On Monday, Oct. 30, vocalist Susan Calloway, a prominent performer of FFXIV music, faced allegations of transphobia and Islamophobia due to likes and replies on her Twitter/X account. When the likes and replies were discovered by the FFXIV community, Calloway seemingly deleted her account.
In light of this controversy, KupoCon, a Final Fantasy fan convention, announced that her upcoming appearance at Toronto KupoCon would be canceled. Initially hailed as a positive move, KupoCon has since come under fire for a secondary statement it made today.
This new statement on the KupoCon website describes how the convention had reached out to Calloway after the allegations had been made, who reportedly told KupoCon she had been hacked. The new statement then goes on to say that due to a perceived “wave of abusive comments” allegedly directed at both Calloway and KupoCon, her appearance was withdrawn “in light of safety concerns.”
This is in contrast to their previous statement on Twitter/X, on Oct. 30, which omitted details about safety. In that post, Kupocon stated: “In light of recent events, we announce that Susan Calloway will no longer be attending our upcoming event in Toronto. We will do our utmost to secure another guest in time for Pom East, but it may be difficult due to the time constraints.”
Replies were later turned off on this initial message due to reported discrimination and harassment, although many remaining replies appear to support Calloway.
KupoCon’s secondary response has elicited anger from the FFXIV community, who have accused them, among other things, of using a “both sides” narrative. Multiple quotes and replies to the statement point this out, especially the fact that KupoCon says it wants to create “a family-friendly event and an inclusive and safe environment for all” but also does not outright condemn the perceived transphobia and Islamophobia.
This could be perceived as a misstep by KupoCon. Those whose frustrations were initially only aimed at Calloway, now have KupoCon in their sights.
The post speculated that Susan Calloway was likely to make her own statement on the issues in the coming days. That statement came on Nov. 2 when Calloway posted to her personal website. In the post she repeated the allegations of a hacker, explaining that the hack had liked some offesnive and controversial posts. She stated she is "not anti anyone, especially those in the more vulnerable communities like LGBTQ. I am for you. I can only imagine how hard your journey has been. I have friends from literally all walks of life - trans, gay, straight, right wing, left wing, moderate, young, old, religious, not religious, and everything in between." Calloway's posts have garnered some support on social media.