A growing controversy over Dave Weingart’s termination as Music department head, fanned to life by his explanation and complaint on LiveJournal, and the 2017 Helsinki Worldcon committee’s effort to explain and justify their actions on Facebook, now has been defused by the Worldcon 75 issuing an apology and taking down its Facebook thread about the matter. Weingart says he has also received a verbal apology from one of the chairs.
Worldcon 75 would like to apologise for the grave mishandling of a personnel issue over the past few weeks, in particular regarding communication, the delays in our responses, and for our role in escalating the situation. Specifically, we would like to apologise to both our current and former staffers, who are now experiencing harassment from various parties. We would also like to apologise to our staff and to the Worldcon community at large for the lack of transparency in how this issue was handled and for our missteps in communication about it.
In order to prevent issues like this from recurring, we are taking steps to improve our internal hiring practices, our staff services communications, and our public-facing communications.
- Worldcon 75 will no longer discuss this personnel matter with the public. We have deleted the earlier statement on this topic with the full knowledge and blessing of the current and former staffers involved.
- We will ensure that our staff services and social media teams are well-versed in compassionate communications across cultural differences and have a range of solutions available to them when issues arise.
- All senior staff will receive further management training and information.
- Communications with staff about behaviour and conduct expectations will be timely and explicit. All staff will have an opportunity to discuss any expectation placed on them with staff services and the chairs.
- Worldcon 75 will publish our Code of Conduct on 31 October 2016. We have a draft in review and are working with all our staff to make sure that it clearly communicates the values of Worldcon 75.
- An internal conflict-resolution policy will be formulated and published to staff by 1 December 2016.
- We reaffirm our commitment to making this convention a fun and safe experience for all our staff and members through clever, competent, and kind management.
… Thank you, Jukka Halme, Crystal Huff, and the Staff Services Division of Worldcon 75
Weingart had already made private his LiveJournal posts about the controversy in reaction to Vox Day linking to them from Vox Popoli:
Because Vox Day and his miserable crew of people have glommed onto my disagreement with Worldcon 75 I have made my DW/LJ posts mentioning any other party private. I’ve done likewise with my FB posts.
After Worldcon 75 took down its Facebook thread, Weingart responded:
The wording of Worldcon’s posted apology is something I agreed to verbally on the phone with one of the co-chairs on 2016-10-10, when I was also given a verbal apology. Worldcon’s deleting their other post on this subject (on the Worldcon 75 page) was done with my explicit permission as well.
Whatever the disagreement, neither Worldcon 75 nor I want Vox Day to have anything to do with this.
[Thanks to Karl-Johan Norén and Dave Langford for the story.]