In a string of tweets, author Roxane Gay called out the Midwest Writers Workshop for not giving a woman a public-faciing position because of her size. In the tweets, she told a story of Sarah Holloway, a writer who has worked for MWW for five years.
You can see her full response on Twitter or below:
In a field in which it would be expected that aesthetics and beauty standards would be insignificant, writers are still affected by and participate in fatphobia. For people who are unaware of fatphobia, it is an irrational dislike and fear of fatess and fat people and is seen everywhere in America, from sizing that caters exclusively toward thin people to fat people getting worse medical care.
A representative from MWW made a statement on the Facebook page Wednesday, apologizing for their "mistake." In the statement, the representative praises Sarah for being an accomplished writer and then claims that the woman who made the insensitive comment about Sarah has been fired from the executive planning committee.
The representative wrote, "I ask our faculty, friends and alumni to understand that the mistakes that were made do not change Midwest Writers’s core mission to welcome everyone — attendees and faculty alike—to our conference and as members of our committee. And by everyone, I mean all people, regardless of their weight or appearance, gender or sexual preference, age, race, or whether they show up in the same model of wheelchair in which I sit."
In response, Gay wrote, "This is a start. I hope you give Sarah the time and space to feel hurt and consider your apology. I hope this never happens again. It should have never happened in the first place. I hope you make it right with her."
Hollowell wrote, "I'm grateful that I have a lot of friends whose advice I trust and for all the support I'm getting from people I don't know. I still don't know what to do. MWW has meant so much to me and this isn't easy. I don't like that it's happening. We'll figure it out."
Picture via Facebook/@roxanegay74
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Gianna Folz is a BUST intern, writer, reluctant runner, and occasional tweeter when angry about something. Follow and connect @gianna_folz