Alamo Drafthouse officially parted ways with Devin Faraci today, for the second time in the past year.
Faraci originally resigned in October, 2016, after tweeting about then-candidate Donald Trump's sexual assault bragging tape only to have a former acquaintance allege that he had done exactly what Trump was talking about. Bleeding Cool reported at the time:
Faraci responded that he did not remember the incident, but later stepped down from his job as Editor-in-Chief of Alamo Drafthouse's entertainment website, Birth.Movies.Death, issuing the following statement:
This weekend allegations were made about my past behavior. Because I take these types of claims seriously I feel my only honorable course of action is to step down from my position as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death. I will use the coming weeks and months to work on becoming a better person who is, I hope, worthy of the trust and loyalty of my friends and readers.
However, Devin Faraci soon re-entered the news cycle when a programmer at Fantastic Fest, an event owned by Alamo Drafthouse, quit after learning that Faraci was still working for the company. Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League took to Facebook to explain himself in a lengthy Facebook post, writing:
Nearly a year ago, sexual misconduct allegations were brought against an Alamo Drafthouse employee, Devin Faraci. Though Devin did not recall the event, he did not doubt the allegations. Instead, he acknowledged the wrong, conveyed his sincere regret, and vowed to make the necessary changes in his life to prevent something like this from ever happening again. Devin took the allegations seriously, as did I, Alamo Drafthouse, and Birth.Movies.Death. As a result, we agreed the only course of action was for him to step down from his role as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death. We needed to make a clean break, change the leadership and accordingly terminated his employment. Devin has not written for Birth.Movies.Death. since.
A culture of sexual harassment and gender inequality persists in our society and specifically within the film industry, and much work remains to fix this problem. By engaging in dialogue about these issues, and by holding people responsible for their actions, we can begin to bridge the gap between where we are now, and where we need to be. Without question, sexual misconduct is impermissible. The question is whether there is any path to redemption, and if so, what that path looks like.
Devin has spent the time since this allegation examining the choices he made that led to it. He has recognized and acknowledged his struggles with substance abuse; after stepping down, he immediately entered recovery and has been sober ever since. This is an important step in the right direction.
His departure from Birth.Movies.Death meant losing his job, his livelihood, his career, and his place in the film community, but Devin has started the work to rebuild himself first with the understanding that all else is secondary. Seeing the work that Devin has been doing to acknowledge his faults, to address his addiction, and to better himself, I thought it was important to contribute to his recovery process by helping him with some means to earn a living. Once it became clear that his efforts were sincere, I offered Devin copywriting work at Alamo Drafthouse and have recently expanded that to include writing blurbs for our Fantastic Fest festival guide. He does not hold any leadership position at Alamo Drafthouse or Fantastic Fest and is not involved with Birth.Movies.Death. in any capacity.
I understand there's some discomfort with the idea that Devin is once again employed by the Alamo Drafthouse. However, I am very much an advocate for granting people second chances, and I believe that Devin deserves one. He continues to confront his issues and to better himself with the help of his friends and family. I am proud to consider myself a part of this process.
Human beings make mistakes, and when they acknowledge those mistakes and embark upon a journey of personal improvement, they deserve forgiveness. If, God forbid, I somehow find myself in a similar place down the road, my hope is that my actions up until this point have warranted others to offer the same help to me.
However, a former employee of Alamo alleges that Faraci wasn't recently rehired, but instead brought back to the company just one month after his original resignation to work in behind-the-scenes roles, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
I find the statement to be very disingenuous on Tim's part because there was never any question of whether Devin would be given that opportunity. It wasn't offered after a period of growth and change. Devin just very rapidly moved into his current copywriting/editing job after stepping down from Birth.Movies.Death.
Devin's new position was not initially announced internally so it's difficult for me to say with exact certainty when he began in it. But it was clear he was around, being cc'd on emails and such, within a month of his leaving BMD. After a number of employees expressed concern/outrage, an internal announcement was made much in the same spirit of Tim's Facebook post, that he was 'doing the work' and deserved forgiveness and a second chance. … I don't feel that a single month or less is long enough to properly reflect on, atone for and change such long-standing behaviors.
The former employee also said he was once censured for calling out Faraci on social media over a 2014 essay by Faraci defending Woody Allen from molestation allegations.
Reaction to the revealtion that Faraci was once again, or still, working for Alamo caused an uproar this week, resulting in a familiar scene: League posted a letter to Facebook which had been sent to Alamo employees announcing Faraci's re-resignation:
Time will tell if Devin Faraci's resignation will stick this time, but the scandal has almost certainly caused damage to the reputation of the ostensibly progressive company, whose woman-only Wonder Woman screenings earned praise around the internet (and ire from outraged manchildren). In addition to Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest, League also owns the company Mondo, famous for selling movie poster prints.