Cosplay Photographer Michael Benedict Allegedly Admitted to Filming Models in Changing Rooms With Spy Cam
Michael Benedict, a well-known cosplay photographer, shocked and horrified the community on Monday. He allegedly filmed cosplayers in studio changing rooms without their consent. They found about 300 videos on the camera used. A few different cosplay pages revealed the information, including the Cosplay Photographer Alliance Events page on Facebook.
The Community Reaction
The general reaction from the cosplay community has been disgust. Posters encouraged cosplayers to be more careful going forward, especially when it comes to photographers you aren’t familiar with. Online, most groups have already expelled Benedict.
One poster wrote on the Cosplay Photographer Alliance Events page about the events. He wrote: “This type of behavior is not welcomed in this group and there is a zero tolerance policy to anything that puts cosplayers and photographers in danger. I don’t know Michael very well but it sickens me to know that he has shot with people he met through this group. Everyone needs to check themselves and conduct themselves as professionals. He has been removed and banned from this group and any of our events. There is going to be some changes coming to help protect against this type of thing.”
A Twitter user with the handle @LuciferBob chimed in as well.
Well this is disgusting to hear. A cosplay photog was caught hiding a spy cam inside a changing room at a studio that they used.
Friends, be careful when doing studio shoots. Once more info is available I'll update
— Luciferbob (@LuciferBob) February 11, 2019
He followed this tweet with screenshots of Benedict allegedly admitting to filming the cosplayers, and apologizing.
Another Twitter user with the handle @caduceusbane also made an eloquent point.
there are so many scummy fuckboys in the cosplay community taking advantage of the fact that the scene is full of young and vulnerable girls and women and i am, quite frankly, already sick of it! men in cosplay: fucking! do better!!!!!
— K I N G 💥 (@caduceusbane) February 11, 2019
So far, the photographer has made no public statement about the accusations or the screenshots. In the screenshot conversation, he said he would keep up his public profiles so he could talk it over with people individually. However, it appears he deleted his Twitter account. [Editor’s note: Here is a link to an article containing the screenshots. I have declined to repost them here, in keeping with the stated request of two of the cosplayers involved, who are gathering evidence against Benedict. Benedict’s Twitter account has indeed been deleted.]
No one person has come forward or pressed charges as of today. LuciferBob is updating on Twitter as more comes out about the allegations.
If you or someone you know cosplays, stay vigilant and be safe. Take friends to your shoots and look around the changing rooms before undressing. Make cosplay safe, as a community.
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