Former Dark Horse Comics editor Brendan Wright has been accused of sexual harassment by a former colleague. Freelance editor Bekah Caden made the allegations on Thursday, saying that Wright harassed and stalked her “for over a year.”
In a series of tweets, Caden described meeting Wright, the escalating nature of his behavior towards her, and how he held the prospect of work over her as leverage.
Wright, who worked for Dark Horse from 2008 until 2015 before becoming a freelance editor, has most recently been a VP and Executive Editor for Starburns Industries Press. Reached for comment on the allegations against Wright, the publisher said Wright would no longer be involved with the company:
First and foremost, we want to stress that is important to place trust that women are speaking truth about experiences of harassment. We believe Bekah Caden is being truthful.
While we had already reduced Brendan’s involvement at SBI Press prior to these revelations – after reviewing the information available to us – we absolutely condemn it and will be ending our working relationships with Brendan. He will certainly not be involved in any future projects with us.
A look at the publisher’s website, which had this afternoon listed Wright as an ‘Executive Chef’ at the bottom of the first page, shows that his name and all information about him has been removed from the site.
Wright had also currently been involved with the Shots Fired anthology to benefit charities dedicated to preventing gun violence. In a note to the project’s backers on Kickstarter, Sean E. Williams, co-founder of the book’s publisher, Comicker Press, announced that Wright would no longer be a part of the anthology:
I am writing to you to let you know that Brendan Wright has been removed as editor of SHOTS FIRED. His name won’t be on the book in any capacity.
Multiple other publishers and creators also took to Twitter to announce they were ending their working relationships with Wright in light of the allegations:
Our statement on Brendan Wright. pic.twitter.com/JWnNimejH1
— Suspicious Behavior Productions (@SBP_Comics) June 18, 2020
— White Cat Entertainment (@WhiteCatStories) June 19, 2020
This is an exhausting week.
After reading Bekha Caden's gut wrenching account of what Brendan Wright put her thru, everyone on both books we have in the works with Brendan unanimously and imediately decided to remove him from the teams. Please read this whole thread 1/5
— Nacho Man Sandy Cabbage (@TreeBeerd) June 18, 2020
The behavior that Caden described — Wright’s use of the promise of future work as leverage over her — is an all-too common tactic used by harassers in the comics industry. We saw it with Brian Wood. We saw it with Scott Lobdell. We saw it with Scott Allie (who, while no longer an editor at Dark Horse, still writes for them as a freelancer). While some people would argue that their victims should have simply avoided their abusers, and that doing good work is enough to get noticed and break into the comics industry, the fact is that’s simply not the case, and to a certain degree a successful career in comics is as much about who you know as it is how good you are. Those power dynamics are obviously not just a comics problem, and it has to be up to the people with that power and influence (even if they apparently don’t realize they have it) to make the choice not to abuse it before anything will truly change.
So far, Brendan Wright has yet to release a statement regarding the allegations against him.
If you are a U.S.-based victim of sexual assault in need of help, contact RAINN at 800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.