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John Green Responds to Tumblr Accusations of Sexual Abuse

John Green Responds to Tumblr Accusations of Sexual Abuse

“The Fault In Our Stars” author John Green has taken to his Tumblr account to respond to sexual abuse accusations that members of the social media site have directed at him.

The 37-year-old writer, whose book “Paper Towns” was also just made into a movie being released this summer, has a very active presence on Tumblr and it seems some people decided to troll his account because of it.

“i bet john green thinks people don’t like him because he’s a ‘dork’ or a nerd or whatever when in reality it’s because he’s a creep who panders to teenage girls so that he can amass some weird cult-like following,” one Tumblr user wrote. “and it’s always girls who feel misunderstood, you know, and he goes out of his way to make them feel important and desirable.”

Here is how John responded to this post: “You want me to defend myself against the implication that I sexually abuse children? Okay. I do not sexually abuse children.”

“Throwing that kind of accusation around is sick and libelous and most importantly damages the discourse around the actual sexual abuse of children. When you use accusations of pedophilia as a way of insulting people whose work you don’t like, you trivialize abuse,” he continued.

Click inside to read the rest of John Green’s lengthy response…

I’m tired of seeing the language of social justice—important language doing important work—misused as a way to dehumanize others and treat them hatefully.

So we all seek (and seek to share) the jolt that accompanies outrage and anger. As studies have shown, the complicated dopamine rush that comes with righteous indignation is very powerful, and I’m indulging it simply by responding to the outrageous accusation that my work is somehow evidence of sexual abuse.

But the outrage cycle is exhausting, and while there are wonderful examples of outrage fueling long-term, productive responses to injustice—We Need Diverse Books and the UPLIFT both come to mind—too often the Internet moves from jolt to jolt, from hatred to hatred, ever more convinced of our own righteousness and the world’s evil. And getting caught up in that is very painful.

I realize that will seem privileged to many of you (and it is), or like an excuse (maybe it’s that too), or lacking in empathy (maybe so), and I’m sure there is plenty here to deconstruct and reveal my various shortcomings (which are legion).

But this stops being a productive place for me to be in conversations if I’m not allowed to be wrong, if my apologies are not acknowledged alongside my misdeeds, and if I’m not treated like a person.

I think at this point it’s impossible to continue to use tumblr in the way I’ve used it since 2011. My life is different (in ways that are both good and bad); this community is different (in ways that are both good and bad); the world is different (in ways that are both good and bad).

So if this blog begins to look more one-way, with more original content and less reblogging/commenting/answering asks/etc., that’s why.

I want to emphasize that I am ridiculously lucky to work on stuff I love, from Crash Course to The Art Assignment to writing books. And I trust that many nerdfighter communities—whether vlogbrothers or Dear Hank and John or the Wimbly Womblys or the kiva group—will continue to be open and collaborative and constructive. Also, I’m not angry or anything like that. I just need some distance for my well-being.

Thanks for reading. DFTBA.

EDIT: To be clear, sending hate to people who say this stuff is counter-productive and only continues the outrage cycle, so please don’t abuse anyone. Thanks.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: John Green

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