Dark Horse Finally Fires Scott Allie After Years of Sexual Abuse Allegations
This one is long overdue.
CW: Sexual abuse and assault
After years of sexual abuse allegations and controversy, Dark Horse Comics has finally fired editor Scott Allie. While Allie has been accused of misconduct for quite some time, it took a damning Twitter thread from writer Shawna Gore, which detailed over a decade of abuse from Allie during their time working at Dark Horse.
I have made the decision to come forward with my own experience of abuse in the comics industry. I am not the one at fault and the shame I have felt is not mine to carry.
I was assaulted, harassed, and retaliated against by Scott Allie during our tenure at Dark Horse. pic.twitter.com/78El6VDbb4
— Shawna Gore (@ShawnaGore) June 24, 2020
Gore described her treatment as “chronic, escalating, unchecked abuse that was not related to his alcohol use. This was, and is, illegal behavior that he needs to be held accountable for.”
Allie was previously accused of sexual harassment in 2015, in an article in Graphic Policy written by Janelle Asselin. Asselin wrote of the protection that men receive within the comics industry from their fellow men, as they do in literally every other industry saying,
“If you stop ignoring that behavior and make the mistake of speaking up, well, you’re not part of the team anymore. You’re a problem. You might remain on staff, but you’ll be frozen out while the person you reported continues on their merry way, eventually making the environment completely unbearable for you and for others. This sends the message over and over again that people who are one of the gang, no matter how badly they behave, are valued above people who refuse to ignore harassment and assault.”
In response, Allie issued an apology. And while Allie’s abuse was an open secret within the comics industry, he continued to be hired for new jobs. In 2017, Allie was hired to provide “oversight” on Where We Live, a comics anthology whose proceeds were donated to the survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Eventually Allie stepped down as Editor-in-Chief, but continued to work on a freelance basis.
In light of Gore’s thread, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola declared that he would never work with Allie again:
I believe Shawna Gore.
Given what I have read today, I will be discontinuing working with Scott Allie.
— Mike Mignola (@artofmmignola) June 24, 2020
Dark Horse followed with a statement saying “Effective immediately, Dark Horse Comics will not be working with Scott Allie now or in the future, … His removal from every Dark Horse project will be followed by sincere and active change. … Dark Horse Comics will dedicate itself to ensuring that this will not ever happen again within our company … We can and will do better.”
It is critical that employees feel safe, secure and supported in the workplace. They should feel safe in making these inexcusable actions known without fear of reprisal. Dark Horse Comics will dedicate itself to ensuring that this will not ever happen again within our company.2/2
— Dark Horse Comics (@DarkHorseComics) June 25, 2020
Dark Horse’s statement is wildly different in tone to President Mike Richardson’s flippant comments to The Beat in 2015, where he said of allegations, “In this particular case, action was taken immediately, though we did not, and cannot, perform a public flogging, as some might wish.”
Now, Richardson has announced plans for a zero tolerance policy on harassment and abuse, as well as mandatory training for his staff.
Statement from Mike Richardson re: Scott Allie in full below.
I believe Shawna Gore. I want to sincerely apologize to Shawna. To my employees past and present, I am also deeply sorry for decisions I have made that have allowed so much hurt, anger and sadness. Continued: pic.twitter.com/iiVNu4Xi9g
— Dark Horse Comics (@DarkHorseComics) June 26, 2020
Many creators and artists took to social media to call out Allie and to share their support for Gore:
Scott Allie is far and away the most despicable, abusive, and awful person I’ve ever worked with. The amount of trauma he’s caused the people who have worked with him is extreme. Shawna is brave as hell for sharing this story. https://t.co/fV2QakguA9
— Jim Gibbons (@thejimgibbons) June 24, 2020
Scott Allie’s continued abuse of staff was an open secret employees were actively discouraged from speaking about at Dark Horse. While head of editorial, he was not allowed to have women in his office w/his door closed bc he repeatedly shouted or otherwise harassed staff to tears https://t.co/5EjZlYUFjX
— Rhiannon R-S (@charibdys) June 25, 2020
Shawna. I’m speechless. I’m sorry sorry you had to go through all of that, and that your life and career suffered so much. You’re a delight to work with, immensely talented, and such a warm soul. As much disgust as I send his way, I send you 100x as much love.
— Joshua Hale Fialkov (@JoshFialkov) June 24, 2020
Shawna, I am so, so sorry.
Scott Allie is garbage. You are beloved by everyone who has ever worked with you as far as I can tell. I have never had a better editorial team than you and Des, period.
If I can do anything, I’m here. But just know that you are LOVED.
— Gail Simone (@GailSimone) June 24, 2020
Scott Allie cost Dark Horse Comics an entire generation of up-and-coming female editors; and an entire generation of female editors their comics careers.
— (((Jay Edidin))) (@NotLasers) June 24, 2020
Dark Horse and Mignola knew of Scott Allie’s harassment and toxic behavior (which was publicly reported and commented on by DH) back in 2015 and both continued to work with him. DH cant force an editor/writer on a creator, let alone Mike~ so why did they keep working with him? https://t.co/Nf1lQZ2PO9
— Guy Davis (@GuyDavisART) June 25, 2020
I 100% believe Shawna Gore. Fuck Scott Allie and every predatory pile shit who ever put a woman in that situation.
— Rick Remender (@Remender) June 25, 2020
If I count on my fingers the brilliant editors who left or moved over this stuff, I run out of fingers far sooner than I run out of names.
Editors who are a DREAM to work with. Who only want to make great comics.
— Gail Simone (@GailSimone) June 25, 2020
(via io9, image: screengrab/PREVIEWSworld)
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