Tag Archives: harassment

Stan Lee Accused of Sexual Harassment But Responds That It’s a “Shakedown”

Stan Lee is the latest comic industry professional accused of sexual harassment and misconduct against the nurses who worked at his Hollywood home.

Allegations include Lee groping women, requesting oral sex, and strolling around in the nude on front of them.

The nursing company that employs the women is in a legal dispute with Lee but no police complaint has been made and no lawsuits filed.

A lawyer representing Lee has said that Lee “categorically denies” the “false and despicable” allegations and intends to clear his “stellar good name.” There’s also hints that the accusations are part of a shakedown.

An anonymous source said:

Stan is an old man who has seemingly lost his way.

He doesn’t seem to care what people think of him, he’s lost his filter. There has been a stream of young nurses coming to his house in West Hollywood and he has been sexually harassing them. He finds it funny.

He walks around naked and is vulgar towards the women, he asks them for oral sex in the shower and wants to be pleasured in his bedroom. He uses the word p***y and f**k in their presence.

He’s also very handsy and has groped some of the women, it’s unacceptable behavior, especially from an icon like Stan.

The owner at the nursing company has openly said to people that Stan has sexually harassed every single nurse that has been to the house. That got back to Lee and sparked this whole thing.

It appears the owner, who has nursed Stan herself, eventually decided enough was enough.

The nursing company ended their relationship with Lee towards the end of last year.

Lee’s attorney Tom Lallas sent a cease and desist to the owner of the nursing firm in December.

In a statement, Lallas said:

Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character.

We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled.

Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media.

Mr Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

A new visiting nurse firm working with Lee and has said he has been “polite, kind and respectful” as well as “it has been a privilege to care for him.”

We’ll continue to update as more is learned.

(via the Daily Mail)

Stories of Nathan Edmondson’s Behavior Begin to Come Forward (Updated)

A little over two years ago we covered the allegations and rumors regarding comic writer Nathan Edmondson. Harassment, sexual harassment, unprofessional dealings with other creators were all recounted either first or second hand directly to us and since we ran that original article more accounts have been told to us of negative first hand dealings.

The difficulty of reporting in that original article was the second hand nature of the behavior and the first hand accounts weren’t inclined for their stories to be told or included. Things look to be changing.

Writer and editor Stephanie Cooke has stood up with her account and has gone on record with her interactions with Edmondson at a convention in North Carolina “several years back.” Those interactions can only be described as toxic and predatory.

Read her account below:

Writer Elizabeth Amber Love responded with her own encounter with Edmondson.

Both of these accounts are in line with what we’ve been told over the years and ends the hearsay and rumors with first hand accounts.

We’ve reached out to Edmondson for comment.

Update: Comic writer Joseph Keatinge corroborate’s Stephanie’s account.

Space Goat’s Shon Bury the Latest Comic Professional Outed for Abuse

Former Space Goat Productions community manager Amelia Thompson has gone to Twitter to reveal the “terrible” treatment of employees by company founder Shon Bury.

Thompson describes an office environment full of verbal abuse and sexist remarks. Below are her Tweets on the subject but other former employees responded to them with their own negative experiences.

Bleeding Cool received the following statement from Thompson:

There are two things I want people to know.

The first, I have the full support of both of my past Space Goat supervisors. They helped me edit every tweet for grammar and clarity. My ex-coworkers have been immensely supportive through all of this, two even resigning after I collected my things on Monday, Nov. 27. They expressed that the way I was treated after my resignation was unacceptable.

The second, I’m taking some time to recover and handle this media explosion while out of a job. If supporters wanted to aid me beyond just retweets, my paypal is on my twitter. I’m worried about making bills the next couple months but I just couldn’t let my friends or myself be hurt any longer.

Others supported Thompson’s experience. The Moonlighters team of Cal Moray and Katie Schenkel also spoke of issues.

The team behind Monster Elementary also tweeted support as well as issues with late payments and just payment issues in general as well as accounting issues.

