Comic book creator and science fiction author Jon Del Arroz declared “flawless victory” in his lawsuit against San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. aka WorldCon76.
Del Arroz, the author of Deus Vult, Flying Sparks, Justified, and more, sued WorldCon back in April 2018 for violating Civil Code Section 51 of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, violation of Civil Code Section 51.5, violation of Civil Code Section 51.7, violation of Civil Code Section 52.1, and defamation.
On YouTube, Del Arroz explained his lawsuit, “If you guys aren’t aware of this situation, I’ve been targeted and harassed by SJWs in science fiction since I came on the scene in 2016. They found out who I voted for on my Facebook wall, and I just started getting threats ever since that point. It was really ugly. ”
He added, “I just got constant death threats, constant harassment; I couldn’t just be left alone to make my work. And this translated over to people I never would’ve thought doing this. I mean big names like John Scalzi, the head of SFWA at the time, Cat Rambo. They were all on this hate blog called File770 just attacking me over and over again.”
He further elaborated, “And then WorldCon, I announced I was going to there and I sent them an email saying, ‘Hey, I’ve gotten a lot of harassment from people and I’ve gotten death threats and things like that. Do you have security, additional security measures, and things like that.’ And they never responded to me.”
Del Arroz continued, “So, I was really scared… I had months debating do I go to this or not ’cause I’ve got little children. So, I’m like I can’t risk going to something like this and having somebody just try to stab me or something in this without some additional help or something.”
So I posted a blog saying, ‘Hey I’m going to be wearing a body cam in case somebody comes up to me and starts to harass me.’ And WorldCon banned me for it. They claimed I was intending on going and following people around with a camera or something. Nonsense. They are detailed records of my fear about what was going to happen there and for good reason. These people have said nasty, nasty things to me,” he explained.
Del Arroz further added, “But they went a step further. When they went on their website they said that removing me, they didn’t specify the reason why, they said it was going to remove ‘racist, bullying elements from our con.'” And so, they called me a racist on their website.”
“And so that really damaged my reputation in the industry. It damaged my ability to ever get published again in mainstream publishing, which I have been. It’s a real tragedy,” he said.
The Deus Vult author continued, “I was contacted by a wonderful attorney, Peter Bradley, who mentioned that this is defamation, the very literal sense of the word. And we brought it to court.”
In March, WorldCon76 announced they had filed a motion for summary judgment with Del Arroz on their official blog.
On June 4, 2021 they announced they had settled with him and issued a public apology from Kevin Roche, the Chair of WorldCon 76 in San Jose.
Roche wrote, “SFSFC acknowledges the importance of reputation, especially for a relatively new author, and regrets that its public statement about barring his attendance might have led people unfamiliar with Mr. Del Arroz and his work to infer that he is or was a racist.”
He continued, “For that, SFSFC apologizes. This attendance ban was specific to the Worldcon 76 events produced by SFSFC, and Mr. Del Arroz has the same opportunity as other members of the public to register for future SFSFC events.”
“Worldcon 76 does not tolerate discrimination in any form — including through cosplay — based on but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical/mental health conditions,” Roche added.
He concluded, “SFSFC firmly believes that healthy political discourse requires active, mutual, good faith participation by members of the community with differing opinions.”
Along with this apology San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions Inc. agreed to pay Del Arroz a sum of $4,000 as noted in the settlement agreement.
In his YouTube video, Del Arroz celebrated the victory, “We are having so much winning, I just can’t help it right? Woo! Alright. I’m happy. I hope you’re happy. Thank you all for standing by me in this fight.”
He also celebrated in an email sent to Bounding Into Comics.
He wrote, “This is a great victory for conservatives and Christians in the arts. It demonstrates that we cannot be discriminated against because of who we are, and I hope it inspires more authors and artists to boldly declare their faith in Christ without fear and stand for their values.”
In an email to Vox Day that was published to Vox Populi, Del Arroz thanked Day for his advice to fight back and encouraged others to do the same.
He wrote, “In early 2017, Vox Day gave me a platform on this blog to speak the truth about how the science fiction publishing and fandom communities had become nothing more than toxic, gossip-filled political arms of the extreme Satanist, globalist elites. It was the first time I’d been unpersonned by SJWs trying to target me and my family over politics and he gave me the advice: ‘Learn to go public. One reason they get away with it is because everyone they do it to tries to keep it quiet. You shouldn’t.'”
“I named names, I exposed what was going on, and made a name for myself many of you know in science fiction and comics, of which I thank the readers of VP so much for your support over the years. It hasn’t been without its trials, however, the unpersoning continued with Worldcon 76 in San Jose, who banned me because I told them I had safety concerns about being physically attacked based on death threats made to me online, and they refused to even respond about assurances of security at their convention,” Del Arroz continued.
He went on, “They took it a step further, going to their website and social media citing they were removing ‘racist bullying’ from their convention, libeling me, a Hispanic man who is very proud of my heritage in the process.”
“I followed Vox’s lead and decided to fight it with everything I had. We filed suit for defamation and have been engaged in a long court battle for nearly 4 years. Finally, WorldCon opted to settle and wrote me a formal, public apology and gave us financial compensation,” the Flying Sparks author added.
He concluded his email encouraging others to fight back well, “We are in dark times, but there is light and there is good. Even though it can seem overwhelming, you can fight the good fight, you can win. It isn’t easy, you can’t be low energy, and you must never concede, but know that truth will prevail. We follow the one true light of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, and through him we will be his beacon and bring about his kingdom. It’s preordained. We have already won, and the lesson is to never be afraid of evil. Deus vult.”
What do you make of Del Arroz’s victory over WorldCon? What do you make of WorldCon’s apology?