Antonelli’s Apology Accepted By Foz Meadows and Camestros Felapton

Lou Antonelli has tweeted apologies to the victims of his false claims that blogger Camestros Felapton is a pseudonym for Foz Meadows’ husband, Toby.

Camestros Felapton accepted the apology: “A Gracious Note From Lou Antonelli”.

Lou Antonelli has sent me a polite apology via Twitter regarding his claims that I was Toby Meadows. I’d like to thank him for that.

I’ve disabled comments on this post because I’d prefer to move on from this now. I will say that I don’t regard myself as particularly the injured party in this. The Meadows family have had to put up with a lot of maliciousness from several parties.

Over the past ten days Camestros Felapton has written many posts about this kerfuffle. “Was Antonelli Set Up?” (January 26) is as good as any for learning the details if you don’t already know them.

Foz Meadows also accepted Antonelli’s apology in this exchange:

The impetus for the charge may have come from Facebook conversations that I cannot access, therefore I cannot document who originated it. But on January 21, Brad Torgersen used the charge as the basis for a malicious attack on Camestros at Mad Genius Club, “Camestros Felapton is Toby Meadows, spouse of Foz Meadows” [Internet Archive page]. Foz Meadows, after she and her husband dealt with the resulting abuse for several days, on January 29 posted “A Personal Note” about the falsehood of the claim and the emotional pain that it caused.

[Thanks to JJ, Daniel Dern, and Camestros Felapton for the story.]

40 thoughts on “Antonelli’s Apology Accepted By Foz Meadows and Camestros Felapton

  1. It may sound Grinchy of me, but I think we need to keep in mind that there should be a big difference between accepting an apology and letting someone off the hook of accountability. Apologizing certainly *mitigates* the damage done, but it does not magically wipe that damage away.

    I — as an unaffected party — give Antonelli some credit for finally owning up to his false claims and making that apology, but that doesn’t wipe out either the initial lies or the weeks of attacks that followed.

  2. It’s good that he apologized, but the whole “it was a geography mistake” instead of “I made egregious false accusations which hurt people and spurred attacks on them by others” is seriously weaksauce.

    And Antonelli is conveniently claiming on Twitter that he is unable to post retractions and apologies on the blog posts in which he made those false accusations because he’s “deleted his blog access” — although he somehow managed to do that without actually deleting the blog. 🙄

  3. It seems to me that he has done real damage to Foz and Toby Meadows. I don’t know if he has done so to Camestros, but he at least caused real distress.

    It’s great they’ve gotten an apology and retraction. It doesn’t improve my opinion of Antonelli, Freer, Torgersen, or VD.

  4. Good on Antonelli so far. He at least seems to get far enough along the path to realise his mistakes.

    Not always to avoid repeating sadly similar mistakes, alas, but it puts him well ahead of some of the other Puppies/adjacents.

    (I also note for the record that the worst damage did not come from him.)

  5. It’s weaker than what I give everyday for not remembering the names of acquaintances because I lost most of my short-term memory. He did real damage and really is avoiding responsibility for what he did. Fuck him, he doesn’t get forgiven by me.

  6. Lis Carey on February 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm said:

    It seems to me that he has done real damage to Foz and Toby Meadows. I don’t know if he has done so to Camestros, but he at least caused real distress.

    No real damage was done to me other than the stress of being used by others as a pretext for attacking the Meadows.

    Some interesting head warping going on though. I was worried about when I had visited Queensland last as if somehow me visiting Queensland was a crime that might get found out as a person who HAD been in Brisbane (aha! Prosecution rests, m’lud!).

  7. Lenora Rose: It’s better, but I took his apology at face-value after he threatened David Gerrold.

    I’m happy it’s helped Camestros and the Meadows and it’s certainly better than persisting. Nonetheless I remain once bitten, twice shy.

  8. I think it’s appropriate that he admitted and apologized for that mistake.

    Will Dave Freer, Brad Torgersen, and VD apologize for any of their behavior in that ugly fiasco?

