A month ago, a number of women began telling stories, very similar stories, regarding what they saw as grooming at the hands of comic book writer, novelist and TV showrunner Warren Ellis. Today, almost seventy people, telling very similar stories, have helped put together a website, at SoManyOfUs.com. The website is signed by them, and publishes over thirty individual accounts that feel very familiar and are notably similar to each other.
Bleeding Cool is not going to quote any of the stories, but the accounts can be read here and they are worthy of that. A word of warning, to read so many, chronologically, one after another after another can be distressing, whether you have personally experienced similar actions or not. Additionally, amongst the many claims which reflect those already made, there is also is repeat mention of hypnotism, which stuck out rather prominently for this reporter. The website also notes that are a number of people who don't yet wish to come forward, even anonymously. The website may receive additional testimonies once published.
A series of Frequently Asked Questions dealing with common objections to these statements can be found here. It might be wise to read before offering further commentary. Warren Ellis' original apologetic response to earlier allegations ran in our original article, and the new website response to that as well. But SoManyOfUs opens with the following statement.
From our accounts, and the others who have come forward, there is clear evidence of Warren Ellis using his celebrity status and vast public platform as catalyst and shield to manipulate and groom targets under false pretenses, and to coerce private pornography and sexual exchanges. Over twenty years, femme-presenting people, often between the ages of 19 to 26, were impacted by this pathological behavior. We were all under an elaborate illusion, believing we had a friend, a mentor, a partner in this man.
To date, nearly 100 people have privately come forward with experiences regarding Warren Ellis. Given how deeply personal many of these experiences have been, only a fraction of those who have contacted us have chosen to share their testimonials on this site. We've assembled these stories in a form that keeps his targets safe from further abuse, yet clearly shows both how widely our experiences vary and also where the patterns lie.
The website goes into further detail, cataloguing the similarity of experiences, the effect these had, and Warren Ellis' standing in the community and wider society as a whole, and state the reasons why they are stating their accounts now, together. The website has three goals. First, to let people know about Warren's behaviour so less people fall subject to it in the future. Second, to offer resources and support for those who need it. And third, to help people recognise the type of behaviour Warren engaged in as harmful and to suggest ways to help stop it.
Because they also state that after people's original claims were first made and Warren made an apologetic reponse, the pattern of behaviour still continued into July. But there is also, as was stated originally, a statement that this is not an attempt to 'cancel' Warren Ellis. They state.
To be clear, our aim is not to see Warren Ellis punished, we are here to look forward. We believe it is important to amplify awareness of a pattern to change the culture of complicity. Emotional abuse, despite not being criminalized in many places, should be recognized as a real and lasting violation. We tell these stories so that anyone can recognize the dangerous nature of this type of behavior and protect themselves and others.
We also ask those reading this to understand that writers can't work alone, and many of the artists, colorists, flatters, letterers, editors, and other collaborators who have worked with Warren over the years still deserve recognition and support for the work they published with him.
To Warren's supporters, we'd like to say that we felt the shock, betrayal, confusion, and anger these revelations may be bringing up in you now. We hope that, like us, you will be able to channel this new awareness into fuel for positive change in your communities, and within yourselves.
We all have a lot of reading to do. Including yesterday's Daily Beast article about Warren by Ashley Elbein which also includes previous Bleeding Cool coverage. There's been a misconception, too, that this is just a comics story, but it's so much bigger. Warren might be best known as a comics guy, but many of the people with stories to tell are not.