Tom Doherty placates bigots by disavowing Irene Gallo

Here’s the situation:

Irene Gallo works for Tor. She said true things on her Facebook page about the bigots campaigning for SFF awards.

Her employer, Tom Doherty, publicly shamed her and reassured all bigots that they are welcome at Tor.

It is possible that Mr. Doherty did not intend to say that. But disavowing an employee for saying true things about bigots is NOT a neutral, even-handed position.

The purpose of extremists is not to get their work recognized. It’s to vampire the energy and time from people getting real work done. It’s to insist over and over again that their view is EQUALLY VALID to the views of non-bigots. And when Tom Doherty gives them recognition, gives them an apology, gives them validity by disavowing Ms. Gallo, suddenly here we are, with a legitimized political and social discourse that somehow includes white supremacy as a valid and thoughtful position.

Chuck Wendig points out some interesting items here. Specifically, that John C. Wright reaffirms his homophobia in the comments to Doherty’s post.

Kameron Hurley makes the argument VERY well, here, that this isn’t about ethics in awards, it’s always and forever about destroying uppity women and minorities.

When Jim Frenkel was finally reported to Tor for harassment, Tom Doherty said nothing. No apology to any of the women whose reports flowed into Macmillan H.R. When concrete harm was done to dozens of women, when careers were sabotaged and destroyed by a man in Mr. Doherty’s employ, he felt it appropriate to remain silent.

I did not begrudge him that silence.

I do now.

Because now he has apologized to bigots, by disavowing a woman who will bear the brunt of the bigots’ ire.

The comparison makes itself.


Mr. Doherty, I hope you misspoke. I hope you did not intend to say what you said. I hope you retract and apologize to Ms. Gallo. And while you are at it, I hope you apologize for harboring Jim Frenkel as long as you did.

If you do not apologize, the comparison is inevitable.

You care more about keeping bigots at Tor than you do about the harm they cause their victims. And you are willing to sacrifice the careers of women to do so.

I hope this is not true, Mr. Doherty.

I look forward to your retraction and apology.


Sigrid Ellis


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