We need to talk about Sockmatician.
We need to talk about Sockmatician. Many of you will be aware of his recent actions, starting with an Instagram post with highly problematic views and language, and culminating in threatening a WoC at Yarningham this past weekend. These actions, and his subsequents reaction to the criticism he faced, are despicable.
We have an article by him in our next issue, Issue 2. It’s a long one, we’re referencing it in our letter from the editors, and his name appears on the cover. When we initially contracted him to write about his HIV story, we were excited to share it. We can’t, and won’t, do that anymore. His behaviour is despicable and dangerous and it’s very much at odds with everything we believe in here at Making Stories and the values we base our work on. We want our magazine to be a safe space.
We’ve been working frantically at figuring out with our printer how we can remove the article and his name from the magazine. The issue is already printed, but we might have a solution that would at least ensure the article is removed by taking out the respective spreads so that our contributors don’t have to share a space with him anymore. In addition to that, we’re working to get quotes for reprinting the cover without his mention and letter from the editor. If that doesn’t work, our plan B is to either add a wrap-around cover or a sticker to the cover. We’ll also add a printed additional letter from the editor to every copy and adjust the digital version of the magazine so that his article and name are removed.
Furthermore, we’ll donate 6% of the profit of Issue 2 to anti-racism causes. This is the equivalent to how much space his article would’ve taken up in Issue 2 (8 of 136 pages). We’re currently looking at different organisations, both in Germany and internationally, and I will update you on which ones we suggest as soon as we’ve finished our research.
We’ve reached out to our contributors to hear what else we can do for them to make Issue 2 a safe space again. The same goes for you: We’re thankful for every comment and action step that you want to see from us and that you decide to share with us. The action steps outlined above are rooted in our perspective and the values we live by, and with us being a white team, this means that they’re inevitably connected to the white privilege we have.
I should have shared this sooner. Period. There’s nothing that can take away the harm that we and I caused by not talking about this earlier, and I’m so, so sorry about that.
Claire and I will be taking turns over the weekend to respond to your comments and to make sure that the conversation that happens in the comments remains safe. Whenever we’re unable to do so, we’ll switch off the comments. If you would like to talk or write about this and don’t want to to this here, you’re more than welcome to do so by reaching out to us via email, either to our official business address or to my personal Making Stories one: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With lots of love,