Harassment is NOT okay.
I have something important that I need to say.
Yesterday evening, Kellye Garrett, managing director of PitchWars posted a blog post, in which she explains in detail how she has recently became the subject of targeted harassment. I have not known Kellye very long, but in every interaction with her I have had, she has been nothing but kind, professional, and sincere.
In the blog post she wrote, Kellye blacked out the names of those involved in order to protect their privacy. She didn’t have to do that, but that’s the type of person Kellye is: respectful, fair, and kind. The harassment that she has endured is horrific, toxic, and unacceptable. I’m absolutely horrified that she’s had to endure such gross mistreatment. I debated whether I should say anything at all, but I think it’s important to speak up, and I want to show my complete and utter support for Kellye.
Because, you see, I was one of the people that she was trying to protect.
To make a very long story short, I became friendly with someone back in 2016. We were mere acquaintances at best and followed each other on social media. This person was later involved in a situation concerning bigotry and racist behavior. My silence on the matter could easily have been seen as condoning, and in the case of this anonymous person, I believe it was. I have not spoken to the person in question since the incident, and I am not following them on social media. However, my slow removal of them on my accounts has generated an inaccurate and grossly overestimated picture of a deeper friendship with this person. Because of this, when the 2018 PW mentor list was made live and my name was on it, the anonymous source emailed Kellye because I was one of the mentors they took issue with--because I was supposedly “friends” with that person.
I do not wish to make this about me, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter. However, it’s clear from the details in the email sent to Kellye’s agent that this anonymous source is trying to implicate me, or rather my husband. This is not okay. The bigger and more pressing issue, however, is the false allegations made against Kellye in this blatant attack--and that it what I want to address.
So, I making a public statement about Kellye’s character. She is honest, respectful, kind, friendly, professional, and generous. And let me be clear, Kellye has not harassed me, belittled me, or bullied me in any way. The exact opposite is true—she has treated me with the utmost kindness and respect, in spite of everything.
Kellye doesn’t need me to make this statement. Her character, class, and integrity shine through in everything she does. She has given so much of her time and energy to not only PitchWars, but to the writing community as a whole, and she does not deserve to be targeted in such a vile way.
These malicious attacks are not okay and they need to stop.
I fully support Kellye Garrett and stand behind her 100%.