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Wednesday, June 24, 2020 

CBLDF's director resigns after sexual assault allegations resurface, and Jason Latour accused of sexual harassment

The Hollywood Reporter says another industry figure who was accused of assaulting a lady cartoonist while drunk in 2005 has resigned his position following the the news about at least 3 other figures accused of inappropriate behavior this past week or so:
Charles Brownstein has resigned as the executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a position he held for 18 years, as the result of renewed pressure from the comic book industry surrounding a sexual assault from 2005, The Hollywood Reporter can confirm. [...]

Brownstein assaulted comic book creator Taki Soma at Mid-Ohio Con in November, 2005, in an incident that was reported to police without leading to an arrest. (A contemporaneous report a police spokesperson suggested that an arrest was not pursued for lack of corroborating evidence.) Brownstein, who characterized the incident as “a stupid, drunken prank, of which I’m ashamed,” remained in place with the CBLDF following what was described as an independent investigation carried out on behalf of the organization.

This weekend, posts on social media brought the matter back to the fore in the light of recent revelations regarding sexual predators in the industry, leading to a number of creators, including Batman writer James Tynion IV and Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing, calling for Brownstein’s resignation.
I'd read of this case nearly a decade ago. Even if Brownstein was drunk, it's no excuse, and the woman, according to the info, was very angry at him for the trouble he'd caused her. He should have resigned much sooner, but got away with it because of the western mentality where responsibility is avoided as long as possible, and so only now, in the post-Weinstein era, does responsibility get taken. Update: I should also note, before I forget, that Brian Bendis is one of the people who campaigned against Brownstein, and based on Bendis' past resume with its treatment of Scarlet Witch and Tigra, for example, that's why his stance can't be taken at face value.

Besides the Brownstein scandal, there's also the comics writer Jason Latour who's now in the spotlight, as artist Lauren Tracey posted on TwitLonger about her experience with the man who was scripting at least a few notable Marvel series in Britain, and what she describes sounds downright insulting:
This is my story of when I met Jason Latour. This is not about a rape or assault, but rather about harassment in the industry and the toxic environment surrounding it.

In 2017 I attended Thought Bubble in Leeds where I met Jason. Our first meeting was on the first night of the con, at the bar where everyone from the convention mingled. He approached me and asked me did I know who he was, and when I said no he asked me did I know any of the titles he worked on, including Spider Gwen. I said I really didn't know who he was and he responded by saying he would give me free comic books if I came to his hotel room with him. I declined, and after a brief conversation went back to the group I had been sitting with originally.

I was a little shocked when this happened. Jason was twice my age while I was in my very early twenties at my first international con. I tried not to think too much of it as I didn't expect to see him again after this, and joked about it with the people I was with even though I was uncomfortable. The next day when I went to the con I passed by his table, and although he was doing some signings he put up a sign saying he was on a break and approached me (this kind of thing would continue to happen throughout the con). He said he had been a little drunk the night before and offered to get me a coffee. I accepted thinking the whole thing would blow over and I appreciated that he attempted to make amends.

When we went for the coffee he asked me for my email, my number, etc. and said he wanted to be friends. He said he could introduce me to whoever I wanted, that he was good friends with my favorite comic artist and he would introduce me to her, and he said he would still like to give me some comics. He mentioned he was sleeping with a girl in England casually, and that he was in Ireland quite a bit for conventions as he liked the Irish scene there. He suggested he could come see me if he ever came to Ireland.

