PAPER TOWNS BookCon panel lacks lady panelists


This year’s BookCon, a convention for readers to meet their favorite authors, was overrun with over 20,000 excited readers. Fans of John Green began to line up before the floor even opened for his panel on the Paper Towns movie adaptation at 6 p.m., meaning they had quite the while to wait.

The Paper Towns BookCon panel – which included Green and the stars of the movie – talked generally about the film as a whole without spoiling too much about the film. (The most interesting tidbit from the night was confirmation that Green’s cameo did make it into the film.) However, many noticed a huge flaw in the convention.

Despite there being a lady lead in the Paper Towns film, the Paper Towns BookCon panel did not have a single lady panelist. (The panel was moderated by Kathleen Heaney, of Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, but since she was only posing questions and topics, many didn’t consider her part of the panel – and even if she had been, she would have been severely outnumbered.)

Green did step up and take responsibility for the lack of lady panelists, apologizing to those who attended on Twitter and promising that it wouldn’t happen again.

However, panels like this show a continual and trending problem with conventions like BookCon as a whole. Event coordinators are oblivious to the lack of diversity on their panels. BookCon’s problem last year was with lack of people of color; this year, while both people of color and ladies were represented as a whole throughout the conference, the domination of men on a stage while a predominately lady-filled audience watched needs to be remedied.

Here’s to hoping that BookCon and other conventions take note of the outcry and continue to do more to make their panels more lady-friendly.

What do you think of the Paper Towns BookCon panel? Sound off in the comments below!

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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