Bigot n. A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.
Irene Gallo, the Creative Director for Tor Books, is a bigot.
This is not hyperbole. Over the weekend, on a Facebook post promoting an upcoming book from Tor, she posted the following:
There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic. A noisy few but they’ve been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them and elect a slate of bad-to-reprehensible works on this year’s Hugo ballot.
As somebody pointed out (I’m afraid I’ve lost track of who it was), there is exactly this much truth in her statement: there are, indeed, two groups, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies. Everything else is a lie.
There were several reasons it set people off, not least of which is that it tarred at least two of Tor’s own authors, John C. Wright and Kevin Anderson.
Many of us have been waiting to see what Tor would do, as an institution. Especially in light of the fact that this bigotry was unleashed in direct relation to promoting an upcoming book from Tor. Patience was counselled by many, since this past weekend was the weekend that the Nebula Awards were announced, meaning that the adults at Tor were all likely to be busy with convention activities and festivities.
Well, the weekend is over, and two things have happened.
First, Tor’s Facebook page has taken the official position of “not our problem, dude”:
Happy Monday! We appreciate your comments & would like to remind you that the views of our employees do not reflect those of the publisher.
Also, somebody seems to have advised the redoubtable Ms. Gallo that her spewing of hatred was perhaps a bit unwise, especially since some of it splashed onto the people who actually produce the product that her employer sells, and therefore upon whom her livelihood depends.
So she apologized. For how other people took what she said, of course, not for the content of her statement:
About my Sad/Rabid Puppies comments: They were solely mine. This is my personal page; I do not speak on behalf of Tor Books or Tor.com. I realize I painted too broad a brush and hurt some individuals, some of whom are published by Tor Books and some of whom are Hugo Award winners. I apologize to anyone hurt by my comments.
This, as I pointed out in the reply pictured, is not an apology.
It is a passive-aggressive insult: “I’m sorry you’re so stupid that your feelings were hurt when you didn’t understand what I was really saying,” more or less.
She does not apologize for impugning the characters of a very large number of people. She does not apologize for impugning authors who work for her employer, in particular. She does not apologize for her immaturity in prancing about demonstrating that she’s not part of a tribe she hates. She does not apologize for her bigotry in any way, shape, or form.
She only apologizes for the feelings of people who might have been hurt by what she said.
What she said, then, must still stand.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the very essence of the non-apology apology. She said the words “I apologize”, but in a form that makes it clear that she is not at all sorry, and she damn well wants everyone to know she’s not.
And Tor Books, so far, seems perfectly willing to accept this smearing of its authors, its colleagues, and its reading customers.
Tor used to be a good company. They used to publish an ideologically wide range of authors. They used to treat their readers and their authors with respect.
Also, they used to get no small amount of my book-buying money.
But not anymore.