  9. And Antonelli is conveniently claiming on Twitter that he is unable to post retractions and apologies on the blog posts in which he made those false accusations because he’s “deleted his blog access”

    As far as I can tell without actually leaving a comment, you can still make comments on his blog posts. (Tested on his latest post, the 1/25 spittle-flecked screed against Jim C. Hines.)

  10. They’re a better person than I am to accept it because that whole ” I made a crucial geographic mistake” line is incredibly weak, in my opinion.
    Also, when someone asks you to pass this info on to Freer, et al –the usual response would be “Of course”, not “I’ll see what I can do”.

  11. Thank you for not candy coating this by pretending Torgersen, Freer, et al were anything but malicious.

  12. I don’t trust Antonelli because he has shown a pattern of screwing up in ways that harm people. I fully expect him to do so again.

    But at least he does generally, eventually, realise he screwed up and apologises, which is a lot more than you can say for most of the other Puppies and Puppy-adjacent. I might wish that the apology had taken some more responsibility, and also that he realised that perhaps the people he’s associating with deliberately fed him false conclusions, but it’s still a hell of a lot more than I’d expect from most of the others. That’s something. A small something, but something.

  13. That’s what he’s apologizing for?! Erm.

    @Camestros Felapton and Foz Meadows are gracious people. How about apologizing for how the Meadows and CF were treated, for obsessing about who CF was, for being part of this conspiracy to harrass CF & the Meadows, for . . . ugh so many things. Apologizing for a technical error – sheesh. Well, it’s a START.

  14. @Kendall

    @Camestros Felapton and Foz Meadows are gracious people. How about apologizing for how the Meadows and CF were treated, for obsessing about who CF was, for being part of this conspiracy to harrass CF & the Meadows, for . . . ugh so many things. Apologizing for a technical error – sheesh. Well, it’s a START.

    And knowing how Phantom and other Puppy remoras will twist this somehow into an indictment of “SJWs” makes it even more pathetic. It’s time to start ignoring these pathetic attention-whores.

  15. Hi everyone! An apology is nice. Maybe some day he’ll learn to think more before being a jerk and setting up people for harassment. It’s possible he might learn how to make real apologies too instead of excuse full weaksause ones. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Proper apology
    I’m sorry for…
    This is/was wrong because…
    In the future I will…
    Please forgive me?

    Followed by an actual change in behavior

  16. Well, given that Foz and Camestros both accepted the apology, to me that’s that at where Antonelli is concerned.

    For now.

  17. @kathodus: Agreed re. ignoring, though that’s easy for me to say and even as an outsider to this sick chain of events, tough to do.

  18. If the injured parties have accepted the apology, then I will keep my grumbling to myself…until the next time Antonelli pulls another one of these stunts.

  19. I do think Antonelli is better than the other puppies, but also do think that he should have updated his old blog posts and added a new one with the apology.

    You can’t apologize while still sending out the false accusations for everyone to read.

  20. I’m sure I’m not the only lurker to have discovered Foz’s books as a result of this mess.

    Bought some on kindle as a gesture of support. Reading now and really enjoying!

  21. It’s good that Antonelli has admitted he’s wrong…a full two weeks after making the claim, and after it has been well-publicised and used as the basis for an escalating set of attacks on innocent parties for daring to point out that obvious nonsense wasn’t true.
    Right now it’s the equivalent of a sensational newspaper headline followed by the sheepish correction on page 8 a few days later.
    What he could have done but hasn’t is explain exactly what he now realises contradicts his theory, thereby taking the wind out of the sails of the others who have promoted it. He hasn’t corrected his blog posts, or gone to the other blogs that repeated him and explained why they’re wrong.
    (Shorter version, yes he’s apologised and it’s been accepted, but in terms of making me think any better of him for it he’s still a long way off)

  22. If this had been the first time Antonelli made such a “mistake”, I would be inclined to be generous like Foz and Camestros. In my humble opinion, this is Antonelli’s pattern: erupt, make a fool out of himself while threatening others, then apologize with a very minimal apology and no real change of behavior. At the very least, he should be pushing back against Freer and the others. Once you have created a target for the internet bullies to attack , you cannot simply step back with an apologetic “Oops”. Of course, Antonelli will never do this; he hasn’t got the moral stature of a flatworm, pardon my French.

