In the last week or so before the Hugo Awards are to be announced, the big players have weighed in with a suspiciously familiar set of talking points:
Yes! Magazine declares: “Next week, on Aug. 22, voters will decide if these awards are still about celebrating excellent writing and innovative ideas, or if they are just another blood-drenched battleground in the conflict between white male traditionalists and everyone else.”
NPR says: “More women, writers of color have been winning Hugos lately, and that’s caused a backlash from a group of mostly white male writers and fans. They call themselves the Sad Puppies.”
The New York Times reports: “They say the Hugos had become hijacked by progressive politics…. Their opponents, many of whom said they would vote for ‘No Award,’ say that science fiction has diversified beyond white men.”
Am I really supposed to believe that none of these news outlets is aware that way back in April Entertainment Weekly had to post a retraction for pushing a similar narrative?
After misinterpreting reports in other news publications, EW published an unfair and inaccurate depiction of the Sad Puppies voting slate, which does, in fact, include many women and writers of color. As Sad Puppies’ Brad Torgerson explained to EW, the slate includes both women and non-caucasian writers, including Rajnar Vajra, Larry Correia, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson, and Amanda Green.
But hey… I guess it’s possible that these crack journalists aren’t up to speed on how to use Google. They could still old school this one if they had the heart for it, though. If they wanted to do some of the actual work of reporting on this topic, maybe they could… you know… talk to some of the people that are involved? Like, I dunno… some of the inconvenient women that don’t fit the stereotype they’re trying to manufacture?
I am not a heterosexual white man. I am not an angry white man. I am not racist or misogynist. No matter how many times you repeat it, it will not make it true, and I will not go away. I stand here still, with those like me, looking at you and repeating: I am an inconvenient woman.
Ah well… I don’t know if these people are brazenly pushing a narrative that they in fact know is untrue or if they are so incompetent they have no clue how to do their jobs. Either way they have zero credibility.
SPJ, if you’re listening… you know about all of those mistakes that were made last year in the coverage of gamergate? You know… the ones that are all water under the bridge for you because they put your entire profession in such a bad light? Well… your people are up to their same old tricks. In fact, they seem to be recycling the exact same narrative that they wore out last year! Any chance you can get somebody on this that actually has some journalistic ethics? You know, to show us that you guys are actually capable of covering complex news stories in the internet age…?