- Hello, Matt et al:
- It pains me to have to bring up fandom politics to you, but as a pioneer in the MLP:FiM fan community, I find it necessary to bring to your attention a disruptive and caustic influence within the brony world. I feel that the individuals I am about to discuss represent a real threat to your company and its fanbase, and may even be attempting to get Mr. Proulx fired. As I am no longer on the staff of any brony convention (having stepped down from BronyCon months ago) and am thus a neutral party, I am probably the only major figure within the brony fandom willing to come forwards about this matter; the others are all too afraid of blowback to their own individual organisations. Needless to say, though, my words echo the concerns of numerous others who are directly instrumental in organising your fanbase around the country. As the founder of the world's first MLP:FiM fan convention, I care deeply about this community, and I fear I must bring this matter to your immediate and urgent attention. As you are no doubt aware, a day or so ago, fan convention Canterlot Gardens announced Tara Strong as a guest of honour. I have every reason to believe that they did this by completely circumventing the procedures you have set up for conventions seeking a VA presence, presumably via approaching Tara and/or her agent directly.
- This alone should be enough to pique your ire. However, as they say, "but wait-- there's more". Specifically, I have reason to believe that this convention is being organised as a for-profit entity, and I am certain Hasbro Legal would not be too pleased that a fan convention is seeking to profit, without licence or approval, off of an unofficial fan event whose very name contains a copyrighted Hasbro name ('Canterlot'). The 'brains' behind this convention, Sean David Levine, is a Machiavellian manipulator who uses his bits and influence (derived from his Hollywood composer father, Michael Levine) to get what he wants. He is utterly unethical (which should be a prime concern for a company lauded as one of the world's most ethical companies), and is willing to lie, cheat and engage in despicable acts of bigotry in order to achieve his goals. For instance, his core staffers (all but one of whom are former staffers of BronyCon, the convention I started nearly a year ago) have been involved in leaking private documents (including a staff roster with private phone numbers, a recording of a private audio conversation, and a log of a private text chat) from my former convention, including an audio recording of a private phone conversation between myself and "Klisk Midori", his head of PR. These documents were leaked anonymously on 4chan, possibly the most disgusting site on the Internet, alongside tremendous quantities of slur words mocking my sexuality and gender expression. A tremendous number of offensive images using my pony character have appeared since then, including some fraudulently accusing me of grand theft and even foal molestation, and I have every reason to believe that these images were either created by, or created using information from, Canterlot Gardens staffers. At least one of these images, which mocks me for being transgendered, references events which CG staffers were the only brony witnesses to.
- Mr. Levine describes himself as CG's "investor". This choice of words is very telling; one generally uses that term if one expects to earn profit. In fact, I have heard from multiple sources in high places throughout various legitimate brony conventions that Mr. Levine has attempted to convince at least one other convention to convert from a not-for-profit corporation to a for-profit corporation. Again, I am certain that deliberate unauthorised attempts by convention organisations to form a for-profit corporation benefiting off of Hasbro properties will not meet with your approval. The head of their convention, "Nanashi Tanaka" (whose real name, as far as I am aware, is David Mandes) is a literal thief who stole $800 from my personal checking account via unauthorised use of my debit card. He also has a questionable past, having claimed to be a part of the Witness Protection Program (which is highly doubtful) and to have been a former bail enforcer (also highly questionable, given that he is, as far as I know, only 19 years old). Several months after this, Mr. Levine attempted to coerce me to assign financial control over BronyCon to himself and Mr. Mandes. When I refused, they left, together with three others. Later, all but one of this group formed the core of the Canterlot Gardens staff. The same group also made attempts to become affiliated at the highest level with another major brony convention. In other words, this group is composed of rejects from all the legitimate brony conventions, and their willingness to deliberately and knowingly skirt Hasbro policy and sign a current show VA without Hasbro approval fits in with their shady nature.
- In fact, I have heard through a high-ranking source within a major brony fan convention that Sean may intend to have Matt fired and replaced with somepony who answers to him. (Presumably, he would use his extensive Hollywood connections via his composer father to do so). That a convention organiser-- or, rather, "investor"-- would even be talking about doing such things should be cause for significant alarm. Here is the direct quote from the con org in question (who will remain unnamed): "He's making sounds like he's got friends above Matt, that he';s going to use said friends to get Matt fired, and get somepony in there apparently that answers to just him
- If his lies & BS are to be believed."
- There are numerous conventions within the brony world. Most are run by wonderful ponies who have nothing but good intentions and are upstanding citizens of the fandom. All but one are doggedly following Hasbro's policies and procedures, as NOPONY wishes to upset Hasbro. The sole exception, the sole standout, the one convention that will stop at nothing (however unethical) in order to succeed, is Canterlot Gardens. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to take action against these ponies before they get too popular. It will be easier to cause them to Cease & Desist now rather than later (particularly if Mr. Levine truly does intend to interfere with internal Hasbro matters and get Mr. Proulx fired). They have tried to take over the largest brony convention in the world twice (once directly, once via the staff of another convention they were attempting to work with), and even one of the VAs can testify that they stated in private that by the next event, they would be running said convention. They will not rest until they run the largest My Little Pony convention in the world, and they are willing to break all the rules to do so. Please, please do something.
- In the spirit of friendship,
- Jessica Blank / Purple Tinker
a guest May 14th, 2012 2,046 Never
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