Canada’s literary neighborhood is tearing itself aside over unspecified however “critical accusations” in opposition to one in every of its personal.
The seeds of the literary row have been planted a yr in the past, when the College of British Columbia’s (UBC) suspended creator and lecturer Steven Galloway.
He was later fired after a month-long investigation.
This week, over 80 of Canada’s brightest literary skills got here to his defence in an open letter to UBC.
Within the letter launched on Wednesday, writers together with Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Madeleine Thien and David Cronenberg demanded an unbiased investigation into how UBC dealt with the allegations in opposition to the artistic writing professor and bestselling creator.
The college has by no means revealed the substance of the accusations in opposition to Mr Galloway or the outcomes of the investigation carried out by a former BC supreme court docket decide, citing privateness for each Mr Galloway and his accusers.
However media stories have uncovered accusations of bullying and sexual harassment.
The authors now face accusations that, of their criticism of the shortage of due course of they noticed afforded to Mr Galloway, they’re turning a blind eye to “rape tradition”.
On social media, they have been accused of failing to keep in mind the impression the flawed course of had on complainants and in taking part in a “court of celebrity”. Two withdrew their names from the letter.
Sierra Skye Gemma, who filed a grievance in opposition to Mr Galloway for behaviour she says she witnessed, told the Canadian Press wire service: “I wept after I learn these names as a result of I actually imagine these writers do not know the silencing impact this letter has on victims, each of the previous and of the long run”.
Ms Atwood defended her actions in The Walrus magazine on Thursday.
“My place is that the UBC course of was flawed and failed either side, and the remainder of my place is that the mannequin of the Salem Witchcraft Trials shouldn’t be a very good one,” she stated.
For its half, UBC stated in a press release that it reached its resolution to fireside Mr Galloway after a ” thorough, deliberative course of” that adopted all labour legal guidelines and college and union requirements and agreements.
They stated a evaluate of the college’s resolution is already underneath method.
Mr Galloway, who faces no prison expenses, has not spoken publicly concerning the allegations and an ongoing grievance course of is protecting him from doing so.