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Convention Fans @ Dragon*con: The Assholes of Dragon*con 2009

9 September 2009 by

I feel like I have been very fortunate in my celebrity encounters over the years. I’ve attended a lot of cons, and met actors from all manner of shows. The vast majority have not only been pleasant, but downright awesome. Some of the highlights include George Takei, Cirroc Lofton, Avery Brooks, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Kevin Sorbo, Richard Hatch, and Nathan Fillion. Some of the not so great encounters have included Nichelle Nichols, Gates McFadden, Tim Russ, and Denise Crosby. After Dragon*con 2009, I now have celebrity guest(s) to add to each category. I am officially dubbing this entry “The Assholes of Dragon*con 2009.”

But I’m sure you’re thinking, hey, she implied she had someone to add to the awesome category? And you would be right. One of the nicest celebrity guests I’ve ever met happens to be one of the oldest assholes around: Barry Bostwick. (For you non-Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, Barry’s character is called “asshole” throughout the movie by fans.)

Barry Bostwick is officially one of my new favorite celebrity guests ever. I’m a huge Rocky Horror fan, so seeing Barry was one of my priorities for the weekend. Not only was he nice, but he was genuinely funny and endearing as well. He actually makes his own pendants that say “slut” and “asshole.” This is a guy who knows what he’s famous for, and totally loves it. And there’s no better combination when it comes to convention guests. (As a side note, he actually signed the autograph I bought “Love, your asshole“!) Seriously Barry, you’re the only asshole for me! And how cool was it that he did the introduction for Dragon*con’s Rocky Horror?

Unfortunately, there was an encounter with a celebrity guest that was about as sad and disappointing as they come. I totally didn’t see it coming either.

Patrick Stewart was a jerk to me when I got my autograph. First of all, he wasn’t in the main Walk of Fame, which I didn’t notice until I got up to the doors (I had been waiting in a huge line just to get IN the WoF and didn’t seen the signs until after I was about to enter). Now, this wasn’t his fault, but it contributed to the overall frustration related to the entire encounter.

I finally found his autograph room, where there were no less than five people providing security/assistance. There were two people monitoring the doorway. I bought my ticket from one handler at table number one, and chose my photo. I walked three feet over to table number two, and gave that handler the ticket and the photo I had chosen. She gave the photo to Stewart, who was seated next to her. A large man (who I was told was a retired police officer), hovered over Stewart with his beefy arms crossed, looking very much like some kind of club bouncer.

Stewart quickly picked up a pen and glanced at me. I thought he was looking to my badge to see who he should sign it to (as the vast majority of guests do personalize autographs, and if they don’t there’s at least a sign saying so). I started to say “please make it out to…” but he cut me off, and curtly told me he didn’t do “personalizations.” I didn’t know that, as none of his five people in there had bothered to mention it. Before I could say anything else, or even thank him, he pushed the photo towards me, and moved on to the next person.

It was totally disappointing and disheartening, as I had always read such wonderful things about him on Wil Wheaton’s blog. It was just a total shock that Stewart had been such a… well… asshole. I had friends get the same chilly reception when they got their autograph too, which means there were probably others like us who left feeling disappointed.

Edit: I forgot that I wanted to mention the whole photo op with Stewart as well. He was charging fans $200 to take a photo with him. Nimoy and Shatner together didn’t even cost that much together. I realize that Stewart’s agents probably set those prices, but $200 is still absolutely outrageous, and in mind my mind, a slap in the face to fans (especially in this economy).

And finally, it goes without saying that William Shatner is the biggest asshole of Dragon*con 2009. I’m sure a lot of those who attended his panel with Leonard Nimoy on Friday would probably agree. Whether he was mocking the accents of the locals, teasing Eric Watts about his beard, or ripping into George Takei at every possible opportunity, Dragon*con has never had a bigger asshole than William Shatner in attendance. (You can read about the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy panel by clicking here.)

For the record, I always try to give guests the benefit of the doubt. People have bad days, and I’m sure signing a million items and taking a million pictures gets tiresome. But when I heard (from a reliable source) that Stewart was guaranteed to make $60,000 at Dragon*con this year, I decided that he could have done a much better job of faking some gratitude. I’m sure Shatner was promised a pretty similar sum. For me, that makes their attitudes rather inexcusable.

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