Supernova Director Steps Down Following Controversy Over A Sydney Stall Selling Nazi Merch
“Yes this is a good step but as he does own the event, he will still be involved in some capacity and may have final say on things."
Supanova founder Daniel Zachariou has announced he’s stepping down as Event Director, after a stall sold Nazi iconography at the Sydney leg of the annual pop culture convention.
Last month, stakeholders began boycotting Supanova after evidence of ultra-conservative merch — including items with swastikas, the rising sun flag, and homophobic statements — began circulating online.
A statement released on Friday said shaking up Supanova’s governance and management structure was the first step of their proposed changes.
— Supanova Comic Con & Gaming (@SupanovaExpo) July 8, 2021
“We acknowledge an issue with one of our exhibitors at our recent Sydney event that did not align with our values and the experience we want to deliver to everyone in attendance,” they said.
“While details have been inaccurately reported by some media outlets, and comments attributed to our Director taken out of context, we have used the time since the event to commence a review into how we provide the best possible environment for staff, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.”
Daniel Zachariou to step back as event director of Supanova after what happened recently? pic.twitter.com/luuPFQ7CKQ
— Adam Bednarczyk (@AdamNBednarczyk) July 9, 2021
A petition with over 5000 signatures had circulated three weeks ago calling for Zachariou to leave his position over past controversies, including picking divisive headliners for the expo, and posting problematic takes online.
Fans have responded to Supanova’s news by asking for clarification on Zachariou’s scope of involvement moving forward.
In regards to your latest update, what would be Daniel Zachariou's role with Supanova going forward?? We understand that he owns the event so could we get some clarification on this and let the community know due to the severity of the incident.
— Anthony Farah (@CaptainFizman) July 9, 2021
Is Zachariou still keeping his role as an owner / financial beneficiary of the convention? Or is he taking hands off the wheel but keeping them on the money?
If he has severed all financial ties then please that make more explicit in statement.
— Tigrannosaurus #BLM (@Tigrannosaurus1) July 9, 2021
“Yes this is a good step but as he does own the event, he will still be involved in some capacity and may have final say on things,” the petition organiser wrote after today’s announcement.
In their initial apology, Supanova said their exhibitor services team were going to develop better screening measures to prevent any repeats of the Syd-nova incident. They also committed to introducing an ethics officer to their advisory group.
Zachariou will be replaced as Event Director by expos veteran Scott Liston, effective immediately.