DC Entertainment Addresses Harassment Issues, Plans to Review and Expand Policies

DC Entertainment has addressed harassment issues at the company, following multiple incidents that have recently become public. In a statement released to CBR, the company expresses that it takes allegations of discrimination and harassment "very seriously," and that expanded employee training on the topics is planned, along with the review of existing policies. This follows an all-staff meeting on Friday afternoon on the subject, led by DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson.

DC Entertainment's statement follows in full:

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.

Though DC's statement does not mention any specific examples, two alleged sexual harassment incidents have come to light in the past month.

On April 20, DC announced the departure of longtime Vertigo editor Shelly Bond from the company, after her position of Vertigo Vice President & Executive Editor was eliminated as part of a restructuring of the imprint. That decision prompted industry observers and media outlets to question why DC appeared to no longer have a place for Bond -- a 23-year veteran of the company with a positive reputation -- while Superman group editor Eddie Berganza, another longtime DC Comics employee, kept his position despite a history of sexual harassment allegations, the most recent a known incident after hours the weekend of WonderCon 2012 for which he was disciplined and demoted by the company.

That same week, artist Katie Jones wrote on Tumblr that she was "sexually harassed and almost raped" by an unnamed "Senior Art Director from DC Entertainment" after hours during a past Comic-Con International in San Diego. Jones later reported via Twitter that she was contacted by a member of Warner Bros.' (DC Entertainment's parent company) human resources department on the matter.

Recent discussion surrounding harassment issues at DC Comics led to a larger conversation on the culture of sexual harassment in the comic book industry being revisited. Stories of such incidents have existed for years, but have recently gained wider awareness as more have shared their experiences.

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