You read that headline correctly. A convention in the Kansas township of Salina hosted, among its numerous other events, a cosplay competition. At the end of the event, they awarded several prizes, concluding with what the presenter called Worst in Show.
This is, of course, maddening. People who make costumes for conventions do so for all kinds of reasons. Some do it professionally, advertising their skill and drawing attention to their abilities so that they can take on commissions. Other do it as a hobby, constructing pieces and collaborating with a larger community of costumers along the way as they hone their craft.
Some just do it for fun, buying or commissioning an outfit to run around with their friends. Everyone who costumes does it to engage with the media that they love, either to emulate a character they admire or show other members of the community “look, I enjoy this thing too.” No one deserves the kind of humiliation that comes with walking out on stage and being “awarded” last place.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, the promoter of the event offered a loose explanation for what happened. They shifted the blame onto promoter Gabe’s Caves, who allegedly suggested the idea of a “last place,” which the promoter denied…but went on to announce anyway? Notable in this attempt at an apology is the lack of any kind of genuine apology, only a gesture towards being sorry that people were offended.
To their credit, the cosplay team that was on the receiving end of this nonsense have been very gracious. They have publicly stated that they will continue costuming and do not wish for this to be their legacy. And while they have not had any contact from the convention regarding the incident, they appreciate all the love and support the costuming community has offered them.