Dear Sarah Fenske,
I’m writing because I believe that in his coverage of Hugo Schwyzer’s mental breakdown yesterday (http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/08/hugo_schwyzer_porn_class_pcc.php) and today (http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/08/porn_professor_hugo_schwyzer_suicide_attempt.php) Dennis Romero was grossly irresponsible and disrespectful.
In his first story he included a link to a vitriolic blog post on a site “The Real Porn Wiki Leaks” that included the legal name and personal information of a sex worker who did NOT consent to have those details publicized. When other sex work advocates and I asked him to remove the link, he refused. This morning he posted another article with the same link, despite multiple complaints that it put the woman in question at risk.
What is even more egregious to me as a reader is that Mr. Romero has missed some of the main points in this story. The anger and criticism directed at Hugo Schwyzer, the social media fallout he was referencing in this morning’s interview, actually had very little to do with the sexting story that Mr. Romero keeps linking back to. It was about deeper issues of abuse, silencing of women of color, his position of privilege, and boundaries of safe spaces within feminist communities. He could have explored the role of social media, why Hugo’s mental illness is newsworthy, or any other angle. Instead, he insists that the news is centered around this blog’s interpretation of a digital affair. It’s dismissive of feminist criticism, and this reductive retelling is unfair to everybody, including your readers.
I hope that you will rethink the links included in these articles. And I hope that any future coverage of Hugo Schwyzer’s life or career is handled more thoughtfully.