them, it has been announced that thanks to a backlash against her ‘liking’ of tweets which criticized various tenets of modern-day progressivism, prominent Final Fantasy XIV vocalist Susan Calloway will no longer be making a previously-scheduled appearance at the upcoming KupoCon fan expo.
Calloway, whose voice brings to life the respective Answers, Dragonsong, and Revolutions themes of the popular MMO’s base game and its Heavensward and Stormblood expansions, first drew the ire of some FFXIV fans on October 30th when Twitter user @starrdiver invited the public to “go take a look at Susan Calloway’s recent likes and replies.”
Per “some highlights” of the former category shared by @starrdiver, the vocalist’s likes included tweets in which @RealAndyFredes shared a Turning Point USA image reading “Here’s an idea…a reality show where socialist college students are sent to a country that closely resembles their desired political system and [are] left to survive for a few month”, @PatMcGuinness opined that “The reason why peace has not been achieved in the Middle East is because of Islam,” @Riley_Gaines called out how “in the name of inclusivity and feminism, males are brutally beating up on women and being awarded for it” in women’s only martial arts tournaments, and @GenevieveGluck lamented how “Japan’s longest-running rape crisis center has been declared ineligible to receive public funding following statements made by the facility’s director which were deemed by government officials to be discriminatory against males who identify as transgender”.
Like clockwork, after her social media activity was brought to light, Calloway was met with a wave of backlash from a large number of FFXIV players, many of whom had near-immediately begun to call for the singer’s removal from her upcoming appearances as both a guest at KupoCon and as a performer for Distant Worlds, the currently-ongoing Final Fantasy orchestral concert tour.
Eventually becoming aware of the outrage building against her, Calloway took to her since-deleted personal Twitter account later that same day to address the situation, telling fans and critics, “Guys, it appears my account was hacked.”
“I haven’t been on Twitter that much as I’ve been working quite a bit! I love you all dearly and am firmly against hate of ANY kind. What is going on in our world grieves me. I pray for peace for all .. that we could choose love over hate.”
However, Calloway’s critics were not so quick to accept her explanation.
Authoring one of the most widely-circulated tweets regarding this rejection of Calloway’s response, @abystals asserted, “I’m sorry for being cynical but I can’t just assume Susan Calloway has been hacked if she liked tweets like this since the beginning of the year.”
In support of their skepticism, @abystals shared another round of tweets supposedly liked by Calloway, this set including tweets wherein @johnhawkinsrwn called the sexual transitioning of children “sick, evil, and disgusting as child molestation”, @savethe2strokes shared a meme which reads “You know the brainwashing is real when White people start protesting White people for being White”, and @QenNigma observed “everything the woke people do is backwards”.
And it would be out of a deference to such fans that the aforementioned KupoCon would ultimately choose to disinvite Calloway from their upcoming event.
“Today has been a troubling day for the Final Fantasy community,” wrote a representative for the convention to its official account. “In light of recent events, we announce that Susan Calloway will no longer be attending our upcoming event in Toronto. We will do our utmost to secure another guest in time for Pom East, but it may be difficult due to the time constraints.”
“We urge the KupoCon community to prioritize kindness during this difficult time,” KupoCon added. “We appreciate your understanding as we continue to thoroughly investigate this matter.”
KupoCon would further elaborate on their stance in a second statement, this one published to their official website, on November 1st.
“On Monday, it was brought to our attention that a series of offensive posts had been interacted with by Susan Calloway’s X account,” the convention began their statement. “This included comments and reactions. These interactions spanned almost a year. Promptly addressing this issue, we reached out to Susan for clarification, recognizing that her account had been previously hacked. Regrettably, the ensuing events triggered a wave of abusive comments directed not only at Susan and her supporters, but KupoCon, attendees and the KupoCon team.”
“During that period, KupoCon and its affiliates encountered various threats, ranging from public messages to direct messages, and, in some extreme instances, recorded voice clips directed at staff members,” they further explained. “Consequently, Susan chose to deactivate her account in response to the relentless abuse.”
Eventually turning to Calloway’s subsequent removal from KupoCon, the organization explained. “Following direct communication with Susan, we outlined a series of measures, enabling her to identify potential unauthorized access to her account using the platform’s security and privacy tools. Subsequently, after thorough deliberation and consultation with our partners and security team, equally dismayed by the situation, a decision was made to withdraw her appearance in light of safety concerns [emphasis KupoCon’s]. While Susan was of course disappointed, she has been understanding and we continue to keep an open dialogue with her.”
“We anticipate that Susan will issue a personal statement in the days to come,” said KupoCon. “Regarding the interactions, we unequivocally denounce any hateful content. Our convention is a celebration of Final Fantasy. Our principle is to treat everyone with kindness and respect.”
Drawing their statement to a close, the convention affirmed, “KupoCon stands as a family friendly event and an inclusive and safe environment for all. The recent incident has deeply troubled us all, and we are striving to navigate an extremely challenging situation with a multitude of strong and differing opinions. We urge the wider community to remember that mob-like behavior and abuse are unacceptable.”
“Hatred is not something we endorse,” they ultimately declared. “We implore everyone to practice kindness and respect.”
As of writing, the Distant Worlds tour has yet to offer any statement regarding Calloway’s recent social media situation.
Further, Calloway has yet to publish the “personal statement” mentioned by KupoCon.