The 79th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as DisCon III and the site of this year’s Hugo Awards, issued a public statement apologizing for its sponsorship with Raytheon, one of the largest defense manufacturers in the world. The news came out this weekend when fans noticed Raytheon was sponsoring Intelligence and Space red carpet photos at awards that honor the best in sci-fi literature. Impact of having a company that makes weapons sponsoring a science fiction celebration was quick, and now the scam behind it has made a statement.
“I am Mary Robinette Kowal and I was the president of DisCon III. I take full responsibility for accepting Raytheon Intelligence and Space as a sponsor, and I apologize for doing so.” reads a statement posted on the official site of the convention. “The decision tree that has led us to this point is full of branches that sound like excuses for my own fault. The gist of this is simply that I was wrong in accepting funding from Raytheon Intelligence and Space and working with them for the members’ red carpet event.”
“That choice hurt people: the finalists, who were unaware; the people in our communities; Worldcon members and staff, who trusted me to make good choices,” continues Robinette Kowall. “I’m sorry I let you all down.”
The statement continues to reveal that the company will make “an anonymous contribution to an organization committed to peace, equal to the amount we received from Raytheon,” and Robinette Kowall will also donate to the same organization.
“Our code of conduct says that DisCon III wants to build an inclusive community for all fans. With this sponsorship, that goal has not been achieved,” concludes Robinette Kowall. “I cannot erase the damage my actions have caused. This happened on my watch. It is my fault and I am deeply sorry for the pain I caused.”
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