Harlan Ellison Is a Toad

That’s one less comic I will be buying later this year… I will not buy Harlan Ellison’s Dream Corridor 2, as I had planned, because the toad groped Connie Willis on stage at the Hugos (via).

I encourage others to similarly not purchase the book and to let Dark Horse know why.

19 Responses to “Harlan Ellison Is a Toad”

  1. John Says:

    I was so excited to see Connie Willis’ name on your site, until I read the post. The mind just boggles, doesn’t it?

    Mr. Ellison long ago fell into the ‘more of the same’ category for me, but this will definitely stand out in my mind. There’s just no excuse for this kind of behavior.

    I wonder how Connie Willis’ Passage would work as a Graphic Novel? Let’s get her into the comics!

  2. Sarah Says:

    But we’re all equal now, Johanna, hadn’t you heard?

  3. Kelson Says:

    That is f__ing appalling. I am absolutely astonished that he would think it was acceptable (a) at all (b) to someone of Connie Willis’ stature, (c) in public, and (d) on stage in front of several hundred witnesses.

    I know he’s not known for politeness or modesty, but damn…

    That’s not chutzpah, that’s full-on hubris.

  4. Johanna Says:

    John, she’s one of a very few authors whose books I automatically buy, and the one of those I most respect. I was astounded to hear this as a result.

    Thankfully, I haven’t seen many “oh, that’s just Harlan” excuses yet. Because there’s no excuse.

  5. John Says:

    Hi Johanna,

    There really is no excuse for his behavior at all, unless maybe he was on some mind-altering prescription medication. Even then, I am hoping for a public apology, for the little good it would do.

    Ms. Willis is supposed to be a truly decent human being, and certainly doesn’t deserve this kind of disrespect.

    Her stories are especially treasured by me because my Wife and I, each of varied tastes, both enjoy reading them. (Especially the romantic comedies)

    Cheers, JOHN :0)

  6. Dan Coyle Says:

    “Thankfully, I haven’t seen many “oh, that’s just Harlan” excuses yet. Because there’s no excuse.”

    Oh, there will be, sadly enough. There will be.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Dan, it wouldn’t surprise me.

    John, I agree, I love the way she blends creativity and imagination into her stories, and she’s so diversely talented!

  8. Kevin Church Says:

    That’s Our Harlan! is a TV show just waiting to happen.

    Man, I respect the man’s writing, but this is just appalling by any standard.

  9. Scott Says:

    This reminds me of when I stood in line waiting for a book to be signed by Mr. Ellison….

    In front of me was this fairly attractive college co-ed who also was getting something signed. Along comes someone identifying himself as Mr. Ellison’s assistant, presents his card, and wonders if the young woman would like to have a more personal discussion of Mr. Ellison’s works.

    Now, I don’t know whether it was to be with Mr. Ellison or this lackey, but the whole thing left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

    I will have to check out Ms. Wills’ books.

  10. Alan Coil Says:

    Ellison has apologized on his site.

    He also states that he has tried to contact Willis, but has been unable to do so..

  11. Lis Riba Says:

    I recommend reading Harlan’s apologizing comments yourself to judge…

  12. Johanna Says:

    That’s not an apology. I read his posts on the subject (in that crappy interface, with no way to reference anything specifically or find anything easily), but he doesn’t say “I’m sorry”. He says

    “For me to grab Connie’s breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    I’ve called Connie. Haven’t heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.
    So. What now, folks? It’s not as if I haven’t been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn’t–till now–reached your level of outrage.
    I’m glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.”

    That’s not an apology. That’s almost reveling in his misbehavior. He goes on to say “Did I fail to mention, I am 100% guilty as charged, and NO ONE should attempt to cobble up mitigating excuses for my behavior? As with everything else I REALLY DO (as opposed to the bullshit that is gossiped third-hand by dolts), I am responsible for my actions 100% and am prepared to shoulder all consequences.” Then he says “If she was offended, I’ll apologize.” This is political-grade weaseling.

  13. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Ragnell at Written World explains why it matters that Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis, discussing it in the context of how it has a chilling effect on women attending conventions and similar events. When the stories about female professionals and the behavior they face at cons get out — hell, when stuff like Miller’s ASBAR SCRIPT gets out — and we see the harassment and unprofessionalism and general disregard for women behind the often defended as harmless surface material, what do you think we think? … […]

  14. Dan Coyle Says:

    Ugh, I DESPISE Ellison’s site. It’s not well laid out at all. Part of this might have to do with the fact that he himself stays away from computers, but I think his people could try a little harder in bringing the site a little more up to date.

  15. Rachel N. Says:

    Why hasn’t he been publically kneed in the groin yet?

  16. Lisa Karden Says:

    Ellison has a new post about this on his site, where he denies the groping.

  17. Bubba Says:

    Ray Palmer, undeserving target of Harlan Ellison’s meanness for many years, is laughing somewhere.

    Ellison has largely made himself a pseudo-celebrity by his outrageous actions. As many older writers and fans remember (but do they DARE to speak?) Ellison intentionally recruited fans to harass and ridicule an aging and already crippled Palmer at SCIFI Conventions in the 60s and early 70s, intentionally distorted and took out of context what the man said, and did everything he could to ruin him. Palmer, of course, was the one-time editor of Amazing Stories who started the whole “Shaver Mystery” rolling. In addition to being a legendary force in early scifi and fantasy publishing, he was a kind-hearted gent who loved the fans and also committed the Harlan-ordained ‘sin’ of having an interest in exploring the paranormal, UFOs, and other strange phenomena.

    Yep, Palmer is laughing somewhere, and given Ellison’s history, it’s probably a lot more pleasant somewhere than Harlan will end up–despite all the ass-kissing from pros and fans alike.


  18. Bubba Says:

    Forgot to mention–In one harassing incident, Harlan’s stooges caused Palmer, already elderly and crippled, to fall and hurt himself when he was cornered in an elevator at a convention.

    Despicable, but everyone pretends not to remember, and kisses his ass.


  19. Nefer Says:

    I just love self-righteous BS like this. “Oooh, I heard from he said, she said, that he groped this person, so I won’t buy him anymore!” Please. It has long-since emerged for anyone with a working braincell that the so called grope was part of a “Ellison is a baby” shtick that he and Willis were both in on. And the “grope” was a touch of his elbow against her breast, as she happened to be pressing it against his arm. I’m a woman myself, and frankly, while perhaps not entirely appropriate, the degree to which this has been blown out of proportion and the amount of self-righteous bullshit it produced it laughable. Ellison has long since profusely apologized to Connie if she herself found it inappropriate. Considering she laughed and kissed him on-stage immediately afterward…yeah.




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