In addition to playing Jayne Cobb in Firefly and John Casey in Chuck, Baldwin has made quite a name for himself online. He often uses Twitter to express opinions that many find offensive, such as comparing gay marriage to incest and supporting the Gamergate movement. In fact, he was the person who named it Gamergate in the first place.
The Supanova petition asks that he be removed from the convention’s guest list due to his involvement in the movement, explaining, “Over the past six months, Adam Baldwin has been involved in numerous instances of harassment and abuse towards women.” The petition also accuses the actor of tweeting links to the doxxed personal details of game developers Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn, who were both driven from their homes as a result of Gamergate-related harassment. Wu spoke out in support of the petition, describing Baldwin as a “sexist bully.”
Something geek culture is struggling with is making the culture open to women. I think @adambaldwin is the absolute opposite of this goal.— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) January 21, 2015
This is very straightforward: Are you comfortable with bullies in geek culture? Because @AdamBaldwin is a sexist bully. He needs to go.— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) January 21, 2015
Baldwin’s response was to suggest that the petition could be libelous under Australian law.
A counter-petition has already been set up, attracting 1,800 signatures so far. It defends Gamergate as “a movement opposed to moral authoritarianism, censorship, and manipulation of media,” and claims that “banning [Baldwin] from Supanova indicates to everyone that if they don’t toe the line with Brianna Wu’s ideology, they will be blacklisted from media events.”
Daniel Zachariou, Supanova’s director, posted an official response on Facebook on Thursday, asking people on both sides of the controversy to be patient and not “villify or attack” each other while the convention organizers make their decision.
Even if Baldwin’s appearance does go ahead as planned, this will not be the last we hear of this issue. Baldwin has been alienating fans for some time now, but it seems that his involvement in Gamergate was the final straw. We can probably expect a series of similar campaigns to show up in the months leading up to Baldwin’s summer convention schedule.
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA-2.0)