I pledge to say no to abuse, harassment, grooming, and manipulation of women & all people of marginalized genders/sexes. Are you with us? Take the #ComicsPledge with me. Post this graphic & message in a new tweet (don’t just RT). pic.twitter.com/Wwl2Atn0Eg
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) June 23, 2020
A whole long list of comics contributors copy-and-pasted a “pledge” on Twitter to oppose sexual abuse in the medium, following all the accusations of misconduct in the past week. But as Bounding Into Comics points out, it looks like a lot more virtue-signaling. For example, it includes:
In a footnote it explains, “We understand marginalized genders and sexes to include but not be limited to nonbinary and binary trans people, two-spirit, agender, and genderfluid people, as well as intersex people of any gender.”
Umm, I think dragging the transsexuality ideology into all this cheapens the impact of the whole issue. And I think the creators involved have to make a choice between one or the other. They can’t have their cake and eat it too. They also have to take into account that there’s men in the world who committed homosexual rape, such as Reynhard Sinaga in the UK, and if memory serves, Scott Allie was accused of assaulting at least one man at a convention a few years back. Is the burden of responsibility in comicdom also placed upon men towards men, and women towards women to boot?
There’s also this to ponder:
The pledge appears to omit women from taking it, despite the founder of Bedside Press, Hope Nicholson, admitting that she had been named as an assaulter in a HuffPost op-ed by Tres Dean.
That’s right, women can also commit offensive acts, and over the years, there’s been school teachers indicted for leading illegal sexual relations with students. If women aren’t held accountable, there’s bound to be more Amber Heard’s coming about in comicdom as much as in moviedom.
Even SyFy Wire seemed to realize it’s not enough to take some mere “pledge”:
The pledge, generated by a group of male and female creators who chose to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the conversation, quickly spread across social media, which meant that it also quickly drew some understandable criticism. For some, the pledge read as a performative copy-and-paste statement meant to engender goodwill on social media, or a simple case of words taking the place of action. And while many creators acknowledged the good intentions behind the pledge, they also emphasized following it up with action.
Given that some of the leading copy-pasters were people like Tom King, Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, men who’ve dedicated themselves to tearing down corporate owned creations, that’s why their statements definitely can’t be taken at pure face value. But what’s pretty funny is how, just a few years ago, these people were railing against “outside” movements like Comicsgate, and only now are they suddenly willing to admit there’s a problem on the “inside”. But if they really cared, they would’ve proven earlier they’re aware, and want to do something to remedy the problem. Only now, when somebody else speaks up, do they suddenly find their alleged morals they could’ve put to use convincingly in years past.
Den of Geek’s also written about the latest crop of allegations, and here’s what they say about Warren Ellis:
Ellis’ response, posted on Twitter and emailed to his newsletter list, is embarrassing in its totality. The idea that the showrunner of Netflix’s Castlevania, a man who has had multiple comics adapted into movies grossing hundreds of millions of dollars, the man whose millennial web forum launched the careers of half of comics, didn’t realize he was famous enough to abuse a power imbalance is insulting to the intelligence he used to demand of his audience.
There’s just one little thing. The kind of “intelligence” Ellis demanded was of the leftist kind, and he was an early example of the SJW mentality commonplace today. Some of the products he has writing credits for include the Authority, and there were leftist creators who’d spent time around him too. But the chances anybody in comicdom would admit modern leftists may lack morals viewpoint are slim.
In the end, I’d say this pledge posted to Twitter is just some virtue-signaling hot air, and after this affair dies down, they’ll likely go back to a state of ignorance again. It’s highly unlikely anybody as questionable as the creators “voicing support” will guarantee commitment to solving a problem in the industry proper. Especially if they go according to their political leanings, rather than a general sense of responsibility.
Originally published here.