Last weekend saw mounting criticism of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and its then-director Charles Brownstein, over claims of sexual molestation against a number comic creators, from 2005 and afterwards, and over an NDA held by the CBLDF board against a former employee. As well as Brownstein stepping down, there were calls for members of the CBLDF board, present at the time this first came to light, to also step down.
Today, the CBLDF stated that former president and publisher of DC Comics, Paul Levitz has retired from the Board of Directors, where he has served since 2004. Distinctly, librarian official and Sequential Tart website founder Katherine Keller who has been on the Board since 2014 has resigned. As has president of Random House Publisher Services, Jeff Abraham, on the Board since 2012. Differing reasons for each were not explained in the CBLDF statement, but connection to the Charles Brownstein situation was made. Whether as a result of how the situation was handled or in protest to it, is not made clear.
"The CBLDF announced today that Paul Levitz is retiring from our Board of Directors. In addition, the Board has accepted the resignations of Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham. See our full statement here."
"We respect the decisions that Paul, Katherine and Jeff have made to leave the Board. We realize it will be a long path to earning back the trust of our members, supporters and the industry. We recognize that it's been our inability to react, or act at all, that's been the cause of pain in our community.
Even last week, when we took the necessary action in accepting Charles's resignation, our communications were stilted and clumsy. To everyone who has come forward, we haven't done justice to your bravery and we are truly sorry. We vow to be better.
We've begun the search for a new Executive Director. We're going to look both inside and outside the comic book industry to find the best person to run the Fund and fix what's broken. We are taking steps to expand our mission to make sure that we are best serving the industry's needs. We have a responsibility to our community, and that means listening and responding to your concerns.
Most importantly, we want to keep talking. We want to keep listening. If you have a story to tell, whether it involves the CBLDF or not, we want to hear it. We've created the email email@example.com where you can share your story or voice your concerns. We don't expect our words to earn us anything. We hope our actions will."