Photo courtesy of Jon Del Arroz
Photo courtesy of Jon Del Arroz

The San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions has announced that Bay Area writer, Jon Del Arroz, membership status for WorldCon 76 has been downgraded from attending to supporting – effectively barring him from attending.

The announcement was made in a post that was made available on Facebook along with their official website. The post was made on January 3 and it stated the following:

“Worldcon 76 has chosen to reduce Jonathan Del Arroz’s membership status from attending to supporting. He will not be allowed to attend the convention in person. Mr. Del Arroz’s supporting membership preserves his rights to participate in the Hugo Awards nomination and voting process. He was informed earlier today of our decision via email.

We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct. We take that seriously. Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon. This expulsion is one step towards eliminating such behavior and was not taken lightly. The senior staff and board are in agreement about the decision and it is final.”

When fans on the Facebook page began to ask about the reason behind the ban, it was revealed that Del Arroz had stated in a blog that he was planning to wear a body camera during the event. The reason given why a body camera is a violation of their policy, guests need to ask someone for their permission before taking a photo and a body camera violates this rule because it would be hidden.

Reaching out to Del Arroz via Facebook to get his side of the story, he believes that the ban may have been motivated because of his Hispanic heritage and his conservative politics. He has noted that he has been the victim of harassment from trolls along with some writers because of race and political views.

Del Arroz stated that he reached out to Chairmen Kevin Roche back in November regarding his personal safety but received no reply. He further added that the only other email contact he had with the WorldCon staff was when he was informed that his membership status downgraded to supporting and he would receive a refund.

The Incident Response Team of Worldcon 76 was contacted for more details and to verify that Del Arroz tried contacting them in November regarding his safety. However they only stated that they had no further comment on the matter.

In response to the ban, several groups and fans have called for a boycott of WorldCon 76 unless Del Arroz is allowed to attend. Most notable has been that Castalia House has announced they are boycotting WorldCon 76 in response to the ban.

 

Speaking to someone who has experience volunteering at local conventions but doesn’t want to be named, he stated that announcing someone being ban from an event is not unheard but is very rare. In regards to Del Arroz, it’s always controversial when the ban is being issued to a high profile individual so they rather make a statement to address any concerns. He further added that each con has their own policy regarding body cameras but its use is often looked down upon.

Worldcon is one of the largest science fiction conventions in the world and notable for honoring writers with the Hugo Award. The 2018 event will take place in San Jose while the guests of honor will include Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Spider Robinson.

Jon Del Arroz is an acclaimed science fiction writer from the Bay Area whose work has been featured in several anthologies and is the author of Gravity of the Game and Star Realms: Rescue Run. His latest novel, For Steam and Country, was released in 2017 and has been highly praised.

8 Comments »

  1. This is what happens when when SJW cucks try to force their agenda on people. WorldCon disagreed with Jons politics so they tried to humiliate him like this by banning him. No matter, WorldCon is overated and only for hack writers, Jon should start his own SciFi con for real Americans

  2. Did the writer actual do any research before writing this story? A simple Google search for Jon Del Arroz will show what a racist he is and now is playing the victim card, no wonder they banned him

  3. No surprise a liberal convention would ban a conservative. Jon is too good for those libtards, he should just go to comic cons in Red States.

  4. So a writer felt threatened, asked for protection only to get ignored and yet is branded as the bad guy? WTF I see perves running around at these events but 1 guy wants to take a stand and they ban him.

  5. Since there are so many claims as varied as there are people posting them about the reasons behind the ban of one individual, I did a little research. The convention policy states that harassment will get you kicked out, as will photographing or filming people without their permission will get you kicked out.

    The official policy for the convention can be found at:

    https://www.worldcon76.org/member-services/code-of-conduct

    The gentleman in question advised on his website that he intended to film attendees without permission, in clear violation of the convention policy. Further, he has a history of harassing other attendees at other conventions. Rather than wait until he creates a scene at the upcoming convention, the convention committee elected to prevent him from attending. That he is hispanic, or a writer, or right or left wing or neutral in politics shouldn’t even enter into the argument. Arroz advised he had the intent to violate convention policy, that doesn’t make him a victim of some diabolical plot, but someone seeking attention.

    Trying to force the argument that the ban was either 1) his ethnic background, or 2) his politics, isn’t a valid argument unless you’re trying to indicate that filming/photogrpahing without permission or antisocial behaivor at conventions are 1) an ethnic trait for his demographic, or 2) all members of a political leaning are, by nature, harassers and filmers of others in violation of the convention code of conduct. Neither of those arguments holds water.

    I know plenty of Hispanics who are just as nice as they can be, polite, and very social. I know plenty of middle-of-the-road, right and left wingers who aren’t at each other’s throats, and who treat others as they would like to be treated. To claim victimhood while inflicting harassing behavior on others at the same time, is a paradoxical behavior. I fail to see how this will aid him in any way in garnering readers for his writings. It may, in fact, do the opposite.

    The moral of this is that If you want to go to any convention, 1) don’t put up a social media blog that you’re going to violate the convention code of behavior, and 2) behave yourself and treat others as you would like to be treated, regardless of whether you agree with their politics, religion, ethnic origin, sex/gener, or the political views of their home planet.

    I have attended conventions going back to 1973, and have never seen the kind of behavior on the part of anyone as described by the gentleman in question, nor the acting out that has been reported about this individual. Personally, I don’t discuss religion, politics, sex, or economic status at conventions. I go there to enjoy the convention.

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