shannonl5
2 years ago1,000+ Views

Why are men with multiple sexual harassment allegations still working?

With the recent Red Wolf announcement has been met with both excitement and frustration. Excitement, because the character hasn't had a major release in decades and there's barely any representation for the Native American community in comics. Frustration, because Nathan Edmonson is attached as the writer, and he has a long history of volatility, abusive behavior, and multiple allegations of sexual harassment. And he's not alone.

A no-win situation

Now readers are faced with an impossible choice. Do we support Red Wolf, because this kind of representation does matter? Or do we withdraw our support, because the industry needs to stop hiring known harassers? How do we make it clear what vote we're casting with our dollar either way? When the voices of both communities (those under-represented in comics and those who have been harassed) have been marginalized so completely, what can we as fans do to support them?

For starters, we can listen.

Writer Alex de Campi and creator Tess Fowler both spoke up after the announcement, and more followed. It seems that every women in the comics industry either has a story about harassment, or knows someone that does. Which seems pretty hypocritcal, considering both DC and Marvel are trying to appeal to women right now. Marvel in particular, with their All-New All-Different line seems to be invested in at least looking like they care about diversity. Yet it's one thing to say it, and another thing entirely to actually mean what you say. How many women does Marvel employ? How many nonwhite people?

How many harassers do they hire?

"Not only does protecting these people disrespect female readers, it disrespects all the creators and editors working hard at those companies to make awesome comics for all readers. DC and Marvel are not the Augean Stables. There are many, many good people at these companies, and things have gotten immeasurably better over the past decade for readers who are not cis/het white dudes. But we’re not done. Diversity isn’t a fad senior management can get away with giving lip-service to. You can’t celebrate black culture and not employ black people. You can’t hold up female heroes while coddling male harassers. WE SEE YOU." -Alex de Campi

Do we though?

The comics industry is far from transparent. And the unfortunate truth is that in pretty much every industry, there's always going to be a few jerks. The question is: Why is the comics industry so hospitable for those jerks? Is it nepotism? Is it part of the community culture? Is it because there's so little job security for writers and artists in the industry, which means it's even more dangerous for anyone to speak up when these incidents do occur?
How long are we willing to wait for the industry to catch up with the 21st century?
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@DonovanMoore @tardisdragon7 it's really frustrating. I remember seeing this a lot with the LGBT movement- businesses that still had policies that allowed staff to be fired for being LGBT were marketing themselves at Pride events. It was very two-faced.
2 years ago·Reply
@shannonl5 I don't know what to make of this either. Sexism and hypersexualization run rampant in the industry, so it actually doesn't surprise me that harassment is an issue as well. That being said, if a person has had multiple, continuous sexual harassment charges against them with no significant length between them, then that company should not be hiring or associating with such a degenerate. Unfortunately, I don't think there's much fans can do besides declare their distaste for such a person working on the comic. This is a lose-lose situation in my opinion (which sucks, because I'm a fan of the industry). :/
2 years ago·Reply
@kmccord95 it really does. Which is so frustrating. I feel like this is a choice we often have to make. Like, there are often films that seem really feminist, but they do a disservice to nonwhite people, or the reverse. You want to support the things that are positive, but it's hard to do so without feeling like you're also giving the negative elements a pass. I wish I could support Red Wolf without supporting Edmonson. Of course, I want these people to go through the legal system (as opposed to the unreliable court of public opinion), but often with cases like this it really shouldn't need to escalate that far. If you have a member of your staff that's harassing other people, they need to be removed!
2 years ago·Reply
seems complicated...but also laziness toward real change on their part. why do only half the effort? do the whole thing and stop protecting them and perpetuating the behavior. and they need to practice what they preach or its hypocrisy and I don't stand for that! ok don't ranting lol.
2 years ago·Reply
@candyland1986 I totally feel ya there. It's really frustrating when on the surface they want you to think that they're doing the right thing but they can't be bothered to practice it when they think no one is looking.
2 years ago·Reply
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