Jezebel, the women's interests arm of Gawker (the folks behind Kotaku, Deadspin, io9) have recently picked up the story of how veteran cosplayer and Director of New Media for Cosplay.com Ginny McQueen went public on an unnamed "anime convention" in Las Vegas' offer of $200, snacks, and two free tickets in exchange for a "live burlesque performance."
The email sent included the message:
Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM
Booking Contract for ***CON
Dear Miss Ginny,
Are you interested in dancing for ***CON Friday Aug 17 and Saturday Aug 18, 2012? Terms are as follows:
***CON agree to the following:
• Two Hundred Dollars US ($200) as compensation
• Complimentary Snacks and Beverages in the Green Room
• Two complimentary 3-Day Badges to ***CON 2012 ($120 value)
• A shared gratis booth to sell your merchandise/autograph pictures in the Exhibitor's Hall 3 days of the convention (Friday, August 17, Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19, 2012)
• To promote you (Ginny Mcqueen) as a performer of ***CON
Ginny McQueen agree to the following:
• Wear undergarments (lingerie or pasties) underneath your cosplay attire
• Provide your own cosplay attire(s) for to wear during your live burlesque performance on Friday, August 17, 2012 and Saturday, August 18, 2012.
• Perform live onstage in the 18+ lounge at ***CON on Friday Night, August 17, 2012 at 11:20pm to 11:40pm, 12:00am to 12:20am, 12:40am to 1:00am, and 1:20 to 1:40am, and Saturday Night, August 18, 2012 at 11:20pm to 11:40pm and 12:40am to 1:00am for six 20 minutes burlesque strip tease dance routines to anime songs (take off cosplay attire down to undergarments (no nudity)
• Return cosplay attire in good condition before you exit the 18+ lounge
• Perform live onstage at our Rave at ***CON on Saturday Night, August 18, 2012 at 12:00am to 12:20am and 1:20am to 1:40am for two 20 minutes go-go dance performances
• Live up to the terms of the Exhibitor Contract in the Exhibitors Hall
• To promote ***CON from now till the actual convention on all social media and at other events
• To provide ***CON the right to use your name and images, videos, marketing collateral, etc. in conjunction with promoting of ***CON in all media
• To be available and actively participate in any video/photo/media interview opportunities during the convention
This Offer, when signed, constitutes a binding Memorandum of Understanding.
Miss Ginny McQueen Date
McQueen told Jezebel "I find it insulting that someone would assume that because some of my costumes are revealing, I'd want to do a striptease for a crowd of people and let them film it."
"They put no effort into researching me or what I do. They also had absolutely no grasp of what a contract is." McQueen added that she tries to have a sense of humor when it comes to gender stereotypes within the cosplay community, as evidenced by her follow-up video, "How To Strip Off Your Cosplay." I was being facetious."
"I am not a stripper or dancer, nor would I spend even more of my own time and money to alter the costumes I've already made so I could easily strip them off for someone. I will, however, make insane videos of myself for the sake of humor."
Arguably in a related discussion about defining cosplay and perception of cosplay, British actor/filmmaker Simon Pegg found himself in a heated Twitter debate with feminist Doctor Who blogger Courtney Stoker following his comments on a group photo of slave Leia cosplayers. You can read that back-and-forth here.