BONNER SPRINGS, KS (KCTV) - The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is investigating multiple accusations of sexual assault after multiple young women have come forward on social media to fight for justice.
In the era of #MeToo, there’s a new hashtag, #NoMoreBrokenStairs. The tag refers to older men taking advantage girls and young women around large set pieces at renaissance faires and cosplay events.
Assault survivors say Kansas City has had broken stairs for years. Aislynn Quinn is a survivor of sexual assault who refuses to stay quiet about her assault any longer.
Quinn says it is time the festival took action.
“A lot of young girls were getting groomed by older men at the fair,” she told KCTV5 News.
Quinn worked at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in 2014. What she thought was a dream part-time job turned into a nightmare for her and other young women.
“When I was performing for the Renaissance Festival, I was 16 going on 17. I was targeted by several older men working there,” she explained. “It was this little alcove underneath the gate, and he pushed me in and started violently kissing me and trying to take my clothes off.”
The Renaissance Festival has now suspended multiple employees for allegations that go back five to 10 years.
Quinn said the management at the time was no help, claiming that “they told me to shut up or leave.”
Two years ago, Brandi Ogler took over as the new director of entertainment at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. In a statement, Ogler said she’s working hard to fix the culture.
“The Kansas City Renaissance Festival may not have been where I wanted it to be with regard to ensuring a respectful workplace 5 to 10 years ago, but, a lot has changed in these last years.“
Ogler said the person accused of assault does not work for the festival anymore. She also noted that whenever someone has a credible claim of misconduct against them, they are banned from the grounds.
As for Quinn, she said she hopes no more stories are left behind the scenes.
“The fact that something’s finally being done about it, it’s becoming a safe place to go again.”