55327_girl-writing_mdThe Horror Writers of America (HWA) seem to have had a controversy this week about the service of David Riley on their anthology jury based on his membership in a conservative political organization from 1973-1983. I support the HWA views, so I’d like to re-blog their statement on this. This was posted on their Facebook page 13 April 2016 by Lisa Morton.

I have asked both HWA’s Board of Trustees and the chair of our Diverse Works Inclusion Committee to advise on a recent situation surrounding a member who is serving on a Bram Stoker Award jury who holds certain political views. After considerable discussion and research, here is the official response:

The HWA does not support discrimination of any kind, including discrimination based on political views. Not only is this form of discrimination specifically illegal in a number of U.S. states, HWA’s Board of Trustees also does not believe it’s in keeping with our principle of supporting and practicing freedom of expression. In specific regard to HWA’s Bram Stoker Award juries, the HWA will certainly act if/when a juror’s personal views have a provable impact/bias against a writer or his/her works.

Thank you to everyone who has voiced concern over this issue, especially those who have taken the time to contact me privately.

After the controversy developed, Riley did step down. So, was it appropriate for activists to complain? As various comments have pointed out, there is no indication that Riley is unqualified to sit on the anthology jury because of conservative political views. He has never crossed my radar as an extremist. The fact that he is being attacked smacks of McCarthyism and the days of witch hunts against socialists in the US. During that time, Hollywood maintained a “blacklist” of actors who were suspected Communists and kept them from working in their field.

Fascism is a creeping evil.