Creators Call For Fan Convention Boycott Over Co-Founder’s Sexual Abuse Charges
Ed Kramer, the co-founder of Atlanta, Georgia’s Dragon*Con has been in trouble with the law for years. He’s recently been extradited back to the state on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000 and while he no longer claims association with the convention, he still receives financial compensation from it thanks to shares he holds in the corporation. As a response to the most recent events, some creators are calling for a boycott of Dragon*Con until they take steps to remove Kramer from the institution entirely.
Dragon*Con employees have insisted Kramer has had nothing to do with the planning or activities of the convention since his initial arrest in 2000 but he does receive profits from its success and therein lies the issue. Robot 6 writes, “He continues to receive annual dividends from DragonCon — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — after attempts to buy out Kramer’s stake in the for-profit corporation proved unsuccessful.”
As a result, horror author Nancy A. Collins and former Swamp Thing writer Stephen Bissette took steps to alert other creators. Collins wrote:
I’d like to test it by seeing if social media can cut off the flow of money from DragonCon to accused child molester (and the convention’s co-owner) Ed Kramer, who has been using the 150K+ a year he receives each year from DragonCon to avoid trial and manipulate the justice system to allow him free reign to prey upon children, even while under supposed house arrest. All you have to do is publicly declare you will never attend DragonCon again as long as Edward Kramer profits from the convention.
DragonCon has had over 12 years to sever ties with this man, but has failed to do so. Although the convention’s chairman has bought enough shares from Ed Kramer to qualify as the controlling shareholder, Kramer refuses to be bought out. No matter what DragonCon does or says, funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name. DragonCon knows what needs to be done, but has been dragging its feet on this matter, and has gone to great trouble over the last 12 years to hide the fact that they continue to fund Edward Kramer’s lifestyle. But now the cat’s out of the bag (in large part due to Kramer’s own decision to sue them for a larger share of the convention’s profits) and there’s no putting it back in.
After being charged with sexually abusing three teenage boys in 2000, Kramer was placed under house arrest after claiming he was too ill to stand trial. That order was lifted in 2008 and in 2011, Kramer was arrested in Connecticut on child endangerment charges. On Monday of last week, he was back in jail to finally face the charges from 2000. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, “Kramer fought extradition to Georgia, but in December, he lost an appeal to the Connecticut Court of Appeals that would have stopped his return. Kramer was being held Monday without bond, jail records show.”
But comic creators aren’t the only ones making their opinions known, possible guests have as well. Adrianne Curry, the first America’s Next Top Model winner, cosplayer, and geek host took to Twitter last week upon hearing the latest news. Curry is a fan convention regular and was the victim of sexual abuse as a child. “The founder of Dragon con was arrested for being a pedophile. I will NEVER attend dragon con,” Curry wrote. “Many will argue that the child molester is no longer associated w/dragon con. He helped build it…and as a survivor, I wont ever go.”
To my knowledge, no official petition has been drawn up asking Dragon*Con to take the needed steps to remove Kramer from the equation entirely.
(via Robot 6)