A series of leaked emails show that Hugo Awards administrators ruled a group of authors ineligible because they were afraid that China would find their work offensive, according to a new report.

In January, newly released information from the science fiction and fantasy prizes, which last year were held at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chengdu, China, revealed that several authors, including R.F. Kuang (Babel) and Xiran Jay Zhao (Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor), were deemed ineligible for the awards.

In a new report, journalists Chris M. Barkley and Jason Sanford write, “In particular, administrators of the awards from the United States and Canada researched political concerns related to Hugo-eligible authors and works and discussed removing certain ones from the ballot for those reasons, revealing they were active participants in the censorship that took place.”

In an email obtained by Barkley and Sanford, Dave McCarty, the overall administrator for last year’s awards, wrote to some members of the administration team, “In addition to the regular technical review, as we are happening in China and the *laws* we operate under are different…we need to highlight anything of a sensitive political nature in the work.”

Another prize administrator, Diane Lacey, apologized for the rulings, telling Barkley and Sanford, “I am thoroughly ashamed of my part in this debacle, and I will likely never forgive myself.…We were told to vet nominees for work focusing on China, Taiwan, Tibet, or other topics that may be an issue in China and, to my shame, I did so. Understand that I signed up fully aware that there were going to be issues. I am not that naïve regarding the Chinese political system, but I wanted the Hugos to happen, and not have them completely crash and burn.”

Esther MacCallum-Stewart, the chair of this year’s Worldcon in Glasgow, Scotland, told Gizmodo in a statement that the convention apologized “for the damage caused to nominees, finalists, the community, and the Hugo, Lodestar, and Astounding Awards.”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.