The World Fantasy Convention 2020 committee issued an apology via Twitter on October 7 after coming under fire online for their programming choices and descriptions, and added to the thread in subsequent days:
Regarding the program that went out this week: We are sorry that our program caused hurt and concern, thank you to those that commented. We are working with our team and panelists to amend this and will be revising it as an ongoing process.
We have removed the descriptions of the panels in question from our website and will be revising these and the titles themselves…
We are also seeking advice from professionals in the field of sensitivity and diversity to ensure that the final version does not make the same mistakes.
The program page on the WFC 2020 website was updated as well:
We are excited about the awesome panel discussions scheduled for the 2020 Virtual World Fantasy Convention. We have some terrific conversations planned, and our panelists are amazing.
But some of our original descriptions failed to live up to our members’ expectations. We apologize for offending the very people we hope to include in this year’s convention. We hear you, and we appreciate your feedback. We’re working to revise the descriptions – with the help of some of those amazing panelists! – and will update them here as they’re finalized.
The statements come in the wake of a number of public criticisms and attendee withdrawals from publishing industry notables, by such as K. Tempest Bradford, Yilin Wang, Jeff VanderMeer, Jonathan Strahan, organization Writing Excuses, and others.
As yet, no official press release has been issued and an updated program is pending. For more information, see the WFC 2020 Twitter account or the official website.
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