Cosplay Creepers is a blog “dedicated to creepy comments, emails, and private messages that people within the cosplay/costuming community receive.” Most of it is your fairly regular “nice boobs” comment screenshots where we can laugh at these idiots misogyny, but boy have they found a true creep this time. Richard Bui is a pretty well known west coast cosplay and wedding photographer in some circles, but he’s about to become well know for something else.
It started with a comment on Facebook, and then became many more as others began speaking out to raise awareness so that he doesn’t victimize anyone else. It seems that for years he’s been allegedly asking cosplayers some creepy, and downright unlawful, requests. Only now are cosplayers coming out with accusations against him, but these supposed crimes could get him in hot water now that the police have been involved.
Bui has been reaching out to cosplayers for swimwear and lingerie photoshoots, asking them to send him nude photographs, including close-ups so he can, “See how fine the hair is.” Some of them were allegedly underage, though as of yet it’s not known exactly how many. He is said to have claimed these photos will help him figure out the photo composition, to, as he put it in a text to one cosplayer, “…evaluate so we can study to plan for pose.” This was so he could see how trusting and committed these models were.
These requested photos were actually sent to him by a number of those contacted, while others questioned the purpose for them, as well as his intentions. Bui said nobody else would see them; that he would delete them afterwards, but then moments later would offer to show some of the photos to a new prospect showing she wasn’t alone. Apparently proving he wasn’t deleting them in the very same conversation he stated it. He was using grooming tactics to lure unsuspecting women, trying to make it seem like no big deal, and that others were doing it.
Luckily some of these cosplayers screencapped the messages between them, and have posted the correspondence online. Cosplay Creepers has posted them as well, trying to get the word out to avoid Richard Bui, and save any other cosplayers from this despicable behavior. These screenshots tell a pretty damning story of Bui, one that’s been a known secret spoken in hushed tones throughout the cosplay community, but is finally coming out.
Here is a quote from cosplayer Ally Ichi describing her interaction with Bui, used by permission:
I’m… Going to throw mine out there too. I have been asked back in May to do a lingerie shoot with Richard. Being a CosplayDeviants potential and being pretty open about my body, I didn’t really think twice too much and was interested in the idea of having pretty images of not only my weight loss that I was so proud of, but possibly really beautiful gravure photos which I always wanted. Then I got to thinking why when doing a lingerie shoot, why nudes would be asked and it started feeling a little uncomfortable. I sent him an image of me in my underwear because, hell, its on Tumblr anyways and its just underwear, but saying I didn’t want to do nude and still saying this was the only way to get good angles? Nah, son. Thats not how photography works. I may not be a cosplay photographer, but I have done some modeling before and I know that you do not need nudes when you are not doing a nude shoot and that asking for them because you want to see angles is not a good excuse.
I wasn’t going to say anything and instead write this off as just another guy asking for nudes because its happened before, but also because it was something I am interested in, but not with someone who’s logic for asking for them made no sense to me in an artist format such a a lingerie shoot. This has had as bad taste in my mouth for the past few months, since May, and seeing as how someone underage was asked for this, but with even more force and pressure behind it then I ever got, not okay. Not even close to okay. You do NOT need nudes to be noticed in cosplay. You do NOT need to see nudes when you are not working on a nude shoot. You do NOT need to see nudes to work out angels even if you are working in a nude shoot BEFORE the shoot.
There are multiple underage girls who have come out about this and his solicitation for nudes. I am not going to let this pass and I could give a rats ass if I lose friends for it or the cosplay community looks down on me, but this is not, and will never be, okay.
If the allegations are true, why has it taken so long? It started to be spoken of in a private group in May, and then others started bringing up their interactions with Bui. Many were afraid to speak openly of this because of victim blaming, and the sad truth of it is that I’ve seen a fair amount of it this week as some have spoken out. This Facebook post by Sempai Mewdieval brought the subject to light, and now the floodgates are opening. This is not the victim’s fault, but that of a predator, as these screencaps show.
Here is a photo of Richard Bui found on his website, so you will recognize him if he approaches you.
If you feel you have been victimized by Richard Bui, or know someone he has reached out to, please get in touch at [email protected]. If you are an underage victim, or know one, please call your local authorities. If the alligations go beyond the screencaps above, let’s do whatever it takes to stop Bui from doing this to anyone else. This type of behavior is NOT okay, and anyone responsible for it should be called out. He has allegedly been reported to the police by at least one cosplayer involved. Here is a great blog from Anime Jam Session about how to stay safe in the cosplay community.
I attempted to reach Richard Bui, but his online presence has all but disappeared since this has been brought to light.