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Hercules star claims cancelled Thunder Bay convention appearance a 'publicity stunt'

Kevin Sorbo was initially promoted as a celebrity guest before his appearance was cancelled.
Kevin Sorbo
(Photo by: Gage Skidmore)

THUNDER BAY – Kevin Sorbo believes his appearance at a Thunder Bay fan and pop-culture convention being cancelled is the result of a “publicity stunt” by organizers.

In early March Sorbo was billed as one of the featured celebrity guests at this year’s ThunderCon, which is scheduled for October. About 10 days later it was announced that his appearance was cancelled.

In a video posted on the TMZ website, the former Hercules: The Legendary Journeys star indicated the news of his invitation being rescinded came as a surprise.

“I honestly don’t know why they said what they said,” Sorbo said. “I don’t know the whole reason behind it. The people that run it didn’t even tell me. It only takes four people to wreck it for a couple thousand.”

ThunderCon media director Heather Dickson on Friday said event organizers had spoken to both Sorbo and his agent and they "parted ways amicably, on good terms," adding the actor wished them the best for the continued success of the convention.

Organizers initially expressed excitement about landing Sorbo, who also portrayed Captain Dylan Hunt in the sci-fi series Andromeda.

"I am so excited that we are able to bring Kevin Sorbo to Thunder Bay," ThunderCon executive officer Toller Madsen said in a news release on March 2. "Big screen or small, he's a talent whose fans cross both genres and the globe. We are very lucky to be able to bring him to ThunderCon."

On March 12 the convention announced on their website that Sorbo would not be attending, claiming it was “due to situations beyond our control.”

Freedom of speech is gone, Sorbo said in the video, adding political views shouldn’t have a place in conventions.

“This is all about people liking me as Hercules or in Andromeda,” Sorbo said. “I honestly don’t know what I said that upset them. I don’t get it but people are offended by anything nowadays.”

Dickson said the convention is a non-profit run by volunteers and faces challenges bringing in special guests.

"We certainly don’t have the time or resources to put into a sophisticated publicity stunt and it would never be our intention to harm anyone for any reason," Dickson said.