HomeAll postsJonathan Ross withdraws as MC for the Hugos

Jonathan Ross withdraws as MC for the Hugos

As soon as news of¬†Jonathan Ross’s appointment as MC for the Hugos was released into the twitter-sphere, comment came thick and fast. Much outrage was voiced and many alternatives suggested, some serious, some… less so.

[cough] Those last names were mentioned facetiously as they’ve been the centre of scandals in the not-so-distant past. [cough]

After outrage on twitter last night, Jonathan Ross withdrew as MC for this year’s Hugo Awards.

Unfortunately, Jonathan was an asshat before his graceful withdrawal.

A few heavy-hitters in the SF community acknowledged Jonathan’s withdrawal graciously.

While people vented on Twitter and suggested alternatives, one person pointed to an icon who consciously uses his White Male Privilege constructively.

For those of you who, like me, only have a vague idea of who Jonathan Ross is, the Daily Dot explains why Jonathan’s appointment as MC was such a controversial decision.

“Ross is a controversial and polarizing public figure¬†with a long trail¬†of arguably sexist, racist, and ableist remarks. Allegations of his lewd treatment of women include¬†¬†dry-humping performer Nicole Scherzinger,¬†objectifying Nicole Kidman, and ‚Äúpublicly offend[ing] and humiliat[ing]‚ÄĚ Georgina Baillie in a series of highly controversial¬†prank calls¬†with Russell Brand.

Farah Mendlesohn¬†announced her resignation¬†from the LonCon Committee earlier today over the Chairs‚Äô decision to ask Ross to host…

Farah Mendlesohn made private her LiveJournal post on her resignation from the LonCon Committee as a form of damage control.

Seanan McGuire, one of the most-nominated authors in recent years, cried.

While some fans have expressed disappointment or disgust at yet another dust-up, Teresa NielsenHayden sums it up in two tweets:

Maybe in the future convention organisers will take Teresa’s comments under advisement. Instead of inviting the controversial husband of Hugo Award-winner Jane Goldman, how about inviting Jane herself? Instead of inviting someone who makes jokes at the expense of those with disabilities, how about inviting someone with a disability, like anyone from The Last Leg? Instead of inviting someone who makes racist jokes, how about inviting someone-not-white who is an inspiring speaker like N K Jemisin? We’re living in the future. Let’s hope convention organisers start catching up.


Sometimes people can surprise you. Sometimes people can be REALLY CLASSY. This tweet is one of those times.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. It does I think indicate that if the process had been worked through he might have been okay, we may have seen another, positive side to him.

    It is interesting that the focus from the gollanz tweet is basically -hey look you progressive peeps you may have stuffed it up for yourselves.

    I am a bit over the hand wringing and the finger pointing by some at the community, and am still yet to find evidence of bullying or abuse.

    It’s also concerning that there is this chasing of mainstream attention, as if that’s going to be anything but a small blip in the 24 hour news cycle whether its bad or good.


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