Correction: The headline of this story did not reflect the content and has been changed.
“Over the past few days there has been a lot of discussion about Bill Webb’s appearance as a Special Guest at Gary Con. He contacted us to inform us that he is withdrawing as a Guest out of respect for Gary Con and my father’s memory. We have updated our website to reflect that change,” Gygax said.
Gygax also reiterated Gary Con’s harassment policy in his message. “The entire Gary Con staff and Gygax family take the safety of both our guests and attendees seriously.”
Webb said in a Facebook post, “It’s time to stop the damage to the community as a whole. I’m writing to withdraw as a special guest of the convention.” He didn’t address the allegations from ConTessa directly, but did say it didn’t make sense to drag Gary Con into what he called an internet driven narrative.
Webb is the target of a boycott of the event by the ConTessa Foundation. ConTessa founder Stacy Dellorfano called for the boycott in a blog post citing allegations of past harassment by Webb. Dellorfano accused Gary Con of making the convention unsafe for women by inviting individuals like Webb.
In a statement from ConTessa, the organization said they would continue to fight for diversity and change within tabletop gaming in an effort to provide better places for everyone to game.
They did not call to end the boycott, but instead criticized Gary Con’s harassment policy. “We believe that GaryCon can do better with their policies against harassment, and enforcing them. Currently the convention has more concrete guidance for sleeping in convention spaces or bringing in outside foods than it does for the handling of harassment targeted against guests or attendees of the convention.”
ConTessa said Gary Con was not alone, saying there are a number of conventions that do not believe in harassment policies. They concluded by saying, “As long as these problems exist, ConTessa will continue to speak out against them.”