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Cosplayer in racism row for ‘blackface’ when dressing as League of Legends character Pyke 

A French cosplayer was barred from wearing a £2,700 costume in the finals of a competition after she faced allegations of ‘blackface’. 

Alice Livanart won the France Cosplay Cup in September after dressing as League of Legends champion Pyke – and was due to appear at the EuroCosplay Championships at MCM Comic Con in London on October 26. 

But her costume has been banned from the event – which pits the winners of events from 25 European countries against one another – after a social media backlash that accused Ms Livanart of being insensitive.  

EuroCosplay posted a statement revealing they were not disqualifying Ms Livanart from the competition, and are ‘looking into alternative options that allow them to still compete’, but they will not allow the Pyke costume to appear. 

Alice Livanart won the France Cosplay Cup in September after dressing as League of Legends champion Pyke (pictured: Ms Livanart wearing the mask of the Pyke costume)

She was due to appear at the EuroCosplay Championships at MCM Comic Con in London later this month, but her costume was banned from the event following allegations of 'blackface'

Alice Livanart

She was due to appear at the EuroCosplay Championships at MCM Comic Con in London later this month, but her costume was banned from the event following allegations of ‘blackface’

Ms Livanart said she had worked too hard on the costume to let it 'stay in the closet'

Ms Livanart's Bioshock cosplay

Ms Livanart said she had worked too hard on the Pyke costume (left) to let it ‘stay in the closet’ (right: Ms Livanart’s Bioshock cosplay)

A spokesperson said: ‘We hear and appreciate all of your concerns regarding the costume of one of our finalists. We would like to confirm that this cosplay will not be appearing in the event, and we would like to apologise for any offence caused.

‘We are currently reviewing all of terms and conditions to make sure that they are clearer to avoid any confusion in the future.’

The decision sparked furious debate online, with many praising the event co-coordinators for ‘fighting racism’ – while others criticised them for the ‘absolutely ridiculous’ decision.  

One Twitter user said: ‘Thank you for listening and taking action, even better to prevent any future offence as people need to learn that this really isn’t ok.’

'I am not saying blackface doesn't exist. I am saying Pyke isn't blackface,' said Ms Livanart

‘I am not saying blackface doesn’t exist. I am saying Pyke isn’t blackface,’ said Ms Livanart 

The decision sparked furious debate online, with many praising the event co-coordinators for 'fighting racism' - while others criticised them for the 'absolutely ridiculous' decision

The decision sparked furious debate online, with many praising the event co-coordinators for ‘fighting racism’ – while others criticised them for the ‘absolutely ridiculous’ decision

Another said: ‘Just making sure I understand this correctly if we took that exact same costume and put it on a person of color that would be OK? So it’s not the costume it’s the person? isn’t that in itself the definition of racial exclusion i.e. racism?’ 

Twitter user ‘Dean’ said: ‘I like all the white men commenting that it “isn’t blackface” because they got their feelings hurt. Good on you @EuroCosplay for doing the right thing.’

One person responded: ‘Are you high? How is this offensive? We are commenting it isn’t, because it isn’t… it’s a faithful (and amazing) reproduction of a game character which in no way demeans anybody.’

Another said: ‘Dude I’m black and this is 100% not blackfacing lmao thank you for getting offended for my skin color smh.’

Twitter user @ToussaintDewey posted a meme showing a drooling gormless cartoon figure whose head is being used as a birdbath, with the caption: ‘Meanwhile in Eurocosplay HQ.’

Ms Livanart said people have been very supportive, writing messages that helped her when she was feeling down and crying because she did not understand what was happening

Ms Livanart

Ms Livanart said people have been very supportive, writing messages that helped her when she was feeling down and crying because she did not understand what was happening

Commenting on the picture of Ms Livanart's mask, Instagram user minomotu said: 'Ahhh yes it’s ok to pretend to be a poc cause it’s just a mask. It’s fiiiiine. God go back to the garbage fire you came from you privileged yt trash'

Commenting on the picture of Ms Livanart’s mask, Instagram user minomotu said: ‘Ahhh yes it’s ok to pretend to be a poc cause it’s just a mask. It’s fiiiiine. God go back to the garbage fire you came from you privileged yt trash’

Commenting on the picture of Ms Livanart’s mask, Instagram user minomotu said: ‘Ahhh yes it’s ok to pretend to be a poc cause it’s just a mask. It’s fiiiiine. God go back to the garbage fire you came from you privileged yt trash.’ 

Ms Livanart told BBC News she ‘understands’ those who have criticised her, but said there was a ‘huge difference between blackface and cosplay’.   

‘I am not saying blackface doesn’t exist. I am saying Pyke isn’t blackface,’ she said.

‘I made Pyke with all the love I have for that character. He is amazing and I just wanted to be him, because I love him. And that’s cosplay.

‘Pyke is a fictitious character, he doesn’t exist. The only reason he’s alive and walking is because there’s something magic in cosplay.’

Twitter user @ToussaintDewey posted a meme showing a drooling gormless cartoon figure whose head is being used as a birdbath, with the caption: 'Meanwhile in Eurocosplay HQ'

Twitter user @ToussaintDewey posted a meme showing a drooling gormless cartoon figure whose head is being used as a birdbath, with the caption: ‘Meanwhile in Eurocosplay HQ’

She said people have been very supportive, writing messages that helped her when she was feeling down and crying because she did not understand what was happening.  

Ms Livanart said she had worked too hard on the costume to let it ‘stay in the closet’.

One Twitter user criticising EuroCosplay’s decision said: ‘Social Justice Warriors killed your contest.’

Another account replied: ‘Good.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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