As reported earlier today in the Pixel Scroll, Crystal Huff told why she is calling it quits with the Boston convention Arisia: “Why I’m Not At Arisia Anymore: My Rapist is President. Again.” Her 6,000+ word statement explains the charge and a great deal of other history. In the hours her post has been online it’s generated a powerful response.
Two of Arisia 2019’s guests of honor, Daniel Jose Older and Malka Older, say “we’re not GoHing the con as things stand” —
— Daniel José Older (@djolder) October 26, 2018
Nalo Hopkinson told Huff that Arisia 2020 had asked her to be GoH and her post had helped her decide —
Arisia just invited me to be GoH in 2020, so you've also helped me to decide my reply. Deeply grateful.
— Nalo Hopkinson (@Nalo_Hopkinson) October 26, 2018
The Arisia committee, inundated with messages, promises a reply this weekend.
Regarding a recent influx of comments, the Arisia Executive Board takes our Incident Response process and the safety and concerns of our community very seriously. We will follow up with a statement by the end of the weekend.
— Arisia (@arisia) October 26, 2018
Claire Rousseau and Jim C. Hines have written insightful comments about the issues raised in Crystal’s post.
Claire Rousseau’s Twitter thread starts here.
For a start, let's not hire people with a history of disregarding clearly established boundaries to lead safety teams, or to be on those safety team at all. Safety team should also receive training in how to take reports. @arisia
— The Claire Witch Project (@ClaireRousseau) October 26, 2018
Jim C. Hines reblogged Crystal Huff’s post with some introductory comments:
…Conventions have gotten better in recent years about establishing policies on abuse and harassment. When it comes to following and enforcing those policies, the record is spottier. I know of some instances where conventions have done an amazing job of following through and working to promote the safety of their attendees.
Crystal’s experience, when she reported this to Arisia, was … well, it sounds like she’s correct when she says she doesn’t think Arisia was prepared to deal with this situation. It’s one thing to create a policy. It gets messier when the accusation is against someone you know. Possibly a friend. Possibly an officer in your organization….
People are reevaluating their plans to attend or work on the con.
Marie Brennan responds to Huff’s statement in “On Arisia” —
…This is not a con I can trust with my safety, or that of anybody I know. So while I did not have any existing plans to attend Arisia — just a vague “ooh, I should do that someday!” intention — I now have very firm plans not to attend. Not this year, not next year, not any year until and unless this is made better. And if you’re an Arisia attendee, I encourage you to rethink that plan.
Kate Nepveu has ended her participation in the con:
Effective immediately, please remove me from the org chart as Tiptree Bake Sale staff and from programming as a participant. I will not be attending Arisia until Noel Rosenberg is removed as President of Arisia, Inc. and Division Head of Operations, and is banned from the convention….
Many people have tweeted their concerns or outrage to the Arisia committee, including these writers, editors, and conrunners:
— Meg Elison (@megelison) October 25, 2018
— Ken Liu (@kyliu99) October 25, 2018
— ??? (Joyce Chng/Ch'ng) (@jolantru) October 25, 2018
I don’t even have words, but I’m so sorry you had to put up with this for years! Hugs and solidarity. I hope some action is taken.
— Mimi Mondal, Extraordinary Alien ? (@Miminality) October 26, 2018
— Reuben Baron (@AndalusianDoge) October 26, 2018
— Crossed Genres (@crossedgenres) October 26, 2018
We could not feel right about any money we’d make from attending.
— Crossed Genres (@crossedgenres) October 26, 2018
"… most of which I have had to repeat several times over the past three years, in particular. The difference now is that I’m not quietly waiting for them to quietly do something about the situation."
As a writer friend once told me, "Tell the truth and shame the devil."
— LionessElise (@LionessElise) October 26, 2018
From a process standpoint none of this is acceptable. As corporate member I am more than disappointed, I am disgusted.
I am not sure quite what to do; what I would like to see is a housecleaning, and a more structured; persistent, process of investigating.
I have experience.
— T Karney (@pecunium) October 26, 2018
I worked on Arisia programming for the 2017 & 2018 events and had no idea – I'm deeply disappointed in the org and will not attending or supporting again. https://t.co/hlfCMdBIRS
— Zachary Clemente (@clementeworks) October 26, 2018
I was a program participant at @arisia from 2016-18. I was signed up for '19. I don't think I'll be there unless they remove this man, implement a clear plan to prevent anything like this from happening again, and prove they can follow their own code of conduct. https://t.co/hGiEKvS4i4
— Zoë Madonna ? ? (@knitandlisten) October 26, 2018
Some additional comments on Facebook:
We were at Arisia one to whatever it was at 1993. Always thought it would be fun to go again, but not until this situation is redressed.
Well, now I don’t feel nearly as bad as I did for not going this coming year. The convention I thought I knew has been changing even more that I thought, the staff member near and dear to my heart has been dead for a decade. I think I can let this one go now.
File under “Geek Culture Must Be Destroyed.” It’s horrifying, what the convention put Huff through to make sure the rapist could…be in charge of safety at the convention. And now he’s President of it.
I won’t be attending this convention.