Six Utah authors on Friday sent FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention organizers a joint letter, asking for action on four issues they say are still unresolved after a week of controversy over its responses to sexual-harassment complaints.
“While we appreciate that steps are being taken to rebuild trust within the community, our confidence in the current harassment policy and in the organization’s resolution to enforce this policy has been damaged,” reads the letter, signed by Shannon Hale, Ally Condie, Bree Despain, Robison Wells, Emily R. King and Dean Hale.
Those and other authors have accused FanX co-founders Bryan Brandenburg and Dan Farr of mishandling sexual-harassment complaints and being dismissive of the issue. After the concerns became public, Brandenburg engaged combatively with authors and others online over several days, even after he’d publicly apologized and after it was announced that he’d be stepping away from social media.
The weeklong public controversy culminated Thursday with Brandenburg taking a leave of absence from his role with FanX.
In a statement posted Thursday, Farr apologized for any incident in which a convention participant felt unsafe and explained the steps the convention is taking. The statement is available at http://www.fanxsaltlake.com/blog/statement-from-dan-farr
But even the way Brandenburg’s departure was announced gave pause to authors, who said it again focused on the founders’ personal emotions.
In the letter, they say their involvement and calls for change have not been about “taking offense” but about “making the convention safe for everyone involved.”
They ask FanX to:
1. Apologize for publicly releasing, without permission, a redacted complaint made by a female author after last fall’s convention.
2. Hire an experienced professional to revise FanX’s sexual-harassment policy and enact consequences for breaking it.
3. Address harassment complaints quickly.
4. And recognize that trust is earned through “a proven track record of implementation and action over time.”
The letter is posted at http://openlettertofanx.blogspot.com/