From Weird Tales and ‘Saving the Pearls’ to ‘All-American Muslim,’ Consume the Content, Not the Hype

io9 has the story of Weird Tales, the venerable science fiction magazine that committed to run an excerpt of a novel called Saving the Pearls, in which people of color tyrannically oppress white people, who are considered ugly and genetically disadvantaged because ozone layer damage makes them much more susceptible to UV rays, apparently in part because the author, Victoria Foyt, told the editors the people who were criticizing her were just haters. In the statement from the Weird Tales publisher, he says:

Marvin was approached by Victoria Foyt, and was asked to review her novel. He was told that she was being slammed online by people who had not read it. I have not read the novel, but have gone over its online presence today. I have no need to read it. I saw the blackface video and read the excerpts the author and publisher chose to make available. I must conclude that the use of the powerful symbols of white people forced to wear blackface to escape the sun, white women lusting after black “beast men,” the “pearls” and “coals,” etc., is goddamned ridiculous and offensive. It seems like the work of someone who does not understand the power of what she is playing with.

In a way, this reminds me of the controversy over TLC’s great reality show All-American Muslim, when advertisers including Lowe’s and Kayak pulled out of the show after a fringe Florida group that purports to represent many more people than it actually does, told them that the show in some way was a contravention of their values. Both cases are a reminder that when someone is really eager to discredit a controversy, or to tell you that something that seems utterly anodyne is secretly nefarious, it’s probably worth going to the source material, or whatever of the source material is available, and making your own independent judgement.