The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been in the spotlight this past week, following the resignation of executive director Charles Brownstein due to sexual misconduct allegations. According to a new statement from the non-profit, several members of the organization's Board of Directors have also chosen to part ways. On Monday, the CBLDF announced that comic writer and former DC Comics president Paul Levitz is retiring from their board after nearly sixteen years. Two additional members of the organization, Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham, have also submitted their resignations. In a statement, which you can check out below, the CBLDF accepted these decisions, and made a promise to "be better" in the wake of Brownstein's controversy. The organization also launched a new email address for fans and creators to offer their feedback going forward.
You can read the statement below.
"We respect the decisions that Paul, Katherine and Jeff have made to leave the Board. We realize it will be a long path to earning back the trust of our members, supporters and the industry. We recognize that it's been our inability to react, or act at all, that's been the cause of pain in our community.
Even last week, when we took the necessary action in accepting Charles’s resignation, our communications were stilted and clumsy. To everyone who has come forward, we haven't done justice to your bravery and we are truly sorry. We vow to be better.
We’ve begun the search for a new Executive Director. We’re going to look both inside and outside the comic book industry to find the best person to run the Fund and fix what’s broken. We are taking steps to expand our mission to make sure that we are best serving the industry's needs. We have a responsibility to our community, and that means listening and responding to your concerns.
Most importantly, we want to keep talking. We want to keep listening. If you have a story to tell, whether it involves the CBLDF or not, we want to hear it. We’ve created the email email@example.com where you can share your story or voice your concerns. We don’t expect our words to earn us anything. We hope our actions will."0comments
Brownstein had previously served as executive director for CBLDF since 2002. Early last week, comic creators and fans both began to call for Brownstein's resignation, after the story of his assault of Soma at 2005's Mid-Ohio Con came back into the spotlight. While the incident was reported to the police at the time, it did not lead to Brownstein's arrest, reportedly due to a lack of corroborating evidence. In 2006, Brownstein put out a statement characterizing the incident as "a stupid, drunken prank, of which I am ashamed."
The CBLDF, which helps protect the First Amendment rights of comic book creators, publishers, retailers, and readers, confirmed late last week that they will be undergoing "a complete review of management practices", as well as mandatory training about sexually predatory behavior.