The Space Goat Publishing Twitter account Tweeted an apology.

This was after a different story in a deleted Tweet.

Bury also released a statement to Bleeding Cool:

I can’t apologize enough for this entire situation. I deeply regret that I fostered an environment where a smart person like Amelia felt uncomfortable working under my direct management–and that she felt even less comfortable bringing up her concerns until she resigned. It has been my design since I opened the doors at Space Goat 12 years ago to create a workplace where smart, talented, young people can come to work and learn the craft of comic books. Amelia is exactly the type of capable young employee publishers should be looking to bring into their organization and to build up. I had thought I had created that environment for my staff, but the daily stress of running a graphic-novel and board-game publishing company at the tempo we have been running became visible to all around me over the last several months. This isn’t on anyone else in my organization but me. This is squarely, 100% on me.

My inability to regulate my frustration during this period poisoned the very environment I had set out to create. I behaved poorly and I failed miserably at one of the core tenets of why I even want to be in business. I will always deeply regret losing Amelia, and am ashamed of how poorly I handled her resignation. I am taking immediate action to resolve this flaw within myself starting today with counseling and anger-management classes. Nothing is more important to me than the culture and community we are trying to create. I won’t let anyone stand in the way of achieving those goals. Not even myself.

(via The Outhouse)

Around the Tubes

It’s Thanksgiving here at GP HQ and not to sound too cheesy but thank you all for visiting our site and helping keep it going all these years. We have a full day of news coming at you, no rest for the holiday! And we’re kicking that off with a fresh round of news from around the web.

The Beat – Marvel Watch: Joe Quesada steps in to smooth Cebulski transition, including interviews – Except an interview with us. No way that’ll happen. Publishers are scared for us to interview their CEOs and EICs.

The Beat – Five more women accuse Berganza of sexual harassment – The tip of the iceberg.

Kotaku – Marvel Heroes Developer Gazillion Apparently Lays Off Everyone On Thanksgiving Eve – What assholes.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Aquaman #30

CBR – Doomsday Clock #1

Newsarama – Doomsday Clock #1

Atomic Junk Shop – Illuminati Transport

ICv2 – Riverdale Vol. 1

Harassment in the Comics Industry. We Talk to a Lawyer. Listen on Demand.

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud¦ Stitcher ¦ BlogTalkRadio ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

Harassment is a long standing crisis in the comics industry — and despite brave voices speaking out, rarely have harassers suffered any consequences. Mainstream reporting on the open secret of sexual harasser Eddie Berganza has finally lead to his firing and now more stories of harassment are coming to light. We think it’s time to talk to a lawyer– an employee rights attorney. We’ll not only be discussing some of the high profile harassment cases in the comic industry but also what folks need to know in their every day workplace.

Joining Graphic Policy Radio is Paula Brantner a Senior Advisor for Workplace Fairness.

Paula Brantner is the Senior Advisor to Workplace Fairness, after serving as Executive Director (2008-2016) and Program Director (2003 to 2007) writing legal content for the Webby-nominated site www.workplacefairness.org, and developing products for WF’s social enterprise program, 0.1.2.3. In 2016, she founded PB Work Solutions, LLC, to counsel and coach workers in toxic workplaces and consult and advise on workplace issues and nonprofit strategy. An employment lawyer for 25 years, Paula has degrees from UC-Hastings College of the Law and Michigan State University’s James Madison College. She is a former co-coordinator for NetSquaredDC and a retired DC Rollergirl. She volunteers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, travels around the world to see pandas.


Resources

Workplace Fairness

CoWorker.org

Freelancers Union

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Harassment in the Comics Industry. We Talk to a Lawyer. Listen in LIVE this Monday.

Harassment is a long standing crisis in the comics industry — and despite brave voices speaking out, rarely have harassers suffered any consequences. Mainstream reporting on the open secret of sexual harasser Eddie Berganza has finally lead to his firing and now more stories of harassment are coming to light. We think it’s time to talk to a lawyer– an employee rights attorney. We’ll not only be discussing some of the high profile harassment cases in the comic industry but also what folks need to know in their every day workplace.

