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.