San Diego Comic-Con is coming back. After canceling the massive July convention in both 2020 and 2021, the organizers at Comic-Con International opted to have a shorter event later this year, announcing last week that Comic-Con would take place on Thanksgiving weekend this year. As it turns out, those in Hollywood are reportedly growing weary of the timing of the convention, with some insiders suggesting some studios are refusing to participate.
According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, one publicist says their clients are "refusing" to attend the event unless they're ordered by a studio to attend as part of a press tour for an upcoming movie.
"I would never ask anyone to do anything that was remotely dangerous but it's the studio that does the asking," a producer reportedly told the trade. "And I would tell them I side with any actor that doesn't feel comfortable."
The report goes on to say the Thanksgiving date was "hotly contested" by the various members of the Comic-Con International board. That said, the group ultimately decided to go with the date and shorten it to a three-day show from Friday to Sunday. After comic creators and fans started to speak out against the convention dates on social media over the weekend, Comic-Con released a statement defending the decision.
"Our decision to hold an in-person event in 2021 was driven by a number of factors," the statement read. "Our primary hope was to be able to gather in-person as a community, something we have not been able to do since early last year. Another was to try to determine how best to effectively and safely produce events in light of current health concerns with the least negative impact on attendees."
It added, "Currently we do not know whether having this event in November is even feasible as we are still in the midst of the pandemic and while we are optimistic about Q4, we have not been privy to any specific information on large gatherings. However, it was our desire to have something in place for our fans who have longed for an in-person event. We truly hope that you will join us for this entry back into the world of in-person celebrations of the community we so love."
Regardless, the THR report says even studios aren't even warming up to the idea just quite yet. "We love San Diego Comic-Con and would love to support, but what actor or producer is going to give up their first post-vaccine Thanksgiving holiday with family to travel to San Diego to publicize a project?," at least one studio source told the outlet.
Cover photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images