Following the ceremony for the British Science Fiction Association Awards on Sunday night at Eastercon 2012 the BSFA committee has received a number of direct complaints and significant online criticism regarding the style and content of the awards’ presentation.
The committee would like to issue a broad and unreserved apology, and regrets any and all offence caused to its members, the attendees at Eastercon and those watching the ceremony streamed on the internet.
We would also like to apologise to several of our own committee members who felt compelled to personally defend the BSFA while the committee were still reviewing the situation, and who encountered a number of personal attacks that should have more rightly been directed towards the organisation as a whole.
We would also like to apologise to the host of our ceremony, John Meaney, who generously agreed to support our presentation this year and who we have clearly failed by not providing a better briefing in advance.
It is worth discussing our own processes in public as part of our learning and moving the conversation forward.
The BSFA committee is a distributed network of volunteer members. Its first duty on receiving a complaint is to fully understand the issues, talk to individuals involved, look at what can be done immediately and what can be learned for the future.
We do this as a committee, discussing and sharing comments, reviewing blogs and message threads, running extensive twitter searches and so forth to be sure of having as wide an understanding of the issues as possible.
This process has been ongoing since the ceremony, lessons have been learned and we offer our apologies that this process has necessarily taken time.
The committee has lost several key members in the past few days, either via direct resignation or as an acceleration of an already stated wish to step down within the year.
This leaves us considerably under-resourced for the short to mid term future, and we would ask for patience in the coming weeks and months as we aim to rebuild our organisational strength and the trust of our membership and our community.
The BSFA committee remains dedicated to the positive promotion of science fiction and its fans, and will endeavour to both rectify its errors and continue to act as a positive force within the SF&F community.
on behalf of the BSFA committee