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The Jonathon Ross Files
For reference, this was the last major awards ceremony hosted by Jonathan Ross:



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I know this is likely to be an unpopular opinion, but I think there could well have been a significant difference from a paid gig where acting like a dick gets you lots of publicity, and a forum that he might be more genuinely engaged with in different ways and could well present the more real persona, rather that the public one who's probably paid to act like that to get ratings.

I'm not defending him, but I have an inherent distrust of judging someone on the basis of what they might do. Agreed, his track record isn't good, but I do think he might well have acted very differently at the Hugos, but we'll never know now.

Well, if the Con Chairs had shown some sense they would have consulted before inviting him, and some of this could have been dealt with.

I'll've never found out anyway, because I loathe the man.

Absolutely. This wasn't something that could or should have been done as Chair's actions.

Some people wouldn't have gone, to others he would have been a big draw.

From what I've read, it was handled badly at all stages. The twitter side of it was clearly very grisly and I feel very sorry for his wife and daughters. This should have never got to the stage of a messy public row.

It's not that simple, as other things come to light. A lot of blame has been put on Seanan McGuire, particularly by the Ross family and Gaiman. Yet Seanan did not tweet directly to Ross at any time. He had already resigned by the time her tweets had been widely publicised. She did not deliberately ignore Ross's daughter, she simply missed her in a rush of tweets. And Ross's wife's tweets to Seanan were... well, the mildest comment I have seen from those who have seen the saved versions was that they would have told her to take a long run off a short pier.

Gaiman took part in a documentary with Ross about Steve Ditko where Ditko told them he didn't want to talk to them and they forced their way into his office. While he was apparently polite to them, he made it clear he was taking his name off his door. They ignored his wishes and his boundaries.

The article in the New Statesman was written by Gaiman's god-daughter, so she knows damn well what a Hugo is and what it looks like.

All that info has come to light in the last two days...

I don't blame anyone for hitting back if someone had a go at their spouse, it's a pretty natural reaction. Twitter can get very heated very quickly, and is hardly a reasoned forum for debate. I haven't followed the affair that closely, but few people seem to come out of it covered in any glory, sadly.

Basically, this all takes place against a background of harassment of women, people of colour, the LGBT community, the disabled and others both at conventions and on the net and about attempts by activists to address this, which is in turn deeply resented by those who feel their comfortable dominance has been threatened. SF fandom is split, but in that it is a reflection of society here, in the States, Oz and Canada, which are the dominant cultures. (Comic and film fandoms, by the way, are even worse.) All this is a legacy from the time most of the SF fandoms -- including Dr Who but not Trek -- were predominantly male. This is not the case now.

Now, this is not my personal experience, but it is that of some of my friends, from things I have seen and by the report of people I trust. So it is not about me.

Against this background, and the Con's stated policy (in its Code of Conduct, written by a (male) lawyer who is on my flist and who I know personally, and who has now asked his name to be removed because of the affair Ross) the decision to ask Ross (made by the Com Chairs, according to Gaiman) was, from the very first, what the very first tweet to hit Loncon's twitter stream after the announcement (by a well known male British fan) called a 'courageous decision'. (According to him, this sort of thing always brings out his inner 'Yes, Minister.')

I don't have a Twitter, but apparently Ross has been involved in Twitter storms in the past - he just didn't expect this one, and that can also be laid at the feet of the Com Chairs, who seemed to have been under the impression that the only person who was going to object was Farah.

Seanan did not 'have a go' at Ross. She twittered to her followers that she would be afraid to attend the Hugo ceremony (and she is a Hugo winner) because she was afraid he would make remarks about her appearance. (And he is known for that.) Those were her feelings and she had every right to express them. That they were retweeted to Ross and 'storified' by someone else and put widely on line after Ross had withdrawn is, again, not her fault. Furthermore, it was actually Ross who started the name calling, in response to people to did tweet to him.

Ross's teenage daughter tweeted to Seanan saying, in effect, 'My Dad wouldn't do that because I'm fat and he knows who awful it is' but Seanan (she says) did not see it (presumably Goodman thinks that because Seanan has only a few thousand or so followers, she carefully reads every tweet.) When Seanan did not reply (and she was under no obligation to reply, remember. Ross and Goodman don't reply to all the tweets to them) Goodman threw a wobbly and tweeted a series of tweets which were purely insulting 'you're not really a woman' was one of the phrases she used. (Seanan is gay.) Seanan was really very gracious, calmed the situation, and apologised for not replying to the daughter, then did so. Seanan, I repeat did nothing wrong at all.

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