Jef Rouner at the Houston Press has been tracking the debacle that was last month’s Space City Comic Con. His complete coverage can be found HERE: http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/space-city-comic-con-official-says-charlie-hunnam-strong-armed-them-updated-8447215
I thought I would add some commentary of my own, just to see how we compare.
First, this comment by George Comits [emphasis mine]:
“He admits that Hunnam’s appearance should have been canceled when Space City Comic Con failed to make his guaranteed appearance fee, but Comits says that Hunnam insisted on attending anyway.”
First, Comits “admits” that he wasn’t going to be able to make Charlie Hunnam’s fee, which means that he wasn’t going to be able to make anyone else’s, except possibly some of the “smaller” guests (who have fan-bases, too, to which they aren’t small.)
Secondly, all this statement does is reinforce the perception that Hunnam was the good, stand-up guy throughout this situation. He came to the event for the fans, knowing he would probably get screwed, and he did get screwed. Comits’ problem seems to be that, by doing so, Hunnam exposed the event for what it was: either an intentional con or an incompetent disaster.
Either way, Comits effectively hangs himself here.
According to Comits’ account, Charlie Hunnam came in and was basically a crook from the word ‘go,’ demanding photo op payment before the photos were even taken, simply pocketing wads of cash in Comits’ office, etc.
This stands in stark contrast to every other account I’ve heard about Charlie’s behavior. Especially that of Alex Wolf, the photographer at the event, who Rouner cites as saying, “Hunnam approached him to find out what his cut of the pre-sales was so far, but that he did not ask for his money. Wolf says the actor was cordial throughout his time at the convention.”
As for the whole breaking contracts issue, Rouner reports “Comits says that after Hunnam stirred up the cast, saying they wouldn’t be paid their appearance fee, the panel was largely boycotted, breaking contracts in the process. This led to fan outrage on the convention floor.”
First, if Comits couldn’t make the payments he’d contracted, then the contract is void, therefore, the cast broke nothing by boycotting a panel. Now, if it comes out that the timing of said payment is in question, and the lawyers dig in and legalese this whole thing, then obviously the situation may change from a legal standpoint, but if the cast acted in good faith in their belief that their contracts had been violated, then a case can likely be made that no such breach occurred on their part.
But I’m no lawyer.
As for “outrage on the convention floor,” of course the fans would be angry. If, as has been reported elsewhere, some of them had paid over $2000 for VIP packages that turned out to be worthless, then I’d be angry, too.
Thankfully, I was on press credentials, and “only” had to pay for airfare, hotel, and rental car to attend the event (~$1000). And, to be honest, I wasn’t even there for the Sons of Anarchy “reunion.” I was there to cover the event as a whole, but since this seems to encapsulate the event as a whole….
Hopefully those fans that have legitimate grievances with George Comits and Space City Comic Con get what they’re owed. I hope the Sons of Anarchy cast aren’t put off conventions in the future. I hope these events don’t put other cons off having the SoA cast as guests.
The story continues to unfold, and I’m sure many more details will be exposed and stories changed.
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