The Bay Area Brony Spectacular Con took place last weekend and a disturbing story has emerged from it. Two separate women detailed the same incident in which they helped an 11-year-old hide from an older man who was following her and trying to get her to go back up to his hotel room with him. Neither of the people who recounted the story told organizers or police. What?
Sac Anime had a table set up to promote their own con. An 11-year-old girl reportedly ran up to the Sac Anime table asking if she could hide. They helped her, but none of the Sac Anime staffers notified anyone at BABSCon. From The Daily Dot:
We met a little girl who was there with her family… We call her Babby because she’s 11 and precious… The next day, she runs up to the booth, terrified, and asks if she can please hide under our table for a few minutes. Turns out a dude had been following her around the con all day, and tried to get her to come up to his hotel room. Alone. She tells us she thought he was okay at first because he was wearing [a My Little Pony] shirt, but she didn’t want to go anywhere with him, and he made her uneasy. At one point, after she’d refused, he grabbed her arm in the elevators and tried to get her to follow him. She ran, and now she wants somewhere to hide.
Okay, this right here seems like enough to alert these people that maybe they should tell someone that there is a man walking around a My Little Pony convention preying on little girls, no? Instead, they hide her in their booth and act as her security. Okay, at least they helped her but it still doesn’t explain doing nothing to protect the other children this man may get an eye on.
Eventually this very large dude strolls by, very obviously looking around, and she quietly points him out to us. At this point I’m ready to set him on fire, but when I ask if she needs me to go report him, she shakes her head. She doesn’t want to get in trouble, or make anyone mad.
We see him a few more times over the course of the day, because he keeps meandering over to our booth and just casually looking around.
So, this little girl told adults that a man they now have their eyes on has tried to get her to come up to his hotel room with him. And they say nothing. I’m at a loss here. Both women who recounted the story insist that they told the parents. One of the staffers commented:
The girls [sic] parents were informed of the situation. Shouldn’t it ultimately be their responsibility? My staff members helped the girl and notified her parents, who were at the con.
Well, yes – it’s great that they informed the parents – but they are the ones who saw and can identify the guy, right? As if this story wasn’t odd enough, several members of the Brony fandom expressed outrage: “Many members of the fandom, including poniesforparents, believed the entire story was fabricated in order to “demonize” bronies.” Why would conference attendees and booth owners themselves want to demonize Bronies?
The conference staff insisted the incident was never brought to their attention and that they certainly would’ve handled it if it had been. They have security in place to deal with the kind of dangers that may exist at a large event that attracts children. I am at a loss for why several staffers of the Anime booth and this girl’s parents didn’t think this incident was disturbing enough to inform anyone. I’m also annoyed that the fandom would accuse it all of being a lie. I don’t think it’s inappropriate at all to imply that there may be some creepy predators at a My Little Pony convention that attracts kids. This whole thing is just disturbing and odd.