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Dearborn pop culture expo canceled days before show

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A convention celebrating pop culture set to start Friday and run through Sunday in Dearborn has been canceled.

Mathew Roy, of Livonia, portrays the famed "Gnar" at  Cobo Center for Youmacon on Saturday October 31, 2015.

Organizers of the Midwest Media Expo 2017, or M2X2017, said Tuesday they've scrapped the show, which was to be held at the Edward Hotel & Convention Center in Dearborn. The hotel, located on Town Center Drive near Fairlane Mall, was formerly known as the Hyatt Regency and The Royal Dearborn Hotel & Convention Center.

M2X focuses on TV, films, gaming, comic books and internet culture. Last year, nearly 2,500 attended the convention, according to its organizers.

"We are coming to you with a very heavy heart to inform you that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the 2017 Midwest Media Expo has been cancelled," Morgan Kollin, the expo's chairman, wrote in a Wednesday statement on the event's website. "For the past year we have been working hard to bring you a very special event, and it pains us greatly to have to make such an announcement, especially this close to our event date.

"We understand how much this event meant to everyone, and we apologize for this happening so suddenly," Kollin said. "We will be making further statements as we are able to discuss things, but know that we are working with good people to help us in this dark hour. Thank you very much for your understanding."

On Wednesday, Kollin blamed the Edward Hotel for the show's cancellation in another statement and asked fans to refrain from retaliating against it.

"Currently, we understand that there are individuals who are very upset over the recent turn of events," he wrote. "However we implore everyone to cease any attacks towards the hotel. The outcome with the venue is far from what we were hoping for, and we are working to settle our differences. We still have something in store for this weekend, and will keep everyone posted."

Management of the hotel also issued a statement about the cancellation on its website.

"The Edward Hotel was surprised to learn just the other day as well, that this weekend’s M2X event was being cancelled," the hotel's operators said. "Here’s hoping the event organizer can work things out in the future and bring this exciting event back to Dearborn! We’ll miss seeing everyone this weekend."

The Midwest Media Expo was first launched in 2014 at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Its organizers also created the anime convention Youmacon. Youmacon, in its 13th year, is scheduled to be held Nov. 2-5 at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, according to its website.