  23. Exactly what part of all this did he think was acceptable, if the identification had been correct?
    As I believe many people said back when Antonelli apologized for the Gerrold thing, if you know you’re prone to do stupid things impulsively, maybe you should not be on the internet.
    It is, of course, up to those directly affected to choose whether to accept his apology, but in the absence of evidence of a real commitment on his part to doing better, I would not be inclined to give him the time of day.

  24. I’m sure I’m not the only lurker to have discovered Foz’s books as a result of this mess.

    Nope.
    Nice to see an apology made, and the gracious acceptances by Camestros Felapton and Foz Meadows. Not holding my breath for apologies from the other guys, but willing to be surprised.

  25. Ha — looks like I’m still banned from MGC. Oh, the shame of it. 😉

    Of course, none of the torch-and-pitchfork crew there have grown enough balls or sense of decency to apologize for their puppy pile of false accusations.

    Big surprise.

  26. Indeed–no surprise there.

    Meanwhile, although I only follow these things sporadically, even I am aware of multiple other instances (and all just within the past 3 years) where Lou Antonelli has engaged in loose cannon behavior (ex. harassing Aaron Pound at work; writing to the Spokane police to claim David Gerrold was a danger to WorldCon attendees; inciting people to harass an editor who withdrew an offer for an Antonelli short story). With the latest instance being his erroneous public assertions that Camestros Felapton is “really” Toby Meadows, etc., etc.

    Which is why I think his apologizing is appropriate… but his requesting forgiveness is problematic, because there doesn’t seem any observable reason to suppose he won’t turn around and do it again–and again, and again.

    Great sages may believe that all mistakes deserve forgiveness, but I make no pretense toward being a nice person, let alone a sage. I don’t believe in forgiving bad behavior that an adult acting on free will keeps repeating over and over and over without ceasing the behavior or evincing any apparent attempt to cease it.

  27. FYI, Foz Meadows on Freer regarding the extremely unlikely case where he admits to fallibility and apologizes:

    What I will say is that, in the event Dave Freer *does* admit he was wrong & that my husband isn't Camestros, I won't be accepting any apology he might make. His gross, homophobic speculation about my marriage & identity, & his slander of my husband, was always a separate issue.— Foz Meadows (@fozmeadows) February 3, 2018

    And further downthread:

    The only type of apology I'll even *consider* accepting from Freer is one that involves an admission of homophobia, an acknowledgement that none of his personal comments were either correct or appropriate, and a pledge to actively educate himself. Anything less is meaningless.— Foz Meadows (@fozmeadows) February 3, 2018

  28. Good for Antonelli, I suppose, but I still don’t want anyone with his pattern of behavior at any con I might choose to attend.

    If he’s really changed, then he should demonstrate that – with whatever group of people he chooses to associate with next. Not with SF fandom.

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  30. I was in the consuite of a convention last year and an older gentleman sat next to me; we chatted briefly, as one does in such circumstances, about nothing in particular (probably the relative merits of the upcoming programming or some such: “which one are you going to…?”) and he made some reference to being an author. So I glanced at his badge. It was Antonelli. I told him, sorry; I’d not read any of his books yet (so many books, so little time) and then I left to go to a panel I was interested in.

    So I can say that Antonelli can be perfectly civil in a five-minute conversation (that didn’t happen to touch on politics) with a middle-aged white woman in a consuite.

    For what that’s worth. Which isn’t necessarily much.

  31. re: Lou Antonelli’s “mea culpa”

    Good on him for doing so, but that’s some pretty serious weaksauce. He doesn’t seem to comprehend that his mistake hurt real people; instead he complains about being “piled on,” and offers the poor excuse that “social media brings out the worst in me.”

    Oh well. Considering the source, that’s probably the best we can expect.

  32. If social media brings out the worst in you, and you know it, stay off it or hold everything for a day before posting it. It’s like getting drunk if you know you’re a jerk when drunk.

  33. Well, that’s an improvement on his previous, but rather filled with self-justification. I doubt he’ll improve on it though, or remember the lessons for very long.

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