Comic book writer Tom Taylor announced on a Facebook post yesterday that he will not be attending the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Washington because of the heightened United States border restrictions. He says foreigners are at an increased risk of being detained and harassed while entering the U.S. right now.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Taylor, who is Australian, cited the reported interrogations at the U.S. customs, the detention of travelers, and confiscation of social media accounts as justification to not visit the United States in 2017. The heart of Taylor’s decision, however, comes from the fact that he finds the whole ordeal unconscionable, writing:
“[T]here is something else which bothers me more than all of this, [...] and that’s the idea that I have nothing to worry about. The idea that I could be let in without the extra scrutiny, without incident, without a care in the world … purely because I’m a straight white guy. [...] I don’t want to happily visit a country that is in the process of denying entry to so many, purely because of where they were born or what they believe. And so, I won’t.”
Though Taylor seems to recognize what fans and his peers have told him — that he’s not at particular risk for difficulty at the border — he believes going along with the process condones what it’s become.
Taylor is currently a writer for Marvel’s All-New Wolverine, DC and BOOM!’s Justice League/Power Rangers team-up series, and his own original animated series for Netflix, The Deep. Like many popular writers, he often makes U.S. convention appearances at major fan events and gatherings, a cherished tradition in the comic book community that allows fans to interact with creators.
Taylor’s decision echoes remarks made by other comic book writers including New Teen Titans co-creator George Perez and Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos, both of whom have vowed to not attend comic book conventions in states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
All of this is part of a larger trend of creative and scientific talent standing in solidarity against several Trump’s administrative orders, the travel ban in particular. At this weekend’s 89th Academy Awards, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi refused to attend the awards in protest of the travel ban, allowing Iranian-American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari to deliver a statement after his second Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for The Salesman.
Emerald City Comic Con takes place this weekend.Photos via Marvel