If Netflix's Castlevania moves on beyond its previously-announced fourth season, it will reportedly be doing so without series writer, producer, and creator Warren Ellis. In the Friday, July 31st edition of The Hollywood Reporter magazine, Graeme McMillan, Sharareh Drury, and Aaron Couch focused their "Heat Vision" column on the comics industry and how companies such as Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse are being forced to face a culture of exploitative and abusive behavior. McMillan, Drury, and Couch examined how the industry was cutting ties with a number of big-name creators who are facing numerous accusations. The report began with a focus on comic book writer and artist Taki Soma's sexual assault accusations against ex-Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) Executive Director Charles Brownstein, how it took 15 years before the matter would get serious public attention (Brownstein would resign from the CBLDF on June 22 of this year), and how it was part of a recent wave of accountability.
From there, THR discussed how Ellis was facing accusations of sexual harassment and abuse from several women, reporting from sources that Ellis had a Batman project at DC Comics that was shuttered before the Castlevania reveal: "Sources say that while Ellis has completed work on the upcoming season of Castlevania, he will not be back for potential future seasons." Three weeks after the third season's March 5th debut, Castlevania was renewed by Netflix for a fourth season. While admitting to "mistakes," Ellis denied the accusations in a statement released on June 19: "While I've made many bad choices in my past, and I've said a lot of wrong things, let me be clear, I have never consciously coerced, manipulated, or abused anyone, nor have I ever assaulted anybody" (full statement here).
For former DC Editor Janelle Asselin, one of the biggest issues allowing the history of abuse and cover-up to continue as long as it did was the power structure that's existed within the industry for decades. Simply put, comics is a world of freelancers with very few staff positions: "One of the bigger problems is the people on staff at comics companies are a very, very, very small percentage of the industry," explained Asselin. "So even if they were doing the most effective sexual harassment training they possibly could — which I don't think they're doing, but even if they were — there are still a lot of people in the industry who aren't getting that training because so much of the industry is people who are freelance."