EuroCosplay ban League of Legends Cosplayer for blackface

Kinthey

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
6,689
Serious question, would wearing one of those Obama president masks be considered blackface?

 

TSM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,013
I mean you were basically asking if people cosplays as characters who don't share their race which yes
I'd assumed the entire body suit with no skin of the cosplayer showing is what made this a story. People are apparently saying it's common and that they recolor the character to match their own skin.
 

Viale

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,935
Her response was pretty terrible, but discounting that, I'm curious as to what people who do call it black face would want for her to do in this situation. She wants to fully recreate the character by making an entire suit and mask for it I assume. Would it have been better if she made that full suit white instead, even if it's still not her skin? Not trying to be facetious or obtuse here. Is the issue a more general one? One of any white person representing a black person, and that's it as opposed to what I previously thought of black face as the typically more malicious or more specifically painting your face black approach?
 

Skittles

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,561
I mean, the suit does more than just make her look like a black person, it also imitates the game's art style. I would imagine that she would've also gone for a suit like this if the character had been white, simply to get the cartoony style right. (But I don't know her or her work so if there's proof to the contrary, someone please do correct me.)
It isnt hard to simulate a games artstyle

 

Tbm24

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,578
It doesn't because she's not mocking the PoC culture, she made a cosplay with all respect doing a characterization. I personally believe this could be worse if she just straight up went with a white Pyke and became whitewashing.
With your logic I can genuinely not cosplay as any character with white skin or I'm brownwashing the character with my brown/caramel skin.
 

Kilrogg

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,865
Also this thread is a great example of "White people are told they can't do one single solitary thing and it's got them shook"
I don't think you were replying to me, but this seems like a good opportunity to say this: personally, I'll fully admit that this one is a bit of a blind spot for me. I pretty much don't care that the cosplayer got banned (and again, their response was incredibly dumb and reeks of fragility; pretty embarrassing), but I'm on the fence about the costume regardless, now that I know it's a full bodysuit.

That said, I'm white, so what do I know - I mean that genuinely, not being sarcastic. I'll be happy to abandon any doubts I have and just be against this cosplay 100% if Black people tell me it's not okay. That'll be enough. If I can also get some kind of explanation as to why this is not any different from your average blackface, it's even better, but otherwise, it's fine. I'm not owed an explanation.
 

EloquentM

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,221
Her response is completely terrible, but this isn’t blackface, especially not in the traditional sense. I’m not sure in what way her costume is problematic here. Anyone is free to go into detail about how I’m wrong though.
 

Skittles

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,561
I mean, the suit does more than just make her look like a black person, it also imitates the game's art style. I would imagine that she would've also gone for a suit like this if the character had been white, simply to get the cartoony style right. (But I don't know her or her work so if there's proof to the contrary, someone please do correct me.)
It isnt hard to simulate a games artstyle

Or even more accurately

 

The Kree

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,304
I'd probably cut her a little slack if she wasn't like "Fuck you I'm wearing it anyway" because it's otherwise obvious that she was prioritizing the original art style and not trying to make a mockery of someone.

Show some sensitivity next time and maybe explain yourself.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,137
Lets keep it simple. Blackface is bad because it's used to mock. The mocking is a part of it. It's also the fact that after the mocking and the racist shit said, they wipe that shit off and go back to their own skin which no one bats an eye at. While the rest of us non-white folk can't do that. We have to carry on with skin color that will people white people feel a type of way.

White girl from France puts on a literal costume of a dark skinned character from a fantasy video game with maybe all the love and care in the world is still perpetuating the above because after the competition, she's going to take it off again. Skin color is not a commodity and it's not a fucking costume. I don't care how clever someone gets about it. You want to look like the character, just do what the character would do and put on their attire and demeanor and accessories. That character didn't reach into their closet and pull out their skin too.
Ok, I get where you are coming from now. That perspective does rightly rule out a larger range of skin altering behaviors. Thanks for explaining!
 

DerpHause

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,003
User Banned (1 Week): Excusing Blackface
It isnt hard to simulate a games artstyle

It's not, but at the same time when you're not using your skin as part of the cosplay you have no reason to leave the visible parts of a character your own skin color other than conscious choice. If the costume had been made white I have a hard time imagining it going over well.

Yeah this whole situation is basically a white person wearing one of those just on a much more expensive scale
Can't really say I agree.
 

Transistor

This is not going to go the way you think
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
12,059
Cloud City
Lets keep it simple. Blackface is bad because it's used to mock. The mocking is a part of it. It's also the fact that after the mocking and the racist shit said, they wipe that shit off and go back to their own skin which no one bats an eye at. While the rest of us non-white folk can't do that. We have to carry on with skin color that will people white people feel a type of way.