Joining Graphic Policy Radio is Paula Brantner a Senior Advisor for Workplace Fairness.

Listen in LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET while we discuss this important topic.

Paula Brantner is the Senior Advisor to Workplace Fairness, after serving as Executive Director (2008-2016) and Program Director (2003 to 2007) writing legal content for the Webby-nominated site www.workplacefairness.org, and developing products for WF’s social enterprise program, 0.1.2.3. In 2016, she founded PB Work Solutions, LLC, to counsel and coach workers in toxic workplaces and consult and advise on workplace issues and nonprofit strategy. An employment lawyer for 25 years, Paula has degrees from UC-Hastings College of the Law and Michigan State University’s James Madison College. She is a former co-coordinator for NetSquaredDC and a retired DC Rollergirl. She volunteers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, travels around the world to see pandas.

Listen in this Monday.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited about? Sound off in the comments! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Outhouser – With Industry Focused On Eddie Berganza, Marvel Hires Ron Richards – For fucks sake!

CBR – Rotten Tomatoes Delays Justice League Score – We’ll have our review soon!

Kotaku – Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2: The Kotaku Review – Who’s getting it?

 

Reviews

ICv2 – Dennis the Menace Vol. 3: Dennis the Menace in Hawaii HC

The Outhousers – Elektra: Always Bet on Red

Eddie Berganza Has Been Suspended

An email has been sent out from DC Entertainment that Group Editor Eddie Berganza has been suspended and removed from performing his duties.

Berganza has once again been at the center of past harassment at the comics publisher. Buzzfeed published an in-depth article on Friday which reignited the discussion about the lack of action on DC’s part leading to a new round of coverage as well as creators and more adding their voice and concerns over the continued employment of the individual.

The email is below:

Statement from DC Entertainment regarding Eddie Berganza

DC Entertainment has immediately suspended Mr. Berganza and has removed him from performing his duties as Group Editor at DC Comics. There will be a prompt and yet careful review into next steps as it relates to the allegations against him, and the concerns our talent, employees and fans have shared. DC continues to be extremely committed to creating a safe and secure working environment for our employees and everyone involved in the creation of our comic books.

Thanks to Those Speaking Out. We Support You.

Many within the comics industry are taking a stand and speaking out against harassment and the continued protection of those who engage in it. One reason individuals don’t speak out is over fear that they will be blacklisted and not supported by publishers (and fans). So, along with our vocally supporting these creators we as a community need to also show we also have their back financially.

This isn’t a complete list so please add individuals missed in the comments below.


Sophie Campbell is quoted in the recent Buzzfeed article as have turned down Supergirl due to editor Eddie Berganza. That’s beyond stand-up and shows true conviction. Check out her work on Jem and the Holograms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wet Moon, and more.

Joshua Hale Fialkov is a writer who worked with DC on the series I, Vampire (among others). He reportedly left the company over a disagreement about killing Green Lantern John Stewart. He’s written awesome series like The Bunker, Tumor, The Life After, and most recently Jeff Steinberg: Champion of Earth.

Kwanza Osajyefo is one of the creators behind the recently released in trade paperback Black. Not only is he outspoken but also a target for degenerate comic “fans” who only want to take us backwards. That hasn’t stopped him down from speaking out.

Christopher Sebela is the writer behind the upcoming Cold War from AfterShock Comics, Heartthrob, We(l)come Back, High Crimes, and more.

Tony Isabella is one of the co-creators of Black Lightning for DC Comics. Maybe grab one of his classic trades to prepare for the new CW television show or the recent Black Lighting: Cold Dead Hands #1.

Jennifer de Guzman has been one of the most outspoken individuals when it comes to harassment in the comics industry. She’s written for numerous comics (like Womanthology: Space) and prose as well as a journalist. Buy her stuff and hire her!

