Three weeks after people first began openly naming senior DC Editor Eddie Berganza as a multiple-time alleged sexual harasser, followed by additional allegations of sexual assault by a senior DC art director, and after a widely expressed belief that the company failed to properly handle sexual harassment complaints and instead discouraged victims and witnesses from speaking out, DC Comics has released a short statement to Comic Book Resources:
DC Entertainment strives to foster a culture of inclusion, fairness and respect. While we cannot comment on specific personnel matters, DC takes allegations of discrimination and harassment very seriously, promptly investigates reports of misconduct and disciplines those who violate our standards and policies.
As part of our ongoing effort to provide an equitable working environment, we are reviewing our policies, expanding employee training on the topic and working with internal and external resources to ensure that these policies and procedures are respected and reinforced across the company.
The statement followed an "all staff" meeting Friday led by DC Entertainment head Diane Nelson about sexual harassment.
This was the bare minimum we hoped DC would do, and represents a... start. Not a great start, because it took a long time, and not a huge step, because as mentioned, it's the absolute bare minimum they could do. It's not even an honest attempt at taking responsibility, because it admits no fault and was released on a Friday evening. And frankly, we have absolutely no reason to trust them after it's been so badly handled for so long. But it's a start, and we hope there's a lot more to come.
We also hope that this is recognized as verification of the power of social media and grassroots reporting as a tool to pressure corporations and media into action. For years, the comics industry didn't want to talk about this, and mainstream comics media more or less complied. But because all of you refused to accept the silence, demanding action on social media and blogs, the issue was thrust to the forefront of discussion for two weeks, the media was forced to report on it, and DC was forced to publicly address it at last. There should be no question that social media is indeed a valid outlet, especially when all other avenues are exhausted and ineffective, to shine a light on these issues.
And there's no way we should stop here. Not only does DC have a lot more to do, but the industry as a whole does as well. We hope everyone continues to hold corporations and individuals in the comics industry accountable, and we'll continue to use all of our resources to boost any voices trying to do just that.