RavenCon cranks up this weekend in Richmond, VA in a rather literal way.
Artist Guest of Honor Frank Wu and Gaming Guest of Honor Brianna Wu issued a statement disinviting six unnamed people accused of “hijacking this year’s Hugo awards” from attending Brianna’s solo Gamergate panel which is scheduled in prime time Friday evening (April 24).
Sadly, the same reactionary anger has spread into the science fiction community with the hijacking of year’s Hugo awards, deliberately sabotaging them for bitter, regressive political purposes. Many of the forums that orchestrate harassment against Brianna and other women in the game industry have avowed supporters of the Hugo hijacking, many of whom participated in the voting and strongly support Vox Day.
What makes RavenCon particularly uncomfortable for us is that a number of those attending directly orchestrated or benefited from the hijacking. We’ve heard numbers as high as six.
Frank Wu has won four Hugo awards. They are near and dear to our family. And we agree with John Scalzi, Connie Willis, George R. R. Martin and others about the travesty this has been. The hijackers have contempt for the awards while also desperately wanting the legitimacy they feel it would grant them.
To put it bluntly, attending this con makes us tremendously uncomfortable. But we agreed to attend, long before Gamergate, and we will follow through with that professional commitment.
Neither of us wish to discuss the Hugo hijacking with any person responsible for this atrocious action. Both of us would consider it a professional courtesy if you didn’t attend Brianna’s Gamergate panel tomorrow.
“Don’t invitems” is how the late columnist Walter Winchell used to describe people you should not ask to the same party. Scanning the RavenCon guest list, one could make an educated guess that Brianna Wu may feel that way about Lou Antonelli, Jim Minz, Gray Rinehart, Michael Z. Williamson, and John C. Wright, Hugo nominees on the SP3/RP slates, Wright’s spouse L. Jagi Lamplighter, and Kate Paulk, organizer of Sad Puppies 4.
The same day the announcement came out, Lou Antonelli told his Facebook readers that RavenCon has abandoned all thoughts of running a panel about this year’s Hugo nominations:
I am in Virginia getting ready to head to the Ravencon convention in Richmond. The convention had floated the idea a short while ago about throwing together a panel on the subject of the current Hugo nominations.
They’ve decided not to go ahead. Here’s the official statement:
After careful deliberation, the staff of RavenCon have decided to not host this panel due to the late nature of its proposal and the volatile nature of the subject matter. RavenCon is not the appropriate… platform for this subject matter, and we do not wish to provide a platform to any side in this controversy. If, however, panelists feel the need to discuss this matter in further detail, the bar is always open.
Love the last line…