An Update on StoryWorld

It would be only fair to give an update on my inciting post regarding sexism in the transmedia world from last week. I am delighted to say that Alison Norrington of StoryWorld and I have been in touch privately. And -- no surprise to her supporters, I'm sure -- she's been nothing but graceful about the entire thing. We're completely cool: She acknowledged the imbalance and is looking at ways to prevent this sort of thing in the future. This is the best possible outcome, so far as I'm concerned.

The problem was, as it often is, was that the people involved in putting together that advisory board simply hadn't thought about race and gender as issues at all. They were genuinely trying to assemble a board based solely on merit. Under other circumstances, this would be something to applaud. Unfortunately, we are all plagued with unconscious and structural biases that mean not paying attention to such things will nearly always lead to an unbalanced result. 

The conversation shouldn't just be about StoryWorld, though, and I hope it doesn't end here -- as transmedia becomes a juicy target for entertainment, I'd like to make sure that we don't import Hollywood-style sexism. We can be better than that. We just need to keep working at it.

And finally, I'd like to thank Alison for being open to criticism, and for handling what must have been a very unpleasant situation for her brilliantly. She's been so great that I've pledged to buy her a drink or two when next we meet. It's thanks to people like Alison in positions of influence that we can all make real strides toward equality.

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