Reason Rally related incident involving David Silverman and Richard Dawkins

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David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[1] See: Elevatorgate

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a 2011 controversy involving new atheist Richard Dawkins' comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson which are perceived to have been inappropriate by a sizable portion of the atheist community and to the public at large.[2] Watson is a feminist.[3]

Due to the Elevatorgate controversy, the New Statesman reporter and fellow skeptic David Allen Green said he believed Dawkins was a misogynist and a racist.[4] In addition, Green wrote: "Can Richard Dawkins still credibly pose as a champion of rational thinking and an evidence-based approach? In my opinion, he certainly cannot, at least not in the way he did before."[5]

Subsequent to the Elevatorgate indicident, the popularity of Richard Dawkins significant waned (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence).

An article by Sarah posted at Skepchick about a conversation between Richard Dawkins and David Silverman (the ex-president of the American Atheists organization) which took place during the planning phase of the 2012 Reason Rally:

Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.

I was crushed.[6]

See also