Dark Horse Releases a Statement Regarding Scott Allie. Rinse. Repeat. (Update)
They went on to Tweet:
It is critical that employees feel safe, secure and supported in the workplace. They should feel safe in making these inexcusable actions known without fear of reprisal. Dark Horse Comics will dedicate itself to ensuring that this will not ever happen again within our company.
Does that sound familiar? It’s similar to what they said in 2015 when earlier accusations over assault were levied against Allie.
Dark Horse is committed to ensuring and maintaining a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans and we expect all who represent our company to behave in a professional manner. Disciplinary actions are handled internally at the company and we do not comment on them publicly.
Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson stated:
I applaud Ms. Asselin’s Intentions in dealing with sexual harassment in the comics industry.
I also want to make one thing very clear: Dark Horse as a company, and myself as an individual, take the kinds of inexcusable incidents reported by Ms. Asselin very seriously—doubly so when it involves one of our employees. In cases such as these, we have been proactive in our response, with a variety of professional services involved, all with the goal of changing behavior. Additionally, a number of internal responses are acted upon, including termination if such behavior continues. Under no circumstance is any individual “harbored.” In this particular case, action was taken immediately, though we did not, and cannot, perform a public flogging, as some might wish.
Secondly, there is no “us-against-them” attitude here. I have an open door policy and every employee, no matter where she/he sits in the company, is invited to come in to my office with any complaint or observation, at any time. I restate this policy constantly. I won’t go into the assumptions made here that are just untrue, because my intent is not to undermine the purpose of her piece, but no one here has ever turned a “blind eye” to these behaviors, not in this case, not in any case. With regard to sexual harassment, it is simply not tolerated. Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.
Ms. Asselin turns her eye toward me. I have never met or talked with Ms. Asselin. If she knew me, she would learn that I am extremely sensitive on this subject, being the father of three daughters and having experienced first hand the effects of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. I have fought against that harassment, not just in a social environment, but also within our own publishing schedule. I have also fought for gender equality in our school system and championed social and racial diversity both in and out of Dark Horse, activities I am still involved with. Her assumption that my longevity somehow “embeds” within me an attitude of inappropriate permissiveness is not only wrong, it is insulting.
I agree that harassment of any kind, routine or not, is unacceptable. It always has been. We at Dark Horse will renew our efforts to make sure that our company is never again mentioned with regard to this type of occurrence. As quoted in the article, our goal has always been to provide a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans.
– Mike Richardson
But, five years later, here we are with Allie up until today working with Dark Horse on books even after the previous revelation. Actions speak louder than words and so far, in our eyes, Dark Horse has failed that test. The publisher needs to come forward with what internal changes have been made to ensure something like this never happens again.
Update: Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson has released a statement laying out concrete steps the company is going to take. Keep in mind, “no tolerance” is legally required and retaliation is also illegal at a federal level. Dark Horse has announced they are complying with the law.