For those who have looked forward to the Arisia science fiction convention in January in general and the “Movie Year in Review” panel I’ve been running for some 20 years in particular, I have some bad news. The people running Arisia have “disinvited” me. My crime? Well, there were a number of false (and anonymous) claims, including the hilarious and unsubstantiated charge that I once read from a “misogynist” story, but their real beef is that I won’t countenance antisemitism. The “March of Women” rally will be held the same weekend as Arisia and I – like a number of other people – have strongly denounced it as an inappropriate forum for expressing opposition to Trump because several of its leaders are proud and unapologetic supporters of the virulently antisemitic Louis Farrakhan. Because I would not “take ownership” of the bogus charges, nor apologize for denouncing supporters of Farrakhan and their apologists, a convention that has been my home for 25 years is no longer. I have notified the other panelists on the “Movie Year in Review” panel, and they are free to make their own decisions as to what to do.
The term “witch hunt” is loosely thrown around, especially by Trump against an investigation which seems steps away from making a criminal case against him, but that seems to be exactly what is going on with Arisia. I was willing to go this year in spite of concerns in hopes that this con could be saved. I no longer believe it is possible.
RIP Arisia. You were fun while it lasted.