The Nebula nominations are closed now, so while they’re producing the list of finalists for review, I’ll talk about something else for a few days. First, a question seems to have arisen this week about whether racist Internet bullies and/or abusers should be forgiven even if it looks like they’ve reformed their ways, or whether they should be blacklisted in some way.

The pertinent issue right now is about Requires Hate, an Internet personality who spent years harassing and bullying writers under different screen names, especially young writers of color. Her different personas were eventually connected to her pen name for fiction, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Laura Mixon won a 2015 Hugo Award for an expose. Sriduangkaew, in her persona as a Thai lesbian writer, was by then a rising star published by a number of high-profile magazines and a nominee for the 2014 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. I’ve had commenters on my blog assume that being exposed as a racist, homophobic bully ended Sriduangkaew’s writing career. However, it didn’t. The high-profile magazines continued to promote her stories, while she apparently continued her harassment behaviors. This issue came up last week when Apex Magazine included Sriduangkaew on a roundtable event. After complaints, editor Jason Sizemore issued an apology.

Contrast this with the recent treatment of writer Sunil Patel. After various complaints from women about “manipulation, grooming behavior and objectification of women” (but not apparently direct sexual harassment), several publishers cut ties with Patel, dropping him out of scheduled publications. This happened even after he publicly apologized.

So, why the difference? Why does the community of editors (and presumably readers) ignore Sriduangkaew’s racist, homophobic transgressions and continued harassment of writers, while blacklisting Patel? Is there a double standard of some kind in work?

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