Carrie Cuinn Straightens Out Sasquan

Sasquan did consult Carrie Cuinn about Lou Antonelli’s online statements about her and the threats she received as a result (Cuinn’s account was quoted here yesterday), however, the convention subsequently represented her answer as a request not to ban him —

Cuinn has repudiated that interpretation in a series of tweets.

Cuinn elaborated in a Facebook post that it was only her interaction with Antonelli she was evaluating, not the larger question whether he should be banned which was never posed to her:

The Sasquan Con Committee has asked if I want Lou Antonelli investigated for his recent statements about me and the ensuing harassment. I have told them no: I don’t believe he specifically asked anyone to attack me. However, I also don’t believe he didn’t have any idea what his statements could cause, and I don’t believe his apology. In short, he shouldn’t be banned from Sasquan because of me, as I don’t think he personally did anything criminal. He’s just a jerk.

ETA because the con committee had issued comments which are factually incorrect: I did not ask for Antonelli not to be banned. I was not asked if he should be banned. Not banning him had nothing to do with “respecting my wishes”. I was only asked about his interaction with me, and since I’m not attending, I felt it didn’t meet their harassment guidelines. That’s all we discussed.

112 thoughts on “Carrie Cuinn Straightens Out Sasquan

  1. Peace, what Antonelli says online is what he says, but that doesn’t make him a safety concern. I remember you mentioning that you had a friend who knew Mike Williamson who said Mike in person was a decent guy. Well, I’ve also known Mike personally and at conventions he’s polite and well-mannered, unlike his current on-line persona. So while Antonelli’s demonstrated he can be a jerk online, the main safety concern with him with respect to Sasquan was his sending that uncalled for letter about Gerrold to the Spokane PD. Since Antonelli later retracted that letter and apologized to Gerrold, that particular safety concern for Sasquan is eased. I can’t say that Antonelli will be a perfect gentleman at Sasquan, but I can’t say his presence is a safety concern either.

  2. @ rrede: “But now to the important stuff? How many kittehs? ”

    Ah! Glad we’re getting off this lightweight stuff about culture and harassment and policy, and moving on to the serious topics.

    I have 3 adult males, all adopted last year from a rescue group when they were teenagers.

    And since adopting them, I started volunteering with that group, which has included my fostering orphan kittens. I fostered 2 kittens last year, who were adopted together by a family that I wish would adopt ME–seriously, these kittens have their own custom-built Tardis Booth in their furever home.

    And I am currently fostering a litter of 4 kittens who arrived here this summer at the age of (we estimate) 5 weeks. The male was adopted this week by a friend of mine, so I’ll be able to see him grow up. The females are all much smaller and so not yet ready for their medical procedure , so they’ll be here until early Sept. Hoping to find homes for them by then, but if not, they get moved to the adoption center for several weeks, where they’ll be much more visible to potential adopters than they are in my house.

    Kittens have a very good chance of being adopted, of course; much better than adults. So I dont expect any of them to return. But we only put them temporarily in the adoption center, since it’s hard on them (similar to being kenneled), so if any of them aren’t adopted by end-Sept, they’ll come back here while the organization continues seeking a permanent home for them.

  3. Meh. I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that the “he’s a nice guy in person, even if he’s a jerk online” is identical to saying “he’s a nice guy when sober, but a mean drunk.”

    That is, in both instances, a person i don’t want to be around “in person” or “when sober,” any more than I want to be around them whey they’re online or drunk.

  4. David W said:

    “So while Antonelli’s demonstrated he can be a jerk online…”

    This is the problem right here. Antonelli has not demonstrated he can be “a jerk” online; he has demonstrated that he can doxx his former editor, resulting in her receiving rape and death threats. That’s well past the threshold of “jerk”, and treating this as some sort of “aw shucks, he’s kind of grumpy but who isn’t?” behavior that can be tolerated in the interests of comity is essentially telling people that if they receive rape and death threats then they’re on their own because you won’t do anything about it. At that point, you are abetting the harassment activity, intentionally or otherwise. I’m going to keep pointing this out until someone listens.

