UPDATED 10/1/2015 5:45 PM PT: Dark Horse Comics founder and President Mike Richardson has issued a lengthy statement on Scott Allie's behavior and reported history of misconduct, published on The Beat. It reads, in part:
I also want to make one thing very clear: Dark Horse as a company, and myself as an individual, take the kinds of inexcusable incidents reported by Ms. Asselin very seriously -- doubly so when it involves one of our employees. In cases such as these, we have been proactive in our response, with a variety of professional services involved, all with the goal of changing behavior. Additionally, a number of internal responses are acted upon, including termination if such behavior continues. Under no circumstance is any individual "harbored." In this particular case, action was taken immediately, though we did not, and cannot, perform a public flogging, as some might wish.
Secondly, there is no "us-against-them" attitude here. I have an open door policy and every employee, no matter where she/he sits in the company, is invited to come in to my office with any complaint or observation, at any time. I restate this policy constantly. I won’t go into the assumptions made here that are just untrue, because my intent is not to undermine the purpose of her piece, but no one here has ever turned a "blind eye" to these behaviors, not in this case, not in any case. With regard to sexual harassment, it is simply not tolerated. Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.
The full statement can be found on The Beat.
Original story: Longtime Dark Horse Comics editor Scott Allie has issued an apology following a report that he assaulted a writer in July while drunk at a party at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
"Dark Horse and I have taken the matter very seriously," he said in a statement when reached by CBR News, "and since this incident, we have taken steps to correct and to avoid any behavior like this in the future."
In an article written by Janelle Asselin and published by Graphic Policy, "Great Pacific" and "The X-Files: Season 10" writer Joe Harris said that on July 9, an intoxicated Allie grabbed his crotch and then bit his ear during the BOOM! Studios party at the bar of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Harris said he was "just really floored by what was going on -- I've never had any interaction with him like this before whatsoever -- I froze there for a second, when he says to me, drunkenly, 'You're doing a great job on your books…' before stumbling away."
In the same article, an unnamed source reports witnessing Allie licking the face of former Dark Horse and Oni Press employee Tim Wiesch. While Wiesch declined to provide comment in the article, he did tweet at 2 a.m. in the night in question, "Hey! Maybe you just shouldn't lick someone's face at comic con. Just saying."
In the full statement to CBR News, Allie wrote:
I’m deeply sorry about my behavior at San Diego Comic Con 2015 and I apologize to everyone I've hurt. I'm completely embarrassed by my actions and how my behavior reflects on Dark Horse Comics, my friends and family. My personal approach and decisions for managing stress were bad. Dark Horse and I have taken the matter very seriously and since this incident, we have taken steps to correct and to avoid any behavior like this in the future. Although apologies can’t undo what has happened, I’ve tried to apologize to everyone impacted by my behavior. To my family, friends, co-workers, and to the industry -- please know that I am truly, truly sorry.
In response to follow-up questions sent by CBR News, Allie said he apologized to Harris by email, and that he is seeking outside help for substance abuse. Harris confirmed that he received an email from Allie on Sept. 14, and that he considered filing charges, but ultimately decided against it.
Widely known for editing such high-profile Dark Horse titles as "Hellboy," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "B.P.R.D.," Allie was promoted in 2012 from Senior Editor to Editor-in-Chief. He served in that position until Sept. 11 of this year, when Dave Marshall was announced as the publisher's new Editor-in-Chief and Allie moved to the new position of Executive Senior Editor. When asked by CBR News, Allie declined to answer whether that change in position was related to the incident at Comic-Con.
Asselin's article frames the incident at Comic-Con as part of a pattern of misbehavior that a former Dark Horse employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, contends "goes back decades," with inappropriate behavior said to happen both while drunk and sober. "For a long time he was called Bitey the Clown because he would get black out drunk and bite people," the ex-employee stated. "He’s punched coworkers. He’s been inappropriate." Another stated that Allie had been known to "say terrible things about people" when drunk, and "become flirtatious and put his hands on women’s legs."
In a shared statement, "multiple current Dark Horse employees" who spoke only on the condition of anonymity contend Allie's conduct "is widely known" within the company, but that no action was ever taken. "The lack of visible reprimand leads us to fear Scott will continue to hurt people," they wrote. As discovered on Graphic Policy's site, an interview published on Dark Horse's website in 2006 appeared to reference Allie's propensity for biting, opening with, "'Daring.' 'Visionary.' 'Nervous.' 'Watch out, he bites.' These are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe Scott Allie."
When reached by CBR News for comment, Dark Horse responded with the same statement provided to Graphic Policy: "Dark Horse is committed to ensuring and maintaining a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans and we expect all who represent our company to behave in a professional manner. Disciplinary actions are handled internally at the company and we do not comment on them publicly."
CBR's Jonah Weiland and Albert Ching contributed to this story.