This is a different sort of “women can do anything that men can do” story than our usual ones, unfortunately. Archie Comics Publications has been doing a number of things that’s impressively beyond our expectations for them lately, like introducing an out gay character and tackling Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in nearly the same breath. And now for something just as unexpected, but completely different:
The co-CEO of Archie Comics, Nancy Silberkleit, is being sued for workplace bullying and sexual harassment by her own company.
From TMZ, the last place one much expects to find comic news:
According to the lawsuit, filed yesterday in NY, several employees have lodged complaints about Nancy’s “offensive” behavior … including one time in 2009, when she barged into a meeting and “pointed to each [attendee] and said, ‘PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS’ and then walked out.”
Nancy allegedly pulled the same “penis” stunt again in 2010 — but this time she also screamed out, “My balls hurt.”
As usual, it’s likely that the brief facts of the suit that get quoted in news outlets give us only the iceberg tip of the real story, but this doesn’t really sound like workplace appropriate behavior, to say the least, and if it’s part of a trend that’s been going on since 2009 that only makes it worse. The independent firm that Archie contacted for advice on the matter seemed to agree, advising them to immediately cut ties with Silberkleit. At the moment, the company is seeking to legally bar her from returning to their offices and from representing the company in any way, including at San Diego Comic Con.
If Silberkleit is removed from her post at Archie, it will be the first time the company has not had a family member of one of its original founders; Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit, and John L. Goldwater; at the executive level.