Thursday, April 25, 2024

South African creators abandon Comic Con Cape Town over talent exploitation.

by Thinus Ferreira

Local South African creators who say they have been exploited by Comic Con Africa have decided to pull out of appearing at Comic Con Cape Town starting this weekend, angered by what they say is the organisers' dismissive attitude, having promised access passes revoked, as well as being required to appear for free with "payment" coming in the form of exposure.

Over the past two weeks, South African creatives who initially agreed to appear at Comic Con Cape Town, starting this weekend at the Cape Town Convention Centre in the Mother City, told the organisers they're pulling out from panel discussions at the Pop Culture stage.

According to Comic Con Cape Town's press releases, the Pop Culture stage is one of its top main attractions luring many people to attend.

The Comic Con conflict comes after South Africa creators were asked to appear for free with no payment, while overseas talent are getting paid. Local creators also balked after they were promised to get free access passes for the multi-day duration of Comic Con Cape Town, only to discover they would have to buy tickets and would only get a one-day pass.

Comic Con Cape Town organisers also told creatives they won't get paid for their appearance, time and expertise, with email stating "Obviously you know how these things go, there is no payment".

International actors Sean Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy and Veronica Taylor who voiced Pokemon are set to appear at Comic Con Cape Town and are paid appearance fees.

Local creatives had similar complaints about Comic Con Cape Town last year.

TVwithThinus reached out to Comic Con Cape Town organisers to ask about the angered South African creatives who decided they no longer wanted to be involved with the event, why creatives were originally told they would get multi-day access passes which then got rescinded, why South African panellist are not being paid appearance fees for an event where tickets are sold, and what international stars like Sean Gunn are paid to appear.

Comic Con Cape Town was also asked for comment about creators who say the communication from the festival was unprofessional, and whether the Pop Culture stage is run at a loss. 

Comic Con Cape Town organisers didn't respond with answers to any of the specific questions with Calvin van den Berg, marketing manager saying "Thanks for reaching out. Comic Con Cape Town has no further comment available on this situation as we are communicating with the parties directly".