The Comic Book industry found itself in the middle of more sexual misconduct accusations and revelations last week. Allegations made back in 2006 against Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director Charles Brownstein have resurfaced.
A tweet from writer Jennifer de Guzman called attention to an article from The Comics Journal that detailed Charles Brownstein’s alleged sexual assault artist Taki Soma.
YES. LET’S TALK ABOUT CHARLES BROWNSTEIN https://t.co/sYRY7xE8NI
— Jennifer de Guzman Strikes Again (@Jennifer_deG) June 19, 2020
Now, numerous creators and supporters of the organization are using various social media platforms to annul their support for the CBLDF, as well as hold the organization accountable for not taking action against Brownstein concerning the sexual assault allegations from 14 years ago.
With every fiber of my being and as loud as I can scream it, I wholeheartedly stand with @takisoma and the other victims of the abuse that came from CBLDFs Charles brownstein and those that protected him all. these. years. https://t.co/t2SY8oS7eu
— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) June 21, 2020
— Jamal Yaseem Igle (@JAMALIGLE) June 21, 2020
Taki Soma released a tweet thanking Brian Bedis and others for their support and offering her support to others who were allegedly victimized by Brownstein.
I've been living under a rock for years since MS diagnosis, been quiet for so long. Then this, and others I'll retweet and comment after this, I feel strength from and wow, I'm ready to emerge from under the rock. Thank you. https://t.co/MsVnEW7UAT
— Taki Soma (@takisoma) June 21, 2020
Yes. There were other victims. I know them. They have my support.
I can't thank Brian enough for this. Thank you. https://t.co/Bk8ncV5H1W
— Taki Soma (@takisoma) June 21, 2020
Mike Scigliano former Deputy Director of the CBLDF stated that he was harassed by Charles Brownstein for over 10 years over a chronic illness.
He harassed me 10+ years ago when I was deputy dir. Of the CBLDF over my severe illness & subsequent Crohn's Disease diagnosis to the point that my doctor advised me to quit. I resigned w/ a detailed letter to the board. No response from any of them. 1/
— Mike Scigliano (@mikescigliano) June 21, 2020
The CBLDF has a Board as well as a separate Advisory board. It’s unclear if members of either group which includes high profile comics pros like, Dennis Kitchen, Reginald Hudlin, Jim Lee, Paul Levitz, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller and Mike Richardson to name a few are aware of the allegations made against Brownstein.
UPDATE: Frank Miller who is currently listed as a member of the CBLDF advisory board has released a statement via Twitter.
I stand with the victims of Charles Brownstein. I’m heartbroken to hear about his actions. I will no longer be supporting CBLDF.
— Frank Miller (@FrankMillerInk) June 22, 2020
It sounds as if the board of the CBLDF had held a emergency virtual meeting and voted to remove Brownstein, immediately.
Now the CBLDF and Charles Brownstein have released a statement that reads.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has accepted the resignation of Charles Brownstein as Executive Director, effective immediately.
Our organization exists to serve the comics community and the First Amendment, and we can’t do that without an open and honest discourse. We believe our organization’s management and staff should be representative of and responsive to the community they serve. As we move forward, it will be with a renewed focus on accountability and transparency. And as we plan for the future with new leadership in place, we will work with our staff and human resources experts to continue developing policies that will make us a stronger organization.
We hear and understand the concerns of our community and recognize that this is only a first step in building greater trust and understanding regarding our mission and how it is carried out.