SFWA removed Mercedes Lackey from this weekend’s Nebula Conference less than 24 hours after celebrating her selection as a Grand Master during the Nebula Awards ceremony. The reason given is that she “used a racial slur” while on a panel.
SFWA explained the action in a “Statement on Removal of Mercedes Lackey from the Nebula Conference”.
Dear Nebula Conference Participants and SFWA Members,
We learned yesterday that while participating in the “Romancing Sci-Fi & Fantasy” panel, Mercedes Lackey used a racial slur. First, we apologize to our attendees and the other panelists who were subjected to that slur. We’ve disabled access to the panel to avoid any additional harm being caused.
Second, we are immediately removing Mercedes Lackey from the conference and the additional panels she was scheduled for, in accordance with SFWA’s Moderation Policy. The use of a racial slur violates the instruction to “Respect all cultures and communities. Do not make derogatory or offensive statements even as a joke.” That applies to everyone in a SFWA space, at all levels of their career.
Third, we will be discussing with the other panelists for “Romancing Sci-Fi & Fantasy” how they would prefer we proceed when they are able and comfortable in doing so. We will be offering to edit out the offensive portion of the panel or hold the panel again at a later date, inviting back the other three panelists and moderator to again take part. We will respect their wishes on how to handle this issue while also sharing the invaluable expertise they offered during the discussion.
Thank you to our conference attendees and panelists who reported the use of the slur. We appreciate being alerted to it right away, so we could investigate and come to this decision as swiftly as possible.
The SFWA Board of Directors
What was said is stated in the Twitter thread.
This is the second time an issue has come up since Lackey was announced as a Grand Master last fall. Previously, SFWA asked Lackey to “clarify a past statement on writing trans characters”.