Tor Condemns Creative Director Irene Gallo for Posting About the Rabid/Sick Puppies on Her Personal Facebook

But what of freeze peach?

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Isn’t it ironic how quickly free-speech-obsessed Internet jerks forget their censorship concerns when it’s an influential woman (particularly one with “SJW values”) that’s being silenced?

In a piece posted yesterday on Tor entitled “A Message from Tom Doherty to Our Readers and Authors,” publisher Tom Doherty addressed comments made on the personal Facebook page of Tor Books’ creative director Irene Gallo, noting that “Ms. Gallo is identified on her page as working for Tor. She did not make it clear that her comments were hers alone.”

Gallo’s post addressed the Sick/Rabid Puppies (two online groups whose slate overran this year’s Hugo Awards and whose varying levels of bigotry and misogyny we’ve covered in the past), stating:

There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.

She later apologized for any confusion her initial comment might have caused, saying

About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.

Doherty’s message clarifies that “some of the authors on the Sad Puppy slate have been published by Tor and,” and concludes:

Tor employees, including Ms. Gallo, have been reminded that they are required to clarify when they are speaking for Tor and when they are speaking for themselves. We apologize for any confusion Ms. Gallo’s comments may have caused. Let me reiterate: the views expressed by Ms. Gallo are not those of Tor as an organization and are not my own views. Rest assured, Tor remains committed to bringing readers the finest in science fiction – on a broad range of topics, from a broad range of authors.

Not surprisingly, Rabid Puppies leader and Gamergater Vox Day called for his supporters to head to Tor’s comment section:

In his blog post “I Stand By Irene Gallo,” writer Chuck Wendig writes “I won’t get into the validity of her [Gallo’s] words — that is a slippery and easy trip down a particularly cankerous meat tunnel.”

That being said, and without painting all puppies with the same brush strokes (not all puppies!), it’s worth noting that Vox Day has a history of racism and misogyny (“White American men simply don’t rape these days. At this point, unless a woman claims it was committed by a black or Hispanic man she didn’t previously know, all claims of rape, especially by a college woman, have to be considered intrinsically suspect”).

Tor author John C. Wright, who earned a personal record of nominations on the Puppy slate and once condemned the Legend of Korra creators as “disgusting, limp, soulless sacks of filth” for writing a same-sex relationship between two women, also posted a homophobic response last night to Doherty’s piece. Regardless of the women and writers of color nominated as part of the Sad Puppies slate, Sad Puppy leader Brad R. Torgersen’s stated mission implies that diversity and representation are ruining sci-fi.

I mention all this because, in the same way that anyone truly concerned about ethics in game journalism (lololol) should distance themselves from Gamergate, if you are a Sad Puppy and feel you have been unfairly characterized by Gallo’s comments, then you probably would be better off in a movement whose leaders don’t have such unsavory and visibly specific views.

I’m all for prioritizing storytelling over message in sci-fi (the limits that imposes on representation are just indicative of the limits of your imagination), but if high-profile members of your movement believe that homosexuals are inherently sick or white men are incapable of rape, it may be time to consider if associating with them lends your mission any credibility.

Many of the authors nominated by the Sad Puppies slate write books with positive representation; many of those same authors have also spoken out against the group in the same way that Gallo did. I’ve no doubt that some Puppies have honestly good intentions, but considering the group’s loudest messages condemn me for my sexuality and gender, I side with Irene Gallo, too.

And no, feeling persecuted for being a Puppy isn’t the same as the persecution faced by members of marginalized groups. It’s one thing to throw a woman to Gamergaters in an official post, and something very different to use a personal social media account to critique people for aligning themselves with a dubious online group.

The Mary Sue reached out to Gallo and Tor for a statement, but she declined to comment at this time.

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