The title of this article is the title of a recent newsletter reportedly sent out by comics writer Brian Wood. According to the word on the street, Wood, who himself was the subject of public accusations of sexual harassment, theorizes that the recent outbreak of complaints about harassment and predatory behavior in the comics industry will lead one of the real victims in this - the people being called out, not the victims of harassment - to kill themselves. Wood points out that he doesn't know Nathan Edmondson, but he believes that the "smug disgust" directed at him is based not on actual wrongdoing but on Edmondson's political views. He himself admits that he used to dislike people with conservative political views, but cites CrossFit as making him more tolerant. No, seriously. The newsletter goes on for a while, but the basic gist of it is that this whole situation is really unfair to the people who are accused of sexual harassment, whose persecution will probably lead to suicide.
The newsletter has not yet been made public, but this being the internet, it's sure to leak at some point, and we'll keep you updated on that. We'd ask Wood for comment, but when we asked for comment about that after reporting on Tess Fowler's accusations a few years back, he responded with an irritated email accusing us of bias, presumably because we did not give him a chance to do damage control before reporting on the public statements. In the following years, Wood has blocked a large portion of the comics press that doesn't kiss his ass from following him on Twitter, so at least we're in good company.
While no one is surprised by Wood's newsletter, it does leave us with one question: if Wood feels so strongly about the persecution of alleged sexual harassers that he was compelled to write an essay and email it to his fans and colleagues, why not post it as a public blog and stand behind his statements?
It looks like, with the contents of the letter being openly discussed on social media, he might soon not have a choice in the matter.
UPDATE: Wood has officially taken credit for the newsletter on Twitter:
Of course, the elephant in the room is that "reporting trouble" isn't working, at least according to the people reporting it, because comics management would rather cover it up and protect the perpetrators for the sake of the industry, a process described on Twitter as #TeamComics. Even Wood himself, in this same newsletter, says that he can "rattle off" 20 people who are "the stuff of HR nightmares," and that they include "top people with actual hiring and firing power, and A-level creators who function as job creators." In that environment, what good does reporting do?
It's not an ideal situation by any means, but that's not the fault of victims of harassment. It's the fault of the HR departments and bosses at Marvel, DC, and other publishers, who, in failing to act, have left no other recourse but to go public.
UPDATE: As predicted, the full newsletter has leaked. Read it here.
This article has been edited to reflect the fact that Brian Wood did not specifically use the word "victim" to describe people driven to suicide by mean Twitter comments about their alleged behavior, at the behest of Mark Waid.