When I first read MariNaomi’s story of the guy who was sexually harassing on that panel, I thought he was an asshole and should be outed. And then I thought, gee I wonder if it is someone I know?
And it was.
The panel in question was the Prism Comics panel at the Long Beach Comic-Con and the man sitting next to MariNaomi was long-time comics writer Scott Lobdell. Scott came to me to reveal he was the man on the panel and to offer this apology. I showed it to MariNaomi first, as it was directed to her.
I will say I respect Scott for getting out in front of this and apologizing once he became aware of the ramifications of his actions. I don’t think what happened on the panel was okay just because a friend of mine did it. I’ve discussed it privately with Scott. I hope, as his apology suggests, he has learned something about appropriate behavior.
First and foremost and without any conditions I would like to formally and publicly apologize for offending a fellow comic book creator.
I am also sorry because if I had realized my failed attempt at humor had offended MariNaomi or her husband in the moment that I made those statements, I would have certainly apologized in then and not have left her to feel victimized in the hours and days that followed.
I am particularly saddened because I was completely blown away by not only her talent as both a writer and artist, but more importantly by the fact she was using her talent to speak so openly and freely about her own life experiences and how they informed the artist that she is today. As someone who has only ever written super heroes, I marvel at the type of courage it takes for someone to put their whole life out on paper (or blogs) for the world to see.
Finally I am sorry that my presence on the panel caused her experience to be anything other than a celebration of her work. MariNaomi deserved more than that.
This apology doesn’t right all the wrongs that we’ve been talking about but…we’re moving to the next level.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.