Some folks have been bringing information about Goblins to my attention for the past few days – things I wasn’t aware of when I wrote that review. Here are my thoughts about that information.
Last November, Tarol Hunt wrote a blog post – which I encourage you to read if you feel up to it – talking about his character Kin and how her rape-revenge storyline was a way for him to work through his feelings about his mother’s brutal rape before he was born. When I read this part, a number of responses immediately came to mind – that his fantasy of rescuing rape victims doesn’t fight rape culture and in many ways supports it; that it’s not his pain or trauma to work out, but his mother’s; that the story has to be judged separate from that context, and the actual content is still misogynist – but I didn’t have to say any of them, because he actually beat me to the punch.
In his post, he admits all of that, and says that many parts of Goblins now make him sick. He seems genuinely distraught at the realization that his work might be sexist, and also seems to have woken up from his rape-revenge fantasy to see the actual impact of his narrative choices. I’ll be honest, I was surprised. The Hunt I saw in that post was not the Hunt I saw in 2012.
To be clear, I still find his actions of that time reprehensible. He essentially used his fans to harass an actual rape survivor for months after she dared to criticize him, and I don’t know if that’s forgiveable. It’s not for me to forgive him anyway, because it was never me that he hurt, but I remain wary of him and his fanbase.
But I was only able to justify Hate Week to myself by limiting my reviews to creators who were truly unapologetic, who would never be reached by constructive criticism, who had shown that they were unwilling to change – and I no longer believe Hunt qualifies. So I’m taking down my Goblins review, effective immediately. I no longer feel wholehearted about the criticisms I make therein, and I don’t want posts that don’t reflect my true feelings to represent me on this site.
I hope that Hunt will do the same at some point and take down the pages that he is no longer proud of.
Thanks to the readers who brought this to my attention, and thanks to all my readers for tuning in. See you on Sunday.