  5. @John Seavey:

    I’m listening. I think by the time you get to rape threats people are beyond the pale, and no amount of “aw shucks, he’s really a nice guy” should allow a pass for that.

    Antonelli, so far as I know, did not make rape threats, but he shows no forethought or hesitation about exposing people to risk, danger, and yes, to the notice of those who do make rape threats.

  6. David W. on August 13, 2015 at 2:35 pm said:
    Peace, what Antonelli says online is what he says, but that doesn’t make him a safety concern. I remember you mentioning that you had a friend who knew Mike Williamson who said Mike in person was a decent guy. …

    Yes. And my friend is saddened and distraught by Williamson’s actions in the events of this spring and summer. My friend liked Williamson and got along with him.

    What my friend has *not* done is excuse Williamson’s behavior because of that.

    As a description, “decent” should be a consequence of one’s actions, not a teflon definition of indestructible privilege regardless of one’s actions.

  7. As I’ve said (probably too many times by now), after Sasquan examined the incident, decided it violated their code of conduct, and decided it merited banning as a consequences, I believe that was a decision based on policy and on taking responsibility for their own convention, and they should have stuck to that–rather than vacating the decision and thereafter pointing at Gerrold and Cuinn and saying, “But THEY wanted him to attend!” (Which is not what Cuinn said, in any case.)

    What I’m curious about is–what would have been the decision if Antonelli had declined to apologize or retract, on the basis that he was right to write that letter, because he is genuinely afraid and because David Gerrold is genuinely a danger to WorldCon and the safety of attendees?

    I don’t think anyone -else- would agree with that assessment of David. (Even the Puppies don’t seem to agree with it.) But is it still harassment and still a code-of-conduct violation of Antonelli genuinely believed it–insisted he, WorldCon, and other attendees were in danger from DG and nothing could convince him otherwise? (And is there any way of determining whether someone who makes such a claim genuinely believes it, or is just sticking to that story because he figures it’s better than admitting he acted as he did out of malice and bad judgment?)

  8. @ Peace: “he shows no forethought or hesitation about exposing people to risk, danger, and yes, to the notice of those who do make rape threats.”

    Perhaps, but I’m still stuck back at the earlier, more general point, which is: Who publicly posts private business correspondence in full, including the sender’s name and info, WITHOUT PERMISSION?

    Why didn’t he simply SAY, “As a result of my actions, I’ve had a short story contract canceled?” Why didn’t he use a brief pull-quote from the letter with the relevant portion (i.e. because of your actions as you described them in this podcast, we’re withdrawing our offer), without identifying the editor or publication?

    Where did he get the idea that posting an editor’s private letter to him, in full, with name-and-title, WITHOUT HER PERMISSION (and also EDITED for public consumption with her permission) was an appropriate or professional thing to do?

  9. Peace Is My Middle Name said:

    “I’m listening.”

    You’re absolutely right, and I deeply appreciate finding someone who agrees with me on this. That was more directed to the folks here and elsewhere who continue to insist that banning someone from a convention is some sort of “nuclear option” reservable only for serial killers and people who fart in elevators. 🙂

  10. @John Seavey:

    It hardly seems worth having any sort of harassment policy at all if an exception is made *every single time* because the perp apologized, or the victim forgave, or the perp is really a nice guy, or would have his career hurt, or would miss all his friends.

    It makes the very notion of a harassment policy seem little more than a cruel lie to shut up victims and make fandom feel all virtuous and nice and Good People.

  11. @ John Seavey: “folks here and elsewhere who continue to insist that banning someone from a convention is some sort of “nuclear option””

    Yeah, I’m regularly exasperated by the melodramatic horror with which sf/f people tend to discuss banning or expulsion from a con. Also with the melodramatic framing of voting a blanket ballot of “No Award” to protest Puppying. That’s a “Nuclear Option???” Seriously? As opposed to just being, oh, an exercise of your voting rights on your Hugo ballot?

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