Following renewed criticism this week over longtime editor Scott Allie's continued relationship with the company, Dark Horse Comics publisher Mike Richardson has issued a public apology with notes of changes the company will reportedly be implementing effective immediately. A new set of allegations were made public yesterday by former editor Shawna Gore, alleging that she was assaulted, harassed, and retaliated against professionally by Allie after rejecting his frequent advances. "I believe Shawna Gore," Richardson wrote. "I want to sincerely apologize to Shawna. To my employees past and present, I am also deeply sorry for decisions I have made that have allowed so much hurt, anger and sadness...The information that Shawna Gore came forward with was unknown to me before now. Her post was a painful eye opener for me."
Richardson noted that he was aware of problems Allie had "related to alcohol" and classified his behavior with employees at the company as "extremely harsh," things he admits he allowed to continue. He noted four changes he's making to the company to "ensure that these behaviors never occur again," including:
- Dark Horse will adopt an official NO TOLERANCE policy. Dark Horse will not work with employees or freelancers who are responsible for harrassment or abuse.
- Dark Horse will ensure no one will suffer retaliation as a result of reporting harassment or abuse.
- Dark Horse will establish required classes for all starff in respect to harassment and abuse.
- Dark Horse will meet with staff on a recurring bassis to evalutate how successffully we have achieved our goal of maintain a safe and harassment-free workplace and also seek input on further improvements.
"I truly have the people in this company in my heart," Richardson concluded. "I am deeply committed to changing the culture at Dark Horse so that all our employees can feel safe and proud of our company. I will hold myself to a much higher standard. I ask all of you to hold me to that promise."
This week's accusations against Allie mark the third allegation made public against him. Weeks after being named "executive senior editor" at the publisher, allegations arose that he had groped and bit a comics writer during an event at the 2015 Comic-Con International in San Diego. Further allegations were made against Allie in an expose published in October of that year as well, with Richardson issuing a similar response at the time saying: "We at Dark Horse will renew our efforts to make sure that our company is never again mentioned with regard to this type of occurrence."
Despite this statement being written five years ago, Dark Horse continued to work with Allie, who served as executive editor until September of 2017 but remained with the publisher in a freelance capacity in the time since. Allie co-wrote a "Tales from the Umbrella Academy" one-shot with Gerard Way last year and the Hellboy spin-off series "Frankenstein Undone" with Mike Mignola (the latest issue being published four weeks ago). Yesterday both Mignola and Dark Horse announced they would no longer be working with Allie.