Yesterday afternoon, xoJane published an account of convention harassment by cartoonist MariNaomi. The extra fun twist? It happened while she was working. While she was on a panel. In front of an audience.
After a very long hour, the panel is over. It went pretty well, despite DB, what with lively conversation and a talented moderator. I introduce my husband to my fellow panelists, and DB’s eyes grow wide and he balks.
DB then proceeds to sheepishly APOLOGIZE TO MY HUSBAND for how he behaved toward me, as if I’m a piece of property. What the hell? Where is MY apology for being publicly harassed, objectified and humiliated?
I still say nothing, because I don’t know what to say, but now I know that DB knew damn well he was being disrespectful that entire time. But he did it anyway.
It’s almost time to go, and we’re posing for photos. DB is unfortunately directly beside me, and he playfully grabs my arm to pull me closer into the photograph. Internally I flinch at his touch, my skin crawling, because I’m enraged. Externally I’m keeping it together.
I don’t want to be the one who ruins everybody’s afternoon with my indignation. I smile for photo after photo, just wanting to flee, but they keep going. When another shot is requested, I joke that I can’t fake-smile for much longer. DB tells me not to worry, that because of my squinty Asian eyes, I look like I’m smiling anyway.
In response, Heidi McDonald of The Beat issued a wake up call to the entire comics industry. Her message: it’s time for men to recognize that there are women among you; women who are living, breathing, sentient beings with dreams of their very own.
I am also sorry because if I had realized my failed attempt at humor had offended MariNaomi or her husband in the moment that I made those statements, I would have certainly apologized in then and not have left her to feel victimized in the hours and days that followed.
Head over to The Beat for the full text of the apology.
Scott is sorry about a lot of things, apparently. He’s sorry for making racist, sexist jokes. He’s sorry for humiliating a colleague in front of a room full of fans. And he’s sorry that his “failed attempt at humor” had such a lasting impact on MariNaomi. He’s sorry. But you might remember Lobdell from such controversies as the Starfire costume and personality redesign, his subsequent declaration that fans and fan reaction are more terrible than the comic could possibly have been, and the time he called Ron Marz pompous for tweeting against racism.
He’s sorry, but I’m perplexed. Why did it take an xoJane article going viral for him to realize that racism and sexism are not ok, much less in the workplace? Would his attempt at humour been ok if MariNaomi had laughed it off? “Ho ho, squinty eyes. You got me there, Lobdell. Off to eat some bisexual mangos!” The answer is no, obviously. Not at all. Not ever. Get it together, comics.