South by Southwest has come under attack after it cancelled two anti-harassment panels from its 2016 lineup.
IfWeRanTheWorld CEO Cindy Gallop has blasted the famed ad event saying the decision shows the industry’s gender imbalance, and that ad agencies and brands should boycott SWSW.
It comes after Dee Madigan blasted the Aussie ad industry for not having enough women speakers in its conferences.
“I want every single agency and brand to refuse to go to SXSW 2016 unless they reinstate those panels,” Gallop said.
In a statement, SXSW said the main reason it cut the panels was, ironically enough, an influx of online harassment and threats of violence.
But the cancellation itself has poured more fuel on the fire, with BuzzFeed and Vox saying they would skip the event unless the panels were reinstated.
According to other reports, SXSW has brought back one of the panel topics, Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games, but has no plans to bring back a second panel affiliated with the anti-diversity Gamergate movement.
Speaking at the recent 3 Percent Conference in New York, Gallop argued that the only way to curb this kind of harassment is to meet it head on.
Along with shaking her finger at SXSW, Gallop said there needs to be a lot more hiring of women – and fast – the only way she feels the industry can get any real diversity.
“When one half of humanity is shut out of the creativity that our industry is charged with producing, the creativity we produce will not have the humanity it needs to make the emotional connections it needs to make with our consumers in order to achieve our client’s business objectives,” Gallop said.
“When you are a male ECD who is not the gender to which the vast majority of domestic violence happens to, how are you ever going to oversee work that will genuinely impact a huge, huge mission?”
You can see her other insights from Twitter here:
— Rebecca Rivera (@rebrivved) October 27, 2015