FanX issues apology to local author, promises clear sexual harassment policy
May 22, 2018, 8:46 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — A Twitter battle over a sexual harassment complaint has turned ugly between a popular Utah author and one of the co-founders of the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention.
Best-selling author Shannon Hale tweeted Monday night that she reached out to FanX co-founder Bryan Brandenburg about her concerns attending the convention following the sexual harassment allegations surrounding the conference.
The official FanX account then tweeted a screenshot of the author’s email but failed to block out her personal email address. That’s called doxxing.
Hale then tweeted a picture of Brandenburg’s response in which he called the #MeToo movement “trendy.”
This is what @fanxsaltlake does to a woman who publicly speaks up about harassment at their con: publishes her email without redacting her private email address (I did that on this screenshot) but deletes the parts of the email that makes them look bad pic.twitter.com/8m2dgwtm9P
— Shannon Hale (@haleshannon) May 21, 2018
The post sparked immediate outrage.
Expanded apology from Bryan Brandenburg: https://t.co/0EJQTFaLT2
— FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention (@fanxsaltlake) May 22, 2018
The statement says in part:
“Moving forward, our goal is to create a safe environment for everyone. Training for staff will happen within the next 90 days, so we are equipped to handle sexual harassment and assault reports. Our new harassment policy now includes instructions on how to report an incident anonymously or in person. It also clearly states the sanctions that will be taken when a report comes in. The harassment policy also includes more defined behavior expectations for our attendees, guests, agents, cosplayers, panelists, moderators, staff, vendors, vendor models, and volunteers. Consent is key. These improvements would not have happened without your voice.”
Other authors and actors tweeted Monday night that they will no longer be attending in September.
I have withdrawn my acceptance and will not attend FanX this year as previously announced. I look forward to their response to this clear breach of @haleshannon’s privacy rights and near certain violation of their newly-minted harassment policy regarding confidentiality. https://t.co/N1nlNUxU8y
— Brendan Reichs (@BrendanReichs) May 21, 2018
I’m cancelling my @fanxsaltlake appearance after everything that’s come to light today. To those who were planning to come see the RWBY girls, I hope to be able to meet you in the near future. Just gotta “sit this one out.”
— Arryn (@ArrynZech) May 21, 2018
For months, authors have been asking for a better sexual harassment policy from @fanxsaltlake. What happened publicly today on twitter is an indication of how women have been treated privately by those running this con. https://t.co/lJeYb30dC9
— Ally Condie (@allycondie) May 21, 2018
KSL has reached out to both Brandenburg and Hale for comment but has not yet received replies.