A little over a week after multiple creators withdrew their support for and work from Dynamite Entertainment over the publisher’s partnership with a creator with strong ties to known hate group c*micsgate, the publisher has issued an official statement regarding their decision and the subsequent fallout.

“Dynamite Entertainment is a partner in the fight for equality and inclusion. Our company was founded on these core values more than 15 years ago and they are essential to the creative process – the work of visionary artists and entrepreneurs – that we are passionate about. Intolerance has no place in our company or our industry. The impulse behind this brief association was that of helping a friend of many decades and his family, and not how that assistance could potentially affect our valued colleagues, partners, and friends. That association is behind us and this time has strengthened our resolve to continue working with the most diverse talent in creating the best comics possible.”

The statement still feels…off. The cover in question may have been the flashpoint for the backlash against Dynamite, but the publisher’s association with creators who also associate with c*micsgate has been going on for years, and it’s been alleged that Dynamite founder Nick Barrucci has been assisting them behind-the-scenes for years.

While their roster of creators does point to inclusion, their repeated associations with other comics professionals who are known to be against diversity, and to engage in targeted harassment campaigns to that effect, make it hard to reconcile where the publisher actually stands. Was the impact c*micsgate has had on marginalized creators, some of whom do work for Dynamite regularly, really that elusive to them? Did they think no one would notice? Or, as I speculated in an earlier piece, is it just about playing to every corner regardless of political and ethical leanings to keep selling books?

This statement seems unlikely to resolve things the way Dynamite likely hopes it will. Maybe some will give them a second chance. Many may not, especially if they don’t feel the statement is enough of an apology and acknowledgment of what the real problem is. The employees and freelancers who work for the publisher are, from personal experience and by other accounts, not bad people. It’s unfortunate that they find themselves embroiled in such a messy situation due to the actions of a few higher-ups in the company.

12 COMMENTS

  1. It takes a lot of effort to fall below doing the absolute minimum required and yet this non-statement manages just that.

    I like that they also produced a list touting the creators working for them and forgot to remove the ones who’ve made it clear they won’t be working for them in the future.

  2. So Cecil has been a friend of Barucci’s for many decades? That seems really concerning, and drives a stake through the heart of it being a brief association.

  3. Ah, I see I may have misunderstood who his friend was. But if his friend who he was helping was that frog artist, how was hiring other CG folks and promoting their work helping him?

    I feel really sorry for the Dynamite staffers who are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  4. I think it’s totally possible as a publisher to ignore the politics happening behind the scenes and just put out great stories with great content. Not every comic reader is following the drama on Twitter, and some choose to ignore it. I’m definitely for inclusion in comics, but if a few artists on one publisher’s list are ‘alt right’ or whatever that won’t stop me from buying their books or another creative teams books. I definitely think ‘cancel culture’ has gone too far– I don’t think they have to rationalize the political beliefs of ever creator.

  5. ‘Cancel culture’ isn’t a thing, it’s just an excuse to avoid being held accountable. People who care about other people aren’t going to support hate & bigotry in any way, neither with their efforts, their wallet, nor their time. I’m not gonna buy cakes from homophobes, sandwiches from racists, or comics from c*micsgate supporters.

  6. Cancel culture does exist, and it’s done by people on the right as well as the left, as the Dixie Chicks could tell you. Martin Scorsese and Kevin Smith could tell you about efforts to suppress “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Dogma.”

    But since Trump’s election, it’s mainly people on the left who no longer support free speech or the First Amendment.

  7. Freedom of speech does not not mean freedom from the consequences of your speech.

    I know I must be hard for straight white men to no longer be allowed to abuse anyone who isn’t a straight white man with absolute impunity but let’s be honest most of you still get away with it. So congratulations, you’re still winning for now.

  8. I don’t follow, if speech has consequences then is it really free? After all, you could and can say whatever you want in any dictatorship, its just that your speech will have dire consequences.

  9. Congratulations, Simon. You’ve parroted every cliche I expect from an ultra-woke, ultra-PC leftie. This is the left’s current attitude: that free-speech advocates are bigots who really just want to harass everyone who isn’t a straight white male. Guys like you give liberals a bad name.

    Here’s journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi on “how the left became the right”:

  10. Please educate yourself. The first amendment – freedom of speech – applies to the government restricting your speech. If you go into a preschool and start swearing your head off, and then are removed from the premises by police, you cannot claim your free speech/First Amendment rights were violated. Well, you can, but there’s no legal force to your arguments. I get so tired of people who don’t “get” how this works.

  11. Government censorship usually isn’t required to silence unpopular or controversial ideas. Internet bullying is quite effective at silencing people, and getting them fired.

    I’m not talking about people who want to curse in front of preschoolers or use the N-word in public. I’m talking about ideas that upset the politically rigid people in our society. At this point, disagreeing with people who think Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant were white supremacists (whose statues must be taken down) is a controversial position to take

    It used to be people on the right who tried to silence speech (and images) they didn’t like, but people on the left have adopted this intolerant tribal attitude with a vengeance.

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