Lilah Sturges is a writer of comics and fantasy novels having written Jack of Fables for Vertigo. You can also check out her work on Everafter.

Jonathan H. Gray is an artist who has done work on Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, Mega Man, as well as numerous work for Disney Comics.

Matthew Rosenberg is a comic writer who has published indie comics and also worked for Marvel and Archie. He was also part of the DC Writers Workshop Class of 2016. Go check out his 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank which was recently released as a trade paperback.

Kate Leth is a creator who has worked for Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Dynamite, IDW, and Image. Whatever you buy to support her, it’s going to be good.

Tamra Bonvillain is a colorist who has worked for DC, Marvel, Image and more on such titles as Doom Patrol, Wayward, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Uncanny Avengers, and more.

Colleen Doran spoke out, blew the whistle and was thrown under the bus. Lots of fantastic work including Sandman from DC Comics’ Vertigo written by…

Neil Gaiman who clearly has Doran’s back…

Tea Terry Blue is a digital project manager at King Features Syndicate, a co-editor of RAW Fanthology, and overall comic nerd. Go follow them since there’s tons of other folks speaking out too that Tea is spotlighting.

Ryan Ferrier has written comics such as D4ve, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, WWE, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and more.


That’s a lot of folks to support and I’m sure I’ve missed tons. So, please add on in the comments below and go support those wonderful folks.

Eddie Berganza’s Years of Harassment Gets In-Depth Coverage

Harassment is rife in the comics community with known issues buzzed about and whispered with little repercussions for the harassers or those that protect them. Buzzfeed has released an extensive article covering the known issues with DC Comics‘ editor Eddie Berganza which has been covered extensively by Bleeding Cool for years (credit where credit is due). The article has numerous individuals on the record discussed not just Berganza but also DC “goodwill ambassador” Julius Schwartz.

Berganza’s career has been all over rising from group editor to executive editor and back again to group editor all the while women left the company due to the harassment and behavior. Berganza’s actions occurred years ago and no new allegations have arisen recently but with the numerous reckonings of people like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein the issue is back to the forefront again highlighting how men in power have kept their jobs and been protected in their careers while the individuals they abuse are left in their wake with careers at times ruined.

Berganza’s allegations involve groping and forcibly kissing female staff on more than one occasion with at least five individual having spoken to DC leadership. Three of those women spoke to Buzzfeed. None of the women who reported Berganza to human resources still work for the company.

The article paints the picture of a toxic environment full of “offensive jokes or line-crossing comments in the presence of or at the expense of women” including the statement that a character needed to be made “less dykey.” Despite that toxicity and multiple infractions and complaints Berganza is still employed by the company.

Berganza’s reputation was so known in the industry and out that women avoided working with the line of books he oversaw and women were discouraged from working with him in his department. Sophie Campbell is quoted as saying she turned down working on Supergirl because she’d have had to have worked with Berganza. It was an “open secret” though a “code of silence” prevented some from speaking out.

The most recent, and reportedly last, incident occurred in 2012 at WonderCon where Berganza again attempted to “make out” with an individual. Despite numerous issues Berganza kept his job but was “demoted” from executive editor to group editor. They still apparently valued him enough to keep him employed sending a signal to many.

In response to the article DC stated:

DC and WB are unequivocally committed to cultivating a work environment of dignity and respect, one that is safe and harassment free for all employees. We take all claims of harassment very seriously and investigate them promptly. Employees found in violation of the policies are dealt with swiftly and decisively, and subject to disciplinary actions and consequences.

It’s clear a toxic element still corrupts the industry with individuals protecting or encouraging this type of behavior for the sake of sales and actual impact to the instigator from behavior being minimal. Berganza is just one case but we’ve covered the issue more than once. We’ve gotten word of more that has yet to be revealed with other individuals at other publishers.

Hopefully with a renewed spotlight on toxicity in entertainment, and elsewhere, maybe changes can be made going forward within the comic industry but that won’t make up for the careers and individuals destroyed in the wake of what has already happened.

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