DC Comics Fires Longtime Editor Following Sexual Harassment Claims

Striker77/Comic Vine

Striker77/Comic Vine

The BuzzFeed piece detailed allegations in which Liz Gehrlein Marsham, then new DC employee, said Berganza kissed and groped her at a NY bar called McGee's that was frequented by DC employees.

"Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have terminated the employment of DC Comics Group Editor Eddie Berganza", the company said in a statement. And while that is slowly changing, with the popularity of Wonder Woman and women-led comics from the likes of Gabby Rivera and Rainbow Rowell, the Berganza story is clear and undeniable proof that we still have a very long way to go. At the time of his suspension, he was overseeing popular DC titles, like its bestselling Dark Nights: Metal series.

The New York office had a reputation within the industry as being a hard place for women to work under Berganza.

Liz Gehrlein Marsham, who had only been working at the company for less than three weeks, claims Berganza aggressively kissed her in December 2006 at a bar. Berganza, who was up for a promotion to executive editor at the time, received that promotion anyway.

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DC had previously suspended Berganza in the wake of a BuzzFeed story published Friday in which three women, two on the record and one unnamed, alleged he forcibly kissed and groped them. The woman herself later said she was too scared to report the coercion, but allegations surfaced in a Bleeding Cool article, which initially did not name Berganza.

She said of the incident: 'At the time I was so terrified that this would affect myself or my partner's prospects in comics, anxious it would jeopardise either of our careers'.

Berganza was disciplined following a 2012 incident and sought help, and there have been no reports of subsequent misconduct. According to Buzzfeed's sources, Berganza was infamous at the company for making offensive statements to colleagues and that his penchant for making people feel unsafe was "an open secret" at DC. "There will be a prompt and yet careful review into next steps as it relates to the allegations against him, and the concerns our talent, employees and fans have shared". But for many, many comic book creators and fans, that wasn't almost enough. She told BuzzFeed that all the women she knew who were involved in the complaint eventually left DC.

And that perceived support may have been what kept, and continues to keep, women like Marsham from being able to do their best work in the industry - and may have, in turn, prevented DC from recruiting and working with some of the best creators in the business.

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