As many of you may already know, we at Anime North Texas strive to give everyone an amazing experience. We are a group of passionate fans doing our best to bring together a show that not only can we be proud of but one that we would love to attend. Every year we try to improve our guest experiences, but sometimes we also make mistakes. I’d like to address one such mistake in particular, and apologize on behalf of Anime North Texas to the cosplayers that were involved.
During the course of ANT 2018, we were presented with a moment in time where needed to enforce our policies regarding dress code with a group of cosplayers in attendance. Our convention staff mishandled this situation in many ways including addressing the cosplayers unprofessionally and in such a way that they felt publicly shamed. We wanted to take a serious moment to apologize to them and to make a promise that we will be better prepared in the future.
We learned a lot during the weekend, and have begun to make the appropriate changes to our policies to better highlight that. Our board has re-written every policy from our dress code to our volunteer policies. The updated policies can be read here.
We find all cosplay to be beautiful works of art that truly express the love one has for the genre. It is that reason that we put forth the changes in our policies to show our continued dedication to you, the attendee.
For example, henceforth only members of the Safety and Cosplay departments will be able to address an individual regarding their attire.
When speaking to the staff members involved, they had this to say:
“Running conventions can be a lot of work and stress, but to say that the stress of the weekend is to blame would be a disservice to everyone involved. My actions were those of my own, and I am incredibly apologetic. It is something I have learned from, and will strive to do better for myself and others in the future.”
“I’d like to offer my sincerest apologies for how the situation at Anime North Texas was handled. I apologize that my actions of approaching the group in the prejudging room caused discomfort and those that were hurt. This was not my intention as I wished only to provide privacy and discretion as the issue was handled.”
Every mistake is a teaching moment. Every day is a new day that we can improve upon those decisions that were made in the past and ensure they never happen again. It is with this in mind that we have begun working closely with members of the cosplay community to ensure that we have clear and understandable policies being set in place. We will be doing our best to ensure those policies are made more visible for both our staff and attendees to be as well versed in them as possible. We will be increasing our staff size so that any time said policies come into question by anyone, staff and community alike, we will be able to diligently hear the feedback and weigh the options going forward to ensure that every one’s voices will be heard and acted upon accordingly.
It is our goal to bring the community together in a welcoming environment. It’s never been our intent to shame or disrespect anyone with how our policies are enforced. I want to thank the cosplayers that were involved for bringing this unfortunate situation to our attention and allowing us the opportunity to correct it going forward. The way the situation was handled does not reflect the values of Anime North Texas and we sincerely apologize to the cosplayers affected. There is much changing here at Anime North Texas and we invite you all to see the changes for yourself this next year at the Arlington Sheraton and the Arlington Convention Center November 15-17 2019.