Unless you've had your head stuck under a rock today, you're already up to speed on the controversy surrounding the Grand Prix du Festivale d'Angouleme, a French comics award whose name translates roughly as "cheese so odorous it could reasonably be mistaken for the urethral scrapings of a chlamydia-ridden elephant." If you did have your head under a rock, first of all, congratulations at escaping that predicament. Second, why is the first thing you're doing reading The Outhouse?! Go to a hospital! Last, but not least, here's a quick recap:
Of the thirty nominees placed on this year's ballot, exactly 100% were men, and zero were women. A French group called BD Egalite proposed a boycott of voting in response.
One third of the nominated comics creators asked for their names to be removed in protest, with the other two thirds probably not realizing they were nominated yet. The list included "The Great One" Brian Bendis.
Angouleme released a statement responding to the outrage which was laden with condescension, explained that the festival "loves women" but simply didn't think they'd make much of an impact in comics in the entire history of comics. To be clear, this is a lifetime achievement award, so we're talking all living women. From an award based in a culture that considers Jerry Lewis to be the pinnacle of comedy, mimes to be the pinnacle of entertainment, berets to be the pinnacle of fashionable headwear, and snails to be the pinnacle of culinary delicacies, perhaps such bizarre thought processes are to be expected. Still, it's pretty god damn ignorant and insulting.
Executive officer and pot full of melted cheese perfect for dipping Frank Bondoux went so far as to comment, "Similarly, if you go to the Louvre, you will find few women artists." However, they begrudgingly agreed to add more names to the list, though it is unclear who those names will be.
Now, BD Egalite has responded to that response. Like the previous statement, all we have is a Google Translated version, so some of the righteous snark is lost in translation, but here's what they had to say:
The FIBD said they could not "rewrite history of comics" and clearly does not intend to modernize!
Our boycott found a great support since yesterday, and we thank tou-te-s-es that the author refused to vote for the Grand Prix 2016. Thanks also to the nominated authors who heard our cause and have supported desisting in the list.
Various controversies delight the media and social networks yesterday. We particularly regret some outright lies on one side, a massive bad faith of the other, from the FIBD.Franck Bondoux or rather, its Deputy Director General.
To this we want to respond briefly and ask a question that burns all day. Lips
On FIBD Site, we read today that since the Festival "loves women ". Ah, so phew! That's all we wanted, we women ... reassures us that you love us. Thank you!
We will not repeat all that the Festival shows we have done to women or feminist cause through their article. What is disturbing is that Franck Bondoux asks us to look elsewhere continuing to publicly declare such things as "We will not impose quotas. The criteria he must be absolutely to have women? The Festival reflects the reality of this universe.
"If for him absolutely no woman in the world deserves to be on the list of nominees in 2016 and it is a reflection of the reality of global comics today it's time for Franck Bondoux to change jobs.
Wanting the same time make us swallow the nominated authors are artists who "are making creations for decades" while several Grands Prix had not yet reached their forties at election, it's enough to ask if we do not plug more from us. Again this year at least one nominee has not more than 37 years. Finally, we particularly regret that Bondoux Franck has told BFM TV that "the festival called" unofficially "the collective creative women to draw the list may be eligible for the Grand Prix. ", stating:" In the suggestions, I have not seen the list of 5 or 10 most famous names ". We protest against this blatant lie. If Bondoux Franck has asked us to provide a list, we refused to give names in this explanation:
As we reaffirm in this email, our collective aims at raising awareness of sexism and inequality.
Nominate women to salute their work should flow naturally. Place of women in decision-making positions should not be a question. The fact is there was little clever from a festival that has so little transparency about its rules, its decision-making committees and internal management also make a big mistake as we pointed our call yesterday the boycott. They would have us believe that it is the auteur.es who vote for the Grand Prix. However, auteur.es elect three peers from a pre-established list, and someone else will have the final say to decide the finalists.
Given the extent of the financial challenges and notoriety that this election represents all world demand since yesterday: who sets these lists? That really elects the Grand Prix?
We expect the next tou.te.s FIBD decisions which should be important.
If you speak French, read the untranslated version here. And if you're feeling extra generous, translate it for us and post it in the comments!