White girl from France puts on a literal costume of a dark skinned character from a fantasy video game with maybe all the love and care in the world is still perpetuating the above because after the competition, she's going to take it off again. Skin color is not a commodity and it's not a fucking costume. I don't care how clever someone gets about it. You want to look like the character, just do what the character would do and put on their attire and demeanor and accessories. That character didn't reach into their closet and pull out their skin too.
This is a very good post
 

Palidoozy

Concept Artist at Maxis Texas/EA
Verified
Sep 17, 2019
35
Austin, Texas
Kinda reminds me vaguely about the debates of whether white people should dress up as drow, because that can get dangerously close to blackface as well despite them not being actual human black folks.

But yeah, in this instance the best move would have been... don't do this. I don't think the distinction between whether or not it's blackface because she didn't paint herself matters. I think the folks you're gonna hurt doing this aren't really going to care when you "well TECHNICALLY" them about why they shouldn't be bothered.
 

The Archon

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,501
User Banned (2 weeks): Excusing blackface.
Are people really taking the effort of looking at that costume and deliberately misrepresenting why she did it?

The purpose of cosplay is to portray a character. There are several layers of cosplay from putting on the most recognizable features of a character to accurately portraying a character down to the last detail. This cosplayer did the latter, which takes a lot of dedication and effort.

By the general sentiment around this it looks like you can only portray characters that look like you. Because if you portray someone like the cosplayer in the OP you get accused if blackface. Had she done the character with white skin she would be accused of whitewashing the character. Furthermore since it was for a competition it would have greatly reduced her chances for winning because it would have been labeled as a low quality effort.

I think people need to consider context and most importantly understand the intent of the action that was done here.
 

Mecha Meister

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,035
Lets keep it simple. Blackface is bad because it's used to mock. The mocking is a part of it. It's also the fact that after the mocking and the racist shit said, they wipe that shit off and go back to their own skin which no one bats an eye at. While the rest of us non-white folk can't do that. We have to carry on with skin color that will people white people feel a type of way.

White girl from France puts on a literal costume of a dark skinned character from a fantasy video game with maybe all the love and care in the world is still perpetuating the above because after the competition, she's going to take it off again. Skin color is not a commodity and it's not a fucking costume. I don't care how clever someone gets about it. You want to look like the character, just do what the character would do and put on their attire and demeanor and accessories. That character didn't reach into their closet and pull out their skin too.
Well said!
 

Xumbrega

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,833
Brasil
I feel bad for her because she clearly put a lot of care and thought (and holy shit a lot of money) in this but while it's not a blackface per see, it still touches the premise of skin colors not being a costume, so yeah she's wrong, even if it's not made with malice, she should have known better... a shitty situation for sure
 

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
Or even more accurately

Fair enough. That only works if you've got the right body shape for the character to begin with, though. She doesnt, as she's portraying an athletic male. I'd also argue that the examples you've posted there aren't as successful in recreating the respective art style as her suit is.
 

Garjon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,371
She's clearly put all her effort into making a costume for her favourite character, not to mock, pillory or pillage the character's ethnicity in any way. Whether that's 100% appropriate is another matter.

I do think they organiser's reaction is a bit heavy handed but her flippant reaction to the ban is pushing me the other way; if she was a bit more apologetic about it, she'd probably be able to get the ban overturned.

All this said, I'm a white guy so feel free to ignore
 

JinnAxel

Member
Oct 30, 2017
271
Well again, it’s not about the musculature obviously... and you know that. Regardless, I can a) easily see why it’s disrespectful and b) there’s no need to frame this as an exclusively “American” issue. I’m from Germany and can tell it’s a bad idea from miles away.
The prime intent wasn't to do this for a character because they were black though. It's offensive because the character was black but I don't think the intent when making the costume was for the skin color to get out of some black face loophole, but to be able to replicate musculature that would be impossible for her body type to pull off.

Many cosplayers are myopic when it comes to representing details and this feels like a consequence of that.

It's not an American issue, it's a human one that the general population outside of America (and arguably in America) have not been exposed to and therefore have a hard time finding offensive. They probably understand the rationalization but when exposed to the action itself their instinctual feelings are probably not offense.

I'm just trying to rationalize the process behind the making of the costume. Because the intention was definitely not to offend. Her responses are disgusting, but cosplayers put a lot of passion and effort into their projects and the prime driver was likely recreating a replica and not racially driven.

It's just a pity considering the workmanship. I wonder if things would've turned out different if it were made into a controllable puppet as opposed to a skin suit.
 

Ænima

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,327
User Banned (1 Week): Insensitive drive-by in a sensitive topic.
Im not familliar with the character, but thats some incredible transformation and cosplay.
 

Box

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,402
Lancashire
Looks really good, but damn, if it ain't blackface where do you draw the line? Not for me to say that's for sure.
 
