Every year I promise myself I'll get organised earlier, and every year I fail miserably. I realise the con is on the weekend before, and have to scramble to get my crap together. But not this year! THIS year I managed to remember to not only get my cosplay planned out ahead of time (I haven't started on it yet - let's be serious) but also check the guests and the date for the Sydney show MONTHS ahead of time.
While doing this research, I discovered that Edward Furlong was among the guests for the Sydney leg of Supanova. I remember thinking, "Hunh, I didn't know he was still around," and promptly forgetting about it until the organisers announced this week that he wouldn't be able to make it "given the news of recent times." I had no idea what this recent news was, so I did a quick Google. Turns out Edward Furlong can't make the con because he's going to jail. For violating his probation. For domestic violence. And despite the judge taking into account his long standing issues with addiction to drugs and alcohol and offering him a stint in rehab, he chose jail instead.
I then did some more reading and realised this is actually just the latest in a string of three convictions for domestic violence, against three separate women. By then, my face looked like this.
I'm pretty unimpressed by the organisers of Supanova inviting a repeat domestic abuse offender to a pop culture convention - partially because it's sold as a "family" event, and he's not exactly family friendly. But also because cons aren't really known for being all that friendly to women in the first place - they are getting much better, and Supanova is certainly much more comfortable for me than the average LAN party. However, the last thing women who want to attend need is the organisers holding up someone known for (allegedly) beating the tar out of women as an example. It also probably wasn't the smartest business decision - I'm sure way back when they first booked him, they didn't KNOW he was going to end up in prison. But it didn't exactly come out of the blue either. As I said, this was his THIRD domestic violence charge, and he has been struggling with drug and alcohol problems quite publicly for years.
|Cocaine's a hell of a drug.|
However, this has also set off a complicated train of thought in my head, full of 'buts' and 'what ifs'.
I think inviting Furlong at this particular point was a big mistake - he has made no public apology whatsoever for any of his previous actions towards his partners, nor indeed any public acknowledgement of the previous accusations leveled at him. (That I could find - please correct me if you know of any) In order to forgive and forget the things he has been accused of, it would be helpful to have him at least stand up and say, "Hitting your girlfriend is a shitty thing to do." But he hasn't. When you're not even as apologetic as Chris Brown about previous shitty behavior, you really have to take a long hard look at yourself.
|Chris Brown and his tattoo which totally does not look like|
a woman who has been beaten up in anyway, honest.
Let's look at a similar example of public bad behavior and charges laid, which has ended up quite differently to the way it looks like Furlong will. Fashion designer John Galliano (pictured above) said some horrible, HORRIBLE things in a bar in Paris 2011, while apparently very drunk. He was promptly fired and sent into professional exile for the next two years, which he apparently spent largely in rehab. But when he got a new job, there was still a lot of criticism leveled at his new employer, Oscar de la Renta, for giving him a second chance many didn't feel he deserved. I wonder how long these critics feel he should have to pay for his bad behavior - two years seems like a long time, especially in a fast moving industry like fashion. Of course, I'm not entirely sold on the idea that he should have gotten off so easily - while he was charged with anti-semitism, he didn't actually serve any time or even pay any fine. Galliano's behavior is a bit different to the sort of thing Furlong has been charged with - while what Galliano said was abhorrent, he did actually just SAY horrible things rather than say them with his fists, or threaten to have other people say them with THEIR fists. But if Galliano can be exiled for two years, during which he apologised publicly and went through extensive rehab, as punishment for saying unacceptable words, how long should Furlong be exiled for unacceptable actions?
|Really? You're a fashion designer? I NEVER would|
|No, I'm not going to comment on her getting back together with Chris Brown.|