Events

DragonCon Successfully Drops Ed Kramer!

It’s a very good day, today, because DragonCon, the fun, sprawling nerdfest that happens every Labor Day in Atlanta, GA, will no longer pay out money to Ed Kramer, a man currently on trial for child molestation.

Kramer was a founder of DragonCon who has continued to collect a vast amount of money from the con despite not having any decision-making power for many years. There’s also tons of evidence to suggest he’s a truly vile pedophile, and he’s currently using his vast amount of money to defend himself in court. This inspired many people to call for a boycott, and it personally made me and many other frequent DragonCon guests worry that our support of the con was contributing to a monster.

Some people who were fans of or even volunteers with DragonCon tried and failed to criticize the boycotters using some pretty poor logic, but I’m very happy to say that DragonCon’s leadership itself has worked hard to actually solve the problem. They still end up needing to pay Kramer off for his shares in the company, but that’s now done and convention goers can be satisfied knowing that their money for this and future years’ passes won’t go to Kramer’s defense. Here’s DragconCon’s statement:

DRAGON CON, INC. REPLACES DRAGON CON / ACE, INC.

Dragon Con will Continue the Agreements With Hotels, Guests and Performers.

ATLANTA – July 8, 2013 – The Board of Directors and Shareholders of Dragon Con / ACE, Inc., producer of Dragon*Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy and sci-fi convention, have agreed to merge the company into Dragon Con, Inc. (Dragon Con) in a cash-out merger.

Led by Pat Henry, David Cody and Robert Dennis, ownership of Dragon Con includes five of the six founding owners of Dragon Con / ACE (the old Dragon Con). The effective date of the merger is July 8, 2013.

Edward Kramer, who has not had any role in managing or organizing the convention since 2000, was offered cash for his shares in the old company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This decision only affects the ownership of the old Dragon Con,” said Pat Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Con. “Our members and others who attend Dragon*Con 2013 will experience the same fantastic convention they have come to expect from us.”

Dragon Con will continue the agreements with each of the host and overflow hotels associated with the convention as well as all of the guests and performers scheduled to appear at this year’s event, either “as is” or with amendments recognizing Dragon Con as owner.

About Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con is the largest pop culture convention featuring comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming. Held each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Dragon*Con attracted more than 52,000 attendees in 2012. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org.

It’s great news, and I am now very much looking forward to attending this year.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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4 Comments

  1. Now, is it time to boycott DragonCon for violation of the FLSA? There’s a great comment thread on the Atlanta Magazine story you linked to. I can’t get a link to it, but look for a comment by T Nielsen Hayden with reply by Nancy A Collins near the bottom. Here’s Nancy’s relevant post:

    Nancy A. Collins posted on 02/26/2013 02:20 AM
    @T. Nielsen Hayden As it turns out, it is a serious violation of federal labor law for a For-Profit corporation to use unpaid volunteers. That means DragonCon’s entire business model is illegal.

    Some of the volunteers know DragonCon is a For Profit business, but I would argue most do not. The “fannish tradition” of volunteering to work conventions is one thing when you’re talking about 100-1000 attendees over the course of 2-3 days. It’s something else entirely when its 40K+ attendees over a 5 day span, and generating millions of dollars at the gate. Volunteering your time and effort for the betterment of fandom is one thing–having someone stuff their pockets to the tune of 150K due to free labor is another.

    http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/docs/volunteers.asp

    http://djillpugh.typepad.com/employee_handbooks/2008/11/a-for-profit-business-cannot-have-volunteers.html

    http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/775/volunteers-at-for-profit-companies-should-they-be-paid
    – See more at: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/features/2012/09/01/dragoncon-ed-kramer-child-molestation/page/7#sthash.6cMAQ64H.dpuf

    1. The link at the bottom was inserted by the paste process…Rebecca had a “triggering” warning on her original reference to the link which I neglected to add.

  2. It’s fantastic that unlike the two previous Skepchick posts on this where some assclowns spent dozens of posts telling us why this wasn’t a big deal and nothing could be done about it, on this post their voices are now, like the population of Alderaan, suddenly silent.

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