Jun 23, 2019
1,417
Ok after reading some of the responses in here, this attitude of:

1.Trying to dismiss blackface in general as people just being sensitive
2. People trying to tell PoC what is and what isn’t blackface

isn’t going to to fly at all. Blackface is not just painting your face in a caricature manner. It means to alter your appearance to appear as a PoC in order to mock. Even if said person didn’t have I’ll intentions, the idea of wearing a brown bodysuit to alter her entire appearance knowing that it is a sensitive issue, is bad enough. Then her tweets pretty much show that she doesn’t care and is butthurt she got disqualified showing a lack of empathy and common sense.

Then you get people in this thread trying to tell others what is and isn’t blackface and trying to defend her. You all had no problem laughing along with the Wayans Bros. in White Chicks when a couple of black dudes dress up as white women, but come rushing to the rescue to defend an ignorant cosplayer who even with a great cosplay, is still clearly in the wrong? Keep that same energy. 👌🏾
 

Beefy

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,433
Are people really taking the effort of looking at that costume and deliberately misrepresenting why she did it?

The purpose of cosplay is to portray a character. There are several layers of cosplay from putting on the most recognizable features of a character to accurately portraying a character down to the last detail. This cosplayer did the latter, which takes a lot of dedication and effort.

By the general sentiment around this it looks like you can only portray characters that look like you. Because if you portray someone like the cosplayer in the OP you get accused if blackface. Had she done the character with white skin she would be accused of whitewashing the character. Furthermore since it was for a competition it would have greatly reduced her chances for winning because it would have been labeled as a low quality effort.

I think people need to consider context and most importantly understand the intent of the action that was done here.
It's blackface. People need to stop thinking it ok to use my skin as a costume.
 

Woetyler

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,212
User Banned (2 weeks): excusing blackface
Peoples stance on blackface confuses me. If its for halloween, but still considered a cosplay is it a problem?
Because this is kinda the same thing but with care put into the costume for a contest.
She painted her whole body brown to match the tone of the character. Some people have done the same i'd imagine without malicious intent(obviously there are those that do do it in malicious intent, not excusing that) and it comes off totally different to people.

This just comes off as a "play it safe" situation.
 

EloquentM

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,221
Ok after reading some of the responses in here, this attitude of:

1.Trying to dismiss blackface in general as people just being sensitive
2. People trying to tell PoC what is and what isn’t blackface

isn’t going to to fly at all. Blackface is not just painting your face in a caricature manner. It means to alter your appearance to appear as a PoC in order to mock. Even if said person didn’t have I’ll intentions, the idea of wearing a brown bodysuit to alter her entire appearance knowing that it is a sensitive issue, is bad enough. Then her tweets pretty much show that she doesn’t care and is butthurt she got disqualified showing a lack of empathy and common sense.

Then you get people in this thread trying to tell others what is and isn’t blackface and trying to defend her. You all had no problem laughing along with the Wayans Bros. in White Chicks when a couple of black dudes dress up as white women, but come rushing to the rescue to defend an ignorant cosplayer who even with a great cosplay, is still clearly in the wrong? Keep that same energy. 👌🏾
so how does she meet the criteria for blackface by your bolded definition?
 

abellwillring

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,481
Austin, TX
It is a full body costume of a fictional, barely human character that is completely faithful to the character (which is the goal of cosplay).

What the hell are some of you on about?
People keep mentioning that it's completely faithful to the character. How many times do we see Japanese people cosplay as ostensibly white characters and not paint their skin? Every time?

Changing your skin tone to another race (effectively) is not a part of cosplay that is done often. It is definitely not a part of the goal. She could have made this suit with her own skin tone and it would still be a great recreation that anyone would recognize who has played this game. I haven't so Pyke means nothing to me, but I'd still be impressed by the craft involved.

This was a bad idea and she didn't feel bad about offending anyone. Good for the organizer for taking this stand.
 

JinnAxel

Member
Oct 30, 2017
271
Peoples stance on blackface confuses me. If its for halloween, but still considered a cosplay is it a problem?
Because this is kinda the same thing but with care put into the costume for a contest.
She painted her whole body brown to match the tone of the character. Some people have done the same i'd imagine without malicious intent(obviously there are those that do do it in malicious intent, not excusing that) and it comes off totally different to people.

This just comes off as a "play it safe" situation.
I think the response to this is yes it is still a problem. Doesn't matter what day, or what time of day. You're wearing a different skin color.
 

Fatoy

Member
Mar 13, 2019
1,486
It’s cosplay of a fictional character.
Honest question: I'm a white man, but what if I wanted to cosplay as Blade? I'm not planning to, but I am genuinely not sure what the appropriate way to go about it would be. Obviously changing my skin colour feels racist, but on the other hand I'd also feel odd just pretending Blade is white.

It seems safer for people just not to dress as characters with different racial characteristics at all.
 

Mecha Meister

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,035
Are people really taking the effort of looking at that costume and deliberately misrepresenting why she did it?

The purpose of cosplay is to portray a character. There are several layers of cosplay from putting on the most recognizable features of a character to accurately portraying a character down to the last detail. This cosplayer did the latter, which takes a lot of dedication and effort.

By the general sentiment around this it looks like you can only portray characters that look like you. Because if you portray someone like the cosplayer in the OP you get accused if blackface. Had she done the character with white skin she would be accused of whitewashing the character. Furthermore since it was for a competition it would have greatly reduced her chances for winning because it would have been labeled as a low quality effort.

I think people need to consider context and most importantly understand the intent of the action that was done here.
It's an awkward situation. Because no matter how much love you have in your heart when putting this together, it is what is.
Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.

I think it still would have looked great if the costume shared her own complexion.
 

DerpHause

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,003
Lets keep it simple. Blackface is bad because it's used to mock. The mocking is a part of it. It's also the fact that after the mocking and the racist shit said, they wipe that shit off and go back to their own skin which no one bats an eye at. While the rest of us non-white folk can't do that. We have to carry on with skin color that will people white people feel a type of way.

White girl from France puts on a literal costume of a dark skinned character from a fantasy video game with maybe all the love and care in the world is still perpetuating the above because after the competition, she's going to take it off again. Skin color is not a commodity and it's not a fucking costume. I don't care how clever someone gets about it. You want to look like the character, just do what the character would do and put on their attire and demeanor and accessories. That character didn't reach into their closet and pull out their skin too.
I think there is a divorce in thinking here that leads to the conflict. Yes, skin color is not a costume. Pyke however is. Pyke is also black. Now in the case of a costume where the skin is the wearer's actual skin the choice to darken that skin and have the benefits of wearing it while also having the benefits of turning it off is indeed demonstrative of the issue with black face.

But that's not happening here. Here the alternative is to consciously make the entire costume of Pyke, the only thing you see as the wearer is wholly concealed, white. You make Pyke literally white. Is that the more acceptable solution? Whitewashing the character?

So I'm going to ask:
  • Would the costume be alright if it was made and worn by a black person?
  • Would it be alright if only one of the 2, and does it matter which?
  • If the answer to the above questions is no do you make the character white given that the constume itself has no inherent skin color?
  • If the answer to that is no is the character off limits to white people as a body suit?
 

Beefy

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,433
Honest question: I'm a white man, but what if I wanted to cosplay as Blade? I'm not planning to, but I am genuinely not sure what the appropriate way to go about it would be. Obviously changing my skin colour feels racist, but on the other hand I'd also feel odd just pretending Blade is white.

It seems safer for people just not to dress as characters with different racial characteristics at all.
Just dress as blade, people will still know who you are.
 

JinnAxel

Member
Oct 30, 2017
271
People keep mentioning that it's completely faithful to the character. How many times do we see Japanese people cosplay as ostensibly white characters and not paint their skin? Every time?

Changing your skin tone to another race (effectively) is not a part of cosplay that is done often. It is definitely not a part of the goal. She could have made this suit with her own skin tone and it would still be a great recreation that anyone would recognize who has played this game. I haven't so Pyke means nothing to me, but I'd still be impressed by the craft involved.

This was a bad idea and she didn't feel bad about offending anyone. Good for the organizer for taking this stand.
Actually I think a lot of high profile Japanese cosplayers try pretty hard to emulate the whiteness of skin for cosplay depending on the character when compared to their original skin tone. Or at least in post with Photoshop. They could be playing with lighting too to make their skin look lighter as well.

Of course that's harder to spot than actual darkening of skin.
 

Beefy

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,433
I think there is a divorce in thinking here that leads to the conflict. Yes, skin color is not a costume. Pyke however is. Pyke is also black. Now in the case of a costume where the skin is the wearer's actual skin the choice to darken that skin and have the benefits of wearing it while also having the benefits of turning it off is indeed demonstrative of the issue with black face.

But that's not happening here. Here the alternative is to consciously make the entire costume of Pyke, the only thing you see as the wearer is wholly concealed, white. You make Pyke literally white. Is that the more acceptable solution? Whitewashing the character?

So I'm going to ask:
  • Would the costume be alright if it was made and worn by a black person?
  • Would it be alright if only one of the 2, and does it matter which?
  • If the answer to the above questions is no do you make the character white given that the constume itself has no inherent skin color?
  • If the answer to that is no is the character off limits to white people as a body suit?
She is still making a costume to become a black person. She is still changing her skin to become black.

If a black person did it then obviously it would be ok right? As they black.