When we got back to his table he gave me a few comics, which I ended up giving to friends at the con who admired him instead of reading them myself. I started to avoid the side of the con he was on as I knew he'd approach me if he saw me, and at the bar in the evening he would also be looking for me. Another woman who was in the group I was hanging out with at the convention told him to leave me alone and stop harassing me and later a comic artist intervened when he approached me at the bar. The people I was with knew he was a pest, and did their best to help me avoid him when possible. I spent my days at the con having the group ask if he had approached me that day yet, when I should have been focused solely on having a good time and connecting with people.
Let's see if I have this right. He tried to bribe her with comics for sex?!? Gee whiz, he really doesn't know a thing about how to ask for a simple fling. At worst, he's given comicdom a bad name, and people like him are exactly why so much social justice propaganda is bound to continue being forced upon the medium in the forseeable future. He may be an advocate, and he's bound in a certain way to influence the same. Oh, I almost forgot, Latour was one of the jerks who lectured us all about racism a few weeks ago. So, how's that virtue-signaling all working out for him now? And that's not all. 3 years ago, Latour was was the writer behind the story turning Donald Trump into "MODAAK" in Spider-Gwen, and as this Daily Beast article tells, and he had some pretty denigrating things to say:
...judging by Latour’s Twitter feed over the past year, his new character could be coming from a place of genuine political outrage at a figure he has called “a goddamn idiot” who he wishes “didn’t exist.”
Some of those tweets have since been erased, but this one is still available so far:

Tell us about it. Just a week or so ago, he was ostensibly panning Cameron Stewart for his alleged misconduct, and now we learn Latour could be guilty of potentially worse. Multiversity Comics said:
According to The Beat, Latour initially responded to Tracey in a series of now deleted tweets apologizing for his behavior. He then responded with another tweet explaining that he didn’t want to “distract from [her] space further.”

Several creators came forth in support of Tracey, sharing their own similar experiences with Latour, including Alex de Campi, Hannah Blumenreich, and Rian Sygh. Writer Tres Dean also weighed in, admitting that knowledge of Latour’s behavior “was not an open secret,” and “nobody did anything about it because it was uncomfortable and he’s powerful and the transgressions were just minor enough to make you second guess if it was worth calling out.”
Interesting they should mention The Beat, since they, along with Latour himself, were exaggerating the claims Chelsea Cain was being harassed by people who took issue with how she wrote the Mockingbird series, before all these propagandists threw Cain under the bus when she wouldn't include transgender propaganda in her Man-Eaters comic, a few years before J.K. Rowling boldly spoke out against the harm the ideology's doing to women's dignity. Now, Latour's being thrown under the bus by the very folks he's been building up. What's this about the issue being "uncomfortable" though? I'm sorry, but that's awfully pathetic. Either somebody should've called his employers, or the cops, and not worried about failure to get a job in the medium proper as a result.

Latour also put a letter picture on Twitter on the 18th of the month where he basically made a faux critique about Stewart, which I've also posted on the side here for everyone to examine, and this is what prompted all that opposition to speak out against him. He seems to have disappeared from Twitter for the moment, much like Stewart himself, though hasn't shut his account like Stewart did earlier. But, will he come back? Time will tell. If Latour co-created Spider-Gwen, the stock market value will probably crash if it's posted to the Dow Jones industrial average after these allegations. I think he's also got some Wolverine stories to his credits, along with a Defenders volume, and one can only wonder how well those are going to fare now? His indie work with Jason Aaron will probably be damaged by the emerging story too. When I found CBR's report, I looked in the comments section and found the following:
What's gone on? I feel half of every article the past week has been someone in comics bein accused of something. What suddenly brought out all the accusations all at once?
The answer:
Domino effect. The accusations against several other big names emboldens people to speak up about their own cases. This one, in particular, sterns from the accusations against one of Batgirl's artists and it went uphill from there.

That said. This is no surprise. Comics are a highly insular and gate-keeping industry. This kind of behavior is almost to be expected when this kind of men make cliques like these.
They got that right about the gate-keeping. Mainly by ultra-leftists who've since taken to exploiting all these superhero comics to showcase their rabid politics. Latour's antics of recent certainly tell quite a bit about his side of the political spectrum. Which now came back to haunt him as he winds up accused by his other fellow liberal travelers of aggravating them.

How many more modern comics scribes will be accused of this hypocrisy? Time will tell, and it won't be pretty.

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The CBLDF pretends to be anti-censorship but in reality is just another left wing front for canceling traditional culture. Glad to see the director has been eaten by his own creation.

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