Discon III Announces Removal of Weisskopf as Editor GoH

Following review and receipt of commentary from within fandom, Bill Lawson, Chair of Discon III, the 79th Worldcon, has announced the removal of Baen Publisher Toni Weisskopf as Editor Guest of Honor.

The official announcement follows:

DisCon III condemns the violent and hostile content found within Baen Books’ forums. We also cannot condone the fact such content was enabled and allowed to ferment for so long. We want to make it clear abusive behavior is not, and will not be, tolerated at DisCon III. Such behavior goes entirely against our already established policies concerning inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment for our members, which can be found here: https://discon3.org/about/inclusion/.

We knew simply saying those words with no actions to back them up would be unacceptable. Too often, we have seen individuals and organizations say they are on the right side of issues yet do nothing to act on those words. We knew we had to take a hard look at our own position and take action based on our established policies.

As a result, after discussion with her, we have notified Toni Weisskopf we are removing her as a Guest of Honor for DisCon III.

We know this decision was not as quick as some of you would have wanted, and we understand your frustration. Our committee’s leadership was always in full agreement that there was a fundamental difference between the values Worldcon strives to uphold and the values allowed to be espoused on the forums-in-question.

In the entire eighty-plus year history of our community, no Worldcon has ever removed someone as a Guest of Honor. To remove a Guest of Honor was an unprecedented decision that needed discussion, consideration, and consensus. Those mechanisms sometimes do not move as fast as some would want, and we thank the community for its patience.

We also want to let everyone know that we are not planning on adding additional individuals to our Guest of Honor list.

We wish to thank you all for taking the time and energy to send us your feedback. Many of you have strong opinions on this issue, and we want everyone to know all your voices were heard and considered when rendering our decision. We will always welcome your feedback, questions, suggestions, and concerns, and we will continue to listen, reflect and act to ensure our members feel welcome at DisCon III.



Bill Lawhorn, Chair

and the Division Heads of DisCon III

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  1. I am a BarFly — in fact, I am the one responsible for the quote “I Read Baen’d Books.”

    I will say this once, for the cheap seats: Every single statement made about Ms. Weisskopf, the Bar membership, and the Bar as a whole, is a flat-out *LIE*.

    1. C.F.

      in the interest of fairness, I am publishing your comment.

      However, I do not intend to allow this site to become a flame zone, so we’re not going to allow such to happen here. Substantive info relevant to the subject – fine. Comment that fans flams – no.

      But it would help spur actual discussion if you were to add a little specificity: Which thing(s) that Sanford wrote are “untrue”?

  2. Since I seldom visit Baen’s forums, and just found out about the problem a few days ago, I’m not really qualified to comment on the content of the forums. However, as I understand it, the moderators, when asked to intervene and ban/block some posters, said that Weisskopf was the only one–as the publisher/owner–who was allowed to block posters.
    If that’s correct, that’s entirely Weisskopf’s fault; the purpose of a moderator is entirely to moderate, and to remove objectionable posts (posts that don’t adhere to site standards in any way) and, if necessary, block the posters.
    However, removal of an invited guest sets a dangerous precedent. I’m really conflicted about this one. It’s entirely Discon’s privilege, but is Weisskopf entirely to blame for the problem? I thank my lucky stars I’m not involved in this can o’worms!

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