CN: Discussion of sexual harassment and sexual violence.
In a move that can only be classified as “the right move too late,” the comics wing of DC has terminated the contract of known harasser and perpetrator of sexual violence, Eddie Berganza, formerly the editor on the Superman group of comics. DC made this official statement to Bleeding Cool regarding the matter.
This is absolutely a good thing — Berganza has been known for several years to be dangerous to the women in the office, and firing him is both a net positive in and of itself and a sign of a changed attitude toward sexual harassers in the company’s offices; rumors have circulated the Internet of women working at DC being told that they should never be alone with Berganza, and of his comics groups’ roster being structured to minimize how many women he can affect. It’s also a big step up from stories like Colleen Doran’s of being thrown under the bus rather than believed. (Like most rumors of predatory men, these are circulated via social media; it is difficult for Ace of Geeks to run down specific examples but we will add them as we find them.)
However, at the same time, the fact that Berganza’s firing is coming amid the tidal wave of victims speaking out makes it seem like DC had to be shamed into doing the right thing rather than just doing it in the first place, and it’s hard to be anything but wary of them continuing in this vein in the future. There are other people at DC and other prominent comics companies accused of similarly lewd and predatory behavior — DC editor-in-chief Bob Harras among them — whom DC has not seen fit to budge from their privileged positions. So while this is welcome news, it’s hard to feel that DC has suddenly become a better place for women to work or that they are suddenly run by better people. We can only hope that as time goes on and the current movement against sexual violence and predation gains more momentum, it will eventually become ingrained reflex to react to sexual assault allegations with a suspension and an investigation — and where necessary a firing — rather than rearranging cubicles and calling it good.
In the meantime, maybe some day soon, The Pull List can feature some Superman comics.
Goodbye, Eddie. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.