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Aussiecon 4 Masquerade - Apology - Danny Danger Oz [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Aussiecon 4 Masquerade - Apology [Sep. 11th, 2010|10:51 pm]
[mood |indescribableindescribable]

Here are links to the Who to Blame and Reasons and Reactions post that build to this apology.

First up I'd like to state publically that I deeply regret the distress caused the individual who attended the masquerade. My choice of fill-in material was poorly chosen and not thought through. That you were hurt by material that can be considered homophobic is a sad and terrible thing, the fault is mine alone that you were exposed to it, and I am genuinely sorry you were upset.

I would like to apologise once more to Nick, for putting him in the position of feeling he needed to tell the anecdote, and for any criticism aimed at him after the event. That you know this was never my intention doesn't detract from that fact you have been hurt, and I deeply regret hurting you.

I would like to say sorry to Rose, Perry, and the Aussiecon 4 Committee for being put in a position of having to apologise. You had nothing to do with what happened at the masquerade, you had enough to worry about with running the convention, and didn't need to be put in that position.

I'd like to apologise to the audience at the masquerade for the aspersions made on their character. You did nothing wrong, and people would not be calling your character into question were it not for my error of judgement.

And finally I'd like to apologise to anyone who heard about events at the masquerade and were hurt or upset by what they were told happened. I have no doubt that the events as reported were deeply distressing to many of you. You would not have had to deal with these reports if it hadn't been for the offence I caused in the first place.

All I can say to each and every one of you is that no harm was ever intended, but that is no excuse. The issues stemmed from a lack of preparation time, and that in future if asked to do an event that I don't feel I have sufficient time to prepare for, I will decline.

I would ask that anyone you see discussing the situation also gets pointed to these posts, thank you.

From: (Anonymous)
2010-09-11 04:46 pm (UTC)

I was an attendee at the Masquerade. I was one of the people in the audience calling for Nick to finish the story. Why? Because, in my wildest dreams, it NEVER occurred to me that the MCs would even consider telling such an offensive anecdote.

And when he did finish the story, I was shocked and horrified (and just in case you're wondering, I'm not gay). You claim that the point of the story was about a faux pas. Well, that wasn't the point that that came out in the telling. The point that came out was that the MCs were clueless and homophobic.

You claim that no one besides the Con Com member spoke up about it. Well, I spoke up about it, to numerous people I knew at the Con. I was disgusted, and quite frankly, my estimation of the whole Con Committee dropped significantly at that point -- given that they obviously had the poor judgment to select MCs who were so utterly lacking in good judgment.

That estimation of the Con Com pretty much dropped into the cellar the next morning, when the Echidna referred to the people who had been offended as the "over-sensitive types on Twitter". That's right, insult gay people -- and then add insult to injury by insulting the people who were offended!     What the hell are you people thinking???

I'm sure that there were any number of blokey, homophobic Australians there who found the whole thing amusing. But you all needed to remember that it wasn't an Australian convention, it was an International convention -- and blokey, homophobic "jokes" aren't nearly as amusing to people from many other parts of the world.

A number of people have said that you deserve respect for apologising. Sorry, you don't get any from me. There should never have been any need for an apology. Those words should never have been spoken. And the fact that they were spoken indicates a much deeper, more insidious problem than "a lack of preparation time".

Oh, and by the way, if you hadn't for some insane reason mistakenly decided that the audience and participants of the Masquerade would somehow enjoy having a 1-hour event turned into a 2-hour waste of their precious Con time (in addition to being incredibly uncomfortable for participants backstage, with no place to sit and no audio to even hear what was going on) you wouldn't have been trying so desperately to find tasteless material to fill that time.

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[User Picture]From: murasaki_1966
2010-09-12 06:22 am (UTC)
Who are you, and why are you not brave enough to identify yourself?

I was there too. The waste of time was caused by a delay by the International Judge, not the MCs. Get your facts right, especially if you claim to have been there.

I have heard the story told before, and while it is a terrible faux pas, that's all it is about. Seriously, if you get upset about something like this, I'd like to know how you handle a real issue. Because there is far worse happening in the world. Stop worrying abut this stuff and help fix it.

Sorry DalekBoy, I may have started something bad on your blog. My apologies, but I couldn't let this slide.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-09-12 08:55 am (UTC)
I was in two minds as to whether I should delete the anonymous post. I eventually decided that in the interests of letting everyone have a fair say, I'd leave it up, but I wouldn't reply to it.

Letting everyone have a fair say also means extending it to anyone else who chose to reply to Anonymous, whether or not I agreed with their replies.

So for my own piece of mind, I'll just state here that I didn't ask you to reply on my behalf, nor do I necessarily condone your comments.
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[User Picture]From: murasaki_1966
2010-09-12 09:10 am (UTC)
Fair enough. I hereby state that all comments are my opinion, and have nothing to with the owner of this blog.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-09-23 10:17 am (UTC)

Part One (my apologies for the length, but I felt that it was important to say these things.)

My reasons for posting anonymously aren't because I'm trying to duck accountability for my words. I've been stalked in the past, so I avoid posting anything online which is public (rather than locked behind passwords and limited access) and might be tied back to my real identity.

I stand fully behind my words. I was there, for the whole duration of the fiasco. It's pretty arrogant and insulting, and utterly unwarranted, for me to be told that my opinions are invalid by people who were not there, and/or who happen to have context on the MCs via other experiences.

Those of you who are defending the MCs so ardently need to understand a few things:

1) Not everyone in attendance had any idea who these guys were -- that one of them is gay, and the other's children have some gay godparents. You simply can't expect people who don't have that context to cut them slack for it and not be upset when the incident occurred. Most of the people I've heard defending the MCs seem to know the MCs or know of them, and/or have only heard the MCs' side of this story.

2) Not having that context, again, the story did not come off to me as being about a faux pas previously committed by an MC. It came off to me, after the fact, as a smart-arse comment -- which the MCs thought was funny, but realised too late was in incredibly poor taste. Most of the people who are defending the MCs are doing so after being given the explanation that it was "a story about a time that Nick behaved like a real ass". Isn't it nice to be able to prime the views of the people who weren't there, so that they view your side more favourably?

3) Within the gay community, such tales might be acceptable, in the same way that one black person calling another black person a n***** might not be considered offensive inside the black community. But with a larger, multi-cultural and non-homogenous audience, neither of those is acceptable. And if it had been just an Aussie National Convention, perhaps most of the people there might have been expected to have some background on the MCs (although I still don't think it would be acceptable to have that expectation). But it was an International Convention, and a lot of the people there didn't know the MCs from Adam.

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From: (Anonymous)
2010-09-23 10:27 am (UTC)

Part Two

4) You know, every interaction with Australians I've had over the years has been a pleasant one -- and often quite a fun one. I've been trying to figure out for years why there is a stereotype of Aussies being rude, arrogant and of "low breeding", because that certainly hadn't been my experience on any of numerous interactions -- before this. I was literally speechless to discover that the "No, you just don't say something like that in this sort of venue" common sense was apparently not that common in Australia.

5) And perhaps you can imagine how it added insult to injury to find myself referred to as one of "the over-sensitive types on Twitter" by the Echidna on Sunday morning. I am pretty disgusted that people on here -- and on Twitter -- continue to think that it is acceptable to trivialise and marginalise the reactions of other people who were at the Masquerade, and who had quite legitimate reasons for feeling upset.

6) And please, let's just stop with the ridiculous blaming the audience for begging the MC to tell the story, shall we? Most of those people, like me, never in their wildest dreams believed that it would even occur to the MCs to tell such an offensive anecdote. Of course we were all begging to hear the story. To me, it sounded like a scripted teaser:
MC (coyly): "Oh, no, I can't tell that story."
Audience: "Yes, tell us the story!"
MC: "No, you really don't want to hear the rest."
Audience: "Yes, we want to hear the rest!"

How was the audience supposed to know otherwise?

7) And finally, Mr. Oz, you haven't really been honest with the people here, have you? Because at the beginning of the Masquerade (which started at least 15 minutes late to begin with) you both announced to the audience that, since there were only 10 entries, you were deliberately choosing to drag the event out as long as you could -- putting 5 or more minutes delay between each costume presentation.

Given that you're pleading off blame due to not having sufficient preparation time, why in the world would you make such a thoughtless decision??? Did it not even occur you to ask the audience whether they wanted you to drag things out like that? I heard several groans -- one of them mine -- in my area of the plenary when you announced that you planned to drag things out. Did it not occur to you that the audience and participants also had other things that they wanted to be doing on a Saturday night? Were you more interested in making the most of your time in the spotlight than you were in putting on a good, concise show so that everyone could then get on with their other Con activities?

And yes, the fact that one or more of the judges showed such an utter lack of sense and consideration for the participants and the audience, by turning the judging process into an obscenely-lengthy, over-analysed, excruciating ordeal, was a huge problem. But if the MCs had not already dragged things out for more than an hour before the judging started, in the end it would have been a lot less excruciating for both the audience and participants.

So no, you don't get to place the blame for this on the judges. You deliberately chose to make the event a long, drawn-out one -- despite the fact that you've admitted that you knew at the time that you didn't have sufficient material to do so.

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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-09-26 02:47 am (UTC)
This will be my only reply to you.

Many of your points are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things where you cherry-pick some stuff and miss out other key pieces of information in a way that can only, in its most charitable interpretation, be considered badly misremembering events.

Ironic really, given you accuse me of being dishonest.

At this point I consider you no more than a troll, and while I am loathe to feed you, I will just clear up a few of the errors you state as fact.

- You express outrage at being questioned about your opinions by people who weren't there. You were questioned by one person who specifically stated they were there for the entire event.

- Your complaint about the piece in the Echidna talking about "over-sensitive types on Twitter" is taken completely out of context. The full quote reads - "Well, all Twitter was plunged into war by allegedly off-colour humour on the part of
the MCs. But nobody will tell me what the comments were, so I don’t know whether to be outraged at the MCs or the oversensitive types on Twitter. Or, indeed, both."

I actually think this is rather a balanced viewpoint by someone who doesn't know the facts. That you feel otherwise says more about you than it does about them.

Given that these two pieces were written down, so you could actually go back and fact check what was said before you complained about it, really doesn't help your case. At best you can be accused of misremembering what it is you were complaining about about.

- Effectively damning the common sense all Australians for the actions of two, as you do in point four, also doesn't help your case.

- You state that Nick said no in a coy way, trying to make it seem as if he were tempting the audience. I don't think he was coy about it. But that's opinion. What is fact is that you don't mention him specifically saying to the audience, "If I tell this story, the entire audience is going to hate me."

- Finally, point 7, in which you accuse me of dishonesty.

We never announced to the audience that we were going to do 5 minutes of filling in between each act. You are wrong, once more. We did three pieces, spaced between the ten acts. I'd be surprised if any of those pieces ran as long as five minutes. We didn't have the material to do more.

You seem to have a singular memory of the event, and by that I mean that I doubt you would find three other people from the audience to back you up with regards to what you say occurred.

Given the wildly inaccurate nature of your arguments, and the fact that you seem to not even be able to present written information without seriously misrepresenting it, I will be deleting any